The Internet of Things, or IoT, as it is commonly abbreviated, is defined as the collective network of linked objects and technology that allows communication between devices and the cloud. These gadgets include everything from small household products to large industrial equipment. According to experts, the number of connected IoT devices will reach 22 billion by 2025.
Organizations in various kinds of industries are rapidly utilizing IoT to run more efficiently, provide better customer service, improve decision-making, and raise the value of their businesses. Data can be transferred over a network using IoT without the need for human-to-human or human-to-computer exchanges.
IoT encompasses a vast network of physical objects or “things” embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies that enable them to collect and exchange data over the Internet. These objects can be diverse, ranging from a heart monitor implanted in a person, a biochip transponder placed in a farm animal, to a car with built-in sensors that inform the driver when tire pressure is low, or any other natural or man-made object.
How Does IoT Work?
The Internet of Things (IoT) operates through an ecosystem of smart devices communicating with an IoT platform. This platform is the support software that connects everything within an IoT system. Numerous IoT platforms exist today, with leading corporations like Oracle and IBM making significant contributions to their development.
IoT’s functionality relies on various technologies that facilitate device communication and connectivity. Some technologies, such as smart homes, are designed for specific use cases, while others, like industrial automation, cater to broader IoT applications. These technologies can be categorized into two types: IoT data protocols and IoT network protocols.
IoT data protocols facilitate data transmission between devices, even when an Internet connection is unavailable. These protocols enable seamless communication and data exchange within an IoT network. On the other hand, IoT network protocols connect devices to each other and to the internet, forming an interconnected network that allows devices to share information and interact with centralized systems or other devices.
By combining these technologies and leveraging IoT platforms, the Internet of Things transforms everyday objects into smart, connected devices. This connectivity and data exchange facilitates efficient automation, data-driven decision-making, and enhanced services across various sectors, including healthcare, agriculture, transportation, and more.
What Are the Technologies That Have Made Internet of Things a Success?
While the notion of IoT has been around for a long time, current technological developments have made it a reality. The following technologies have significantly contributed to the advancement of the Internet of Things:
- Connectivity– Various Internet network protocols have simplified the process of connecting sensors to the cloud and other “things” for efficient data transfer.
- Platforms for cloud computing– The increased availability of cloud platforms allows enterprises and consumers to gain access to the infrastructure they require to scale up without having to manage it all.
- Access to low-cost, low-power sensor technology– More manufacturers can implement IoT technology thanks to the availability of low-cost, dependable sensors.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) for conversation- Natural-language processing (NLP) has been extended to IoT devices (such as digital personal assistants Alexa, Cortana, and Siri) through advances in neural networks, making them beautiful, affordable, and practical for household use.
- Analytics and machine learning- Businesses may obtain insights faster and more simply with developments in machine learning and analytics, as well as access to diverse and large volumes of data stored in the cloud. The development of these linked technologies pushes the boundaries of IoT further, and IoT data feeds these technologies as well.
What are the Contributions of IoT to Businesses?
Organizations can profit from IoT in various ways. Some advantages are industry-specific, while others are relevant across several industries. The following are common business benefits:
- Allows businesses to gain insights into customer behavior and preferences through connected devices.
- With the vast amount of data generated by IoT devices, businesses can make informed decisions based on actionable insights.
- Enables businesses to collect real-time data from various sensors and devices.
- IoT facilitates the implementation of predictive maintenance strategies.
- Enables businesses to track and monitor goods throughout the supply chain, from production to delivery.
- By optimizing operations, automating processes, and reducing manual intervention, IoT can lead to cost savings for businesses.
- Enhances workplace safety by providing real-time monitoring of hazardous environments and alerting employees to potential risks.
In general, IoT is very useful and is used by manufacturing companies, transport companies, and utility firms that use sensors and other IoT devices. It has also had vital applications in agriculture, infrastructure, and home automation, leading some organizations toward digital transformation.
IoT can also aid in the monitoring of infrastructure activities. Sensors, for example, can detect events or changes in structures, bridges, and other infrastructure that could risk safety. This delivers advantages such as improved incident management and response, lower operational expenses, and higher service quality.