What is meant by the Internet of Things (IoT)?
The internet of things, or IoT, is a system of interrelated devices, mechanical and digital machines, or objects. They're built with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without human-to-human or human-to-computer interactions. The internet of things refers to the vast amount of devices worldwide that are connected to the internet today. All of these things are collecting and sharing data.
A device in the internet of things could be a person with a heart monitor implant, a farm animal with a biochip transponder, an automobile with built-in sensors or any object. This object, natural or synthetic, has to be assigned an IP address and is able to successfully transfer data over a network.
IoT devices are on the rise, companies across industries are using IoT to operate more efficiently, thus improving decision-making processes. They're also used in customer-facing operations to better understand customers and deliver enhanced customer service thus increasing the value of the organization.
Connecting all these devices and inserting sensors to them gives them a certain level of intelligence and allows these devices to communicate data in real-time without needing human intervention.
What is the purpose of the Internet of Things (IoT)? Why is it so important?
Over the past few years, IoT has become one of the most important technologies of the 21st century. Now that connections between everyday objects and the internet is possible through these connected devices, communication between people, processes, and things is more seamless than ever. And by everyday objects, we mean everyday objects. We're talking kitchen appliances, cars, baby monitors, thermostats and more.
These objects can transfer data with minimal human interactions, and it's all possible thanks to low-cost computing, the cloud, big data, analytics, and mobile technologies. In this hyperconnected world, digital systems can record, monitor, and adjust each interaction between connected things. The physical world meets the digital world—and they cooperate. The IoT is merging the physical and digital worlds and is making our environment more responsive.
How does the IoT work?
An IoT ecosystem consists of smart devices and an IoT gateway. The smart devices, enabled by the web, use embedded systems, such as processors, sensors and communication hardware to collect, send and act on data acquired from their environments. IoT devices share the sensor data they collect by connecting to an IoT gateway or other edge device where data is either sent to the cloud to be analyzed or analyzed locally.
Sometimes, these devices communicate with other related devices and act on the information they get from one another. The devices do most of the work without human intervention. That being said, people can interact with the devices - for instance, to set them up, give instructions or access the data.
Access to low-cost, low-power sensor technology
Affordable and reliable sensors are making IoT technology possible for more manufacturers.
A host of network protocols for the internet has made it easy to connect sensors to the cloud and to other “things” for efficient data transfer.
Cloud computing platforms
The increase in the availability of cloud platforms enables both businesses and consumers to access the infrastructure they need to scale up without actually having to manage it all.
Machine learning and analytics
With advances in machine learning and analytics, along with access to varied and vast amounts of data stored in the cloud, businesses can gather insights faster and more easily. The emergence of these allied technologies continues to push the boundaries of IoT and the data produced by IoT also feeds these technologies.
Advances in neural networks have brought natural-language processing (NLP) to IoT devices (such as digital personal assistants Alexa, Cortana, and Siri) and made them appealing, affordable, and viable for home use.
What are the advantages of the internet of things?
IoT has a lot of benefits for businesses. Here are the main advantages of the internet of things:
Routine tasks get automated with IoT, allowing people to focus on tasks that drive more value to themselves, their organizations, and their customers.
Efficiency in operation management
IoT devices bring a major benefit to the table in the form of automated control over several operational areas like inventory management, shipping tracking, fuel and spare parts management, etc.
Cost efficiency in operations
IoT can reduce downtime periods through automatically scheduled and controlled maintenance, supply of raw materials, and other manufacturing requirements, thus causing equipment to have a higher production rate and result in greater profits.
Better customer service
Making use of interconnected smart devices and analyzing user data allows businesses to understand customers and their behavior to a greater level. IoT can even be used to automatically track and remind customers when the equipment they purchased needs maintenance, or when the warranty period is ending, so that customers can use the products seamlessly and are not surprised when an issue comes up with their product.
What is the Internet of Things (IoT) used for today? What are the applications of the internet of things?
Here are the top 3 Applications of the Internet of Things:
Virtual glasses, fitness bands to monitor for example calorie expenditure and heart beats, or GPS tracking belts, are just some examples of wearable devices that we have been using for some time now. Companies such as Google, Apple, Samsung and others have developed and introduced the Internet of Things and the application thereof into our daily lives.
These are small and energy efficient devices, which are equipped with sensors, with the necessary hardware for measurements and readings, and with software to collect and organize data and information about users.
The use of wearables or sensors connected to patients, allows doctors to monitor a patient's condition outside the hospital and in real-time. Through continuously monitoring certain metrics and automatic alerts on their vital signs, the Internet of Things helps to improve the care for patients and the prevention of lethal events in high-risk patients.
Another use is the integration of IoT technology into hospital beds, giving way to smart beds, equipped with special sensors to observe vital signs, blood pressure, oximeter and body temperature, among others.
The application of the IoT to the hotel industry brings with it interesting improvements in the quality of the service. With the implementation of electronic keys, which are sent directly to the mobile devices of each guest, it is possible to automate various interactions.
Thus, the location of the guests, the sending of offers or information on activities of interest, the realization of orders to the room or room service , the automatic charge of accounts to the room or the request of personal hygiene supplies, are activities that can be easily managed through integrated applications using the Internet of Things technology.
With the use of electronic keys, the check-out process is automated, disabling the operation of doors, offering information about the rooms immediately available, and even assigning housekeeping tasks to maintenance personnel.