Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
The IoT can be applied to things like transportation networks: “smart cities” which can help us reduce waste and improve efficiency for things such as energy use; this helping us understand and improve how we work and live.
How can IoT help?
IoT platforms can help organizations reduce cost through improved process efficiency, asset utilization and productivity. With improved tracking of devices/objects using sensors and connectivity, they can benefit from real-time insights and analytics, which would help them make smarter decisions. The growth and convergence of data, processes and things on the internet would make such connections more relevant and important, creating more opportunities for people, businesses and industries.
Examples of objects that can fall into the scope of Internet of Things include connected security systems, thermostats, cars, electronic appliances, and lights in household and commercial environments, alarm clocks, speaker systems, vending machines and more.
Practical applications of IoT technology can be found in many industries today, including precision agriculture, building management, healthcare, energy and transportation.
Businesses can leverage IoT applications to automate safety tasks (for example, notify authorities when a fire extinguisher in the building is blocked) to performing real-world A/B testing using networked cameras and sensors to detect how customers engage with products.
The Future of IoT
As far as the reach of the Internet of Things, there are more than 12 billion devices that can currently connect to the Internet, and researchers at IDC estimate that by 2020 there will be 26 times more connected things than people.
According to Gartner, consumer applications will drive the number of connected things, while enterprise will account for most of the revenue. IoT adoption is growing, with manufacturing and utilities estimated to have the largest installed base of Things by 2020.