What is “The Internet of Things”?
The Internet of Things, abbreviated as IoT, describes technological devices connected to the internet that are able to send and receive data and information to other devices over the internet. IoT has been around for the last 30 years and has made it possible for advancements in AI (Artificial Intelligence), machine learning, and cloud computing.
There are several examples of IoT devices, and many of them we use in our everyday lives. While our phones, laptops, and other electronic devices aren’t necessarily considered to be IoT devices, it’s very likely that you do have an IoT device in your home.
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Consumer IoT devices are the smart devices that you can find in today’s modern home. Most of these devices are either voice-activated or can be controlled remotely with both Android and IOS phones, and they help us by making life more convenient. Some of their functions include:
- Saving energy by reducing the amount of electricity we use; therefore, saving money too.
- Assisting in planning schedules, grocery lists, and other activities.
- Keeping us safe by detecting threats both inside and outside of the home.
- Giving us peace of mind when we’re away from our homes.
Examples of consumer IoT devices are smart plugs and smart appliances, smart thermostats, voice command devices (such as Amazon Echo), smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and doorbell cameras and smart locks. Smart TVs and their accessories, such as an Amazon Firestick or Android TV Box, can also be considered IoT devices.
Commercial IoT is similar to consumer IoT, except that instead of sending information across the internet to make our home lives more convenient, commercial IoT provides us with a better experience when it comes to the commercial sector.
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These IoT devices can be found in supermarkets, malls, hotels, restaurants, and office buildings, but they are most commonly used in the healthcare industry. The most popular commercial IoT devices are smart monitoring systems, such as pacemakers.
Infrastructure IoT devices are similar to both consumer and commercial in that they provide convenience and give us a better experience, benefiting both consumer and commercial perspectives. You’re most likely to find these devices in smart cities, where interconnected systems send information such as real-time traffic updates and details for GIS planning.
Industrial IoT (IIoT)
Industrial IoT devices are used in manufacturing, agriculture, and similar industries. The main goal is to increase productivity and efficiency by using machine-to-machine (M2M) communication and machine learning. IIoT is often referred to as the fourth Industrial Revolution because we’re entering into a new age of productivity and efficiency when it comes to producing goods.
IIoT is most commonly used for smart manufacturing, smart agriculture, control systems, connected logistics, smart power grids, and smart digital supply chains.
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Military Things (IoMT)
IoT devices in the military have proven to be of great help. Some of the ways it’s used in the military include:
- Using Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) as methods of training combat soldiers, flight pilots, and others before entering the field.
- Using drones and drone management to survey battlefield zones to collect and send data to the command center.
- Using drones to survey battlefield zones to collect and send data to the command center.
- Ensuring the proper inventory management of weapons, tanks, and other military instruments.
- Real-time GPS monitoring of military vehicles.
- Monitoring the health of soldiers in the field and sending real-time updates on the changing conditions of their health.
This is the field where you’re most likely to see IoT devices like wearables, although other industries (such as construction) are also starting to incorporate IoT wearables.
Last year was a minor setback due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but IoT is going to keep updating and expanding to help make our lives easier. By combining our physical world with the digital world, the daily life of every individual can be impacted in a positive way.