What is IOT?

The internet of things, or IOT, is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.

How IOT works?

An IOT ecosystem consists of web-enabled smart devices that use embedded processors, sensors and communication hardware to collect, send and act on data they acquire 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, although people can interact with the devices — for instance, to set them up, give them instructions or access the data.

The connectivity, networking and communication protocols used with these web-enabled devices largely depend on the specific IOT applications deployed.

IOT applications

There are numerous real-world applications of the internet of things, ranging from consumer IoT and enterprise IoT to manufacturing and industrial IoT (IIoT). IoT applications span numerous verticals, including automotive, telco, energy and more.

In the consumer segment, for example, smart homes that are equipped with smart thermostats, smart appliances and connected heating, lighting and electronic devices can be controlled remotely via computers, smartphones or other mobile devices.
Wearable devices with sensors and software can collect and analyze user data, sending messages to other technologies about the users with the aim of making users’ lives easier and more comfortable. Wearable devices are also used for public safety — for example, improving first responders’ response times during emergencies by providing optimized routes to a location or by tracking construction workers’ or firefighters’ vital signs at life-threatening sites.

In healthcare, IOT offers many benefits, including the ability to monitor patients more closely to use the data that’s generated and analyze it. Hospitals often use IOT systems to complete tasks such as inventory management, for both pharmaceuticals and medical instruments.

Smart buildings can, for instance, reduce energy costs using sensors that detect how many occupants are in a room. The temperature can adjust automatically — for example, turning the air conditioner on if sensors detect a conference room is full or turning the heat down if everyone in the office has gone home.

In agriculture, IOT-based smart farming systems can help monitor, for instance, light, temperature, humidity and soil moisture of crop fields using connected sensors. IOT is also instrumental in automating irrigation systems.

In a smart city, IOT sensors and deployments, such as smart streetlights and smart meters, can help alleviate traffic, conserve energy, monitor and address environmental concerns, and improve sanitation.

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