Internet of Things
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.
A thing in the internet of things can be a person with a heart monitor implant, a farm animal with a biochip transponder, an automobile that has built-in sensors to alert the driver when tire pressure is low or any other natural or man-made object that can be assigned an IP address and is able to transfer data over a network. Increasingly, organizations in a variety of industries are using IoT to operate more efficiently, better understand customers to deliver enhanced customer service, improve decision-making and increase the value of the business.
Kevin Ashton, co-founder of the Auto-ID Center at MIT, first mentioned the internet of things in a presentation he made to Procter & Gamble (P&G) in 1999. Wanting to bring radio frequency ID (RFID) to the attention of P&G's senior management, Ashton called his presentation "Internet of Things" to incorporate the cool new trend of 1999.
The immediacy of the data collected by IoT devices means faster analysis and distribution of information. The implementation of IoT would dramatically improve the problem of data collection and analysis, whether derived from customers or other sources, which in turn means faster and improved decision-making for businesses in all industries.
IoT essentially works by connecting the devices that surround us to the Internet, or one another, which then allows them to send and receive data to better meet the needs of the user. For example, imagine that your printer at work gets an alert that the color cartridge is low and orders more itself.
There are numerous real-world applications of the internet of things, ranging from consumer IoT and enterprise IoT to manufacturing and industrial IoT (IIoT). 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.