What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the process of stand-alone devices connecting themselves to other devices through the use of the internet. These independent devices can be monitored and controlled from a remote location. Examples are smartphones, household appliances, lights, computers etc.
For example, if your phone is connected to your coffee machine, it can notify and communicate with the coffee machine when to make your coffee with a set timer.

 

How does the IoT work?

IoT system devices and applications communicate in three phases.

Phase 1:

The devices used have to collect data from their surroundings. This could be your phone needing to read something like the temperature in a room.

Phase 2:

Devices will then connect to the cloud through the use of satellites, WiFi, Bluetooth, cellular data or a connection to the internet with the use of an ethernet cable. After connecting to the cloud, devices will start to share and store data.

Phase 3:

After the data is transferred to the cloud, software starts to process that data to inform the user what is happening with the device it is connected to. This is a stage where the user of the device comes in. The user will inform the device on what the course of action will be. For example, if you see the reading of the temperature is high, the user will lower the thermostat to regulate the temperature in the room using their phone.

 

The different types of IoT

There are currently two industries in which the IoT can be beneficial. The consumer environment and the industrial environment. The difference between the two environments is the different types of applications and devices used, the technology that is used to control the devices and applications and what roles they play.

 

Consumer Internet of Things

Consumer IoT is related to devices and application that are used by everyday people. The devices and applications are the same as the ones mentioned above, Televisions, phones, household appliances etc. The devices connected are used to make the lives of us, as consumers, simpler and more effective.

Industrial Internet of Things

Industrial IoT is used in large industries, such as manufacturing. The devices used within these industries are often large machinery, and they are controlled remotely with specific timers connected to another device sending it the information on what processes it should be running. The communication between these devices helps the production line in these large industries to be more effective.

The cross between the two Internet of Things

Some devices and applications can be used in both the Consumer IoT and the Industry IoT. In these cases the devices are known as cross-IoT. An example of this is tracking devices. Tracking devices can be used as a consumer product if an individual needs to track their car or pet and in Industrial IoT trackers will be placed on things like mining machinery to ensure the safety of the machinery or if there is any maintenance needed to be done.