THE INTERNET OF THINGS
The Internet of Thıngs
The closest to an official definition comes from the Internet of Things Global Standards Initiative: The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects or “things” embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity, which enables these objects to collect and exchange data. That’s a high-level definition, and the IoT goes by other names as well.
High capital asset companies like GE refer to the “Industrial Internet.” The “Industry 4.0” concept originating with smart factories in Germany includes IoT elements. Even Complex Event Processing initiatives from the early 90’s contained IoT-like objectives.
“Smart City” initiatives – and connected cars, smart houses, wearables – they all largely fall under the IoT umbrella. For me, the essence of IoT resides in the source of the data, which are the sensors. Those smart devices generate data about activities, events, and influencing factors that provide visibility into performance and support decision processes across a variety of industries and consumer channels. It’s something that’s been in place for quite some time in many industries, but is a totally new concept for others.
The primary driver is the broader adoption and deployment of sensors and smart devices. Sensors are smaller, cheaper and they require less power and have more compute capacity. No longer are they limited to high capital equipment and factory infrastructure; they are literally everywhere, from the traffic signal helping to optimize traffic flow to the watch that is monitoring your vital signs. Sensors are pervasive in your everyday environment.
Pair that explosion of data generation with the commodity storage options that the cloud provides and you have all of the ingredients necessary for businesses to drive tremendous value from insights that analysis of that data can provide.
Another change driving traction is the availability of technology and analytical methods that can be applied to streaming data from the sensors, data in motion. You now have the option to push decision support and performance monitoring to the edge, the source of the data. This provides expanded options for businesses to monetize the IoT.
With all this capability at hand, additional industries are starting to investigate opportunities for deploying sensors to better manage the performance of processes or machinery, as well as to track consumers’ behavior and anticipate their needs and intentions.