The Internet of things (IoT) is the inter-networking of physical devices, vehicles (also referred to as “connected devices” and “smart devices”), buildings, and other items—embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data.
The IoT refers to the connection of devices (such as computers and smartphones) to the Internet. Cars, kitchen appliances, and even heart monitors can all be connected through the IoT.
Internet of Things: A network of internet-connected objects able to collect and exchange data using embedded sensors.
Internet of Things device: Any stand-alone internet-connected device that can be monitored and/or controlled from a remote location.
- Internet of Things ecosystem: All the components that enable businesses, governments, and consumers to connect to their IoT devices, including remotes, dashboards, networks, gateways, analytics, data storage, and security.
- Entity: Includes businesses, governments, and consumers.
- Physical layer: The hardware that makes an IoT device, including sensors and networking gear.
- Network layer: Responsible for transmitting the data collected by the physical layer to different devices.
- Application layer: This includes the protocols and interfaces that devices use to identify and communicate with each other.
- Remotes: Enable entities that utilize IoT devices to connect with and control them using a dashboard, such as a mobile application. They include smartphones, tablets, PCs, smartwatches, connected TVs, and nontraditional remotes.
- Dashboard: Displays information about the IoT ecosystem to users and enables them to control their IoT ecosystem. It is generally housed on a remote.
- Analytics: Software systems that analyze the data generated by IoT devices. The analysis can be used for a variety of scenarios, such as predictive maintenance.
- Data storage: Where data from IoT devices is stored.
- Networks: The internet communication layer that enables the entity to communicate with their device, and sometimes enables devices to communicate with each other.
The following are some of the top IoT platforms on the market today:
- Amazon Web Services
- Microsoft Azure
- ThingWorx IoT Platform
- IBM’s Watson
- Cisco IoT Cloud Connect
- Salesforce IoT Cloud
- Oracle Integrated Cloud
- GE Predix
Security & Privacy:
As devices become more connected thanks to the IoT, security and privacy have become the primary concern among consumers and businesses. Cyber attacks are also a growing threat as more connected devices pop up around the globe. Hackers could penetrate connected cars, critical infrastructure, and even people’s homes. As a result, several tech companies are focusing on cyber security in order to secure the privacy and safety of all this data.