Internet of Things (IoT)

What is IoT?

The internet of things, commonly abbreviated as the IoT, refers to the collective group, or network, of devices and technology that are connected to the internet, thereby helping to ease communication between other devices and the cloud. This means that almost anything powered with the capability to connect to the internet is part of the IoT. This can include entire pieces of machinery, such as an autonomous vehicle to a sensor in a golf ball, which allows you to track its distance and location. Other examples of IoT devices are connected white goods, such as a Wi-Fi-enabled washing machine, to smart home security systems, such as smart cameras or smart locks. Internet-connected instruments designed to monitor the weather or shipping containers that can be tracked are all part of the IoT.

According to recent statistics, more than 10 billion active devices make up the IoT, and the market is estimated to reach $142 billion by 2026.

Different types of IoT applications

IoT applications are everywhere and are used across several areas, such as consumer, commercial, and industrial spaces. Below are some selected uses.

IoT devices are common in-home automation. IoT features include smart lighting, heating, air conditioning, media, security, and camera systems. There are many benefits to this smart home automation, including app and voice control through voice assistants, and the ability to schedule lights to operate in response to actions, such as when arriving home or when away on holiday. Typically, these actions are controlled via a “smart hub”. Examples of smart home ecosystems include Amazon Echo, Google Home, Apple HomeKit, and Samsung SmartThings.

IoT applications are particularly common within the fields of medicine and health and are usually referred to as IoMT or “smart healthcare.” IoT devices are mostly used in healthcare to remotely monitor a person’s health and for emergency notification systems that will trigger when someone’s health declines.

IoT has most recently played a large part in environmental monitoring to assist in the protection of the environment. Selected IoT applications are used to monitor areas such as water and air quality and atmospheric conditions and have even been used to monitor and protect wildlife and their habitats.