If you’ve been online lately, you’ve probably heard the term Internet of Things (IoT) thrown around, but what does it actually mean? While IoT describes any device that can connect to the Internet and send information to other devices, the concept is more complex than that – it’s about interconnectivity and the future of technology. Let’s break down what IoT means and why you should care about it. IoT Explained: What the Internet of Things is and Why You Should Care

What makes it smart?

The really smart part of IoT isn’t just a few devices online. The smarts come when you take all your devices, from watches to phones to fridges, then feed that data into an ecosystem so that all those devices can start working together. For example, if you know exactly how many miles you walked yesterday and how many steps you took up a flight of stairs, you can use that data to understand how much activity (and thus exercise) you are getting in each day. Or, if you know when your family members leave for work or school, then maybe your fridge could let them know they forgot their lunch!

How big is the market?

According to research firm IDC, more than 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from 2015, and will reach 25 billion by 2020.

IoT Explained: What the Internet of Things is and Why You Should Care
IoT Explained: What the Internet of Things is and Why You Should Care

Gartner predicts that by 2020 there will be nearly 26 billion connected devices (that includes PCs, tablets, phones, wearables etc.) in use globally; that’s over 5 devices for every human being on earth! By 2020 IoT devices are expected to generate 4.9 zettabytes of data per year; that’s equal to all data created from big bang till 2012. If you think about it.. there were no IoT devices back then.. so imagine what our world would look like with those kind of numbers.

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When will we see real growth?

Currently, according to Global Industry Analysts, there are more than 13 billion IoT devices in use worldwide. The report forecasts that the number of connected devices will reach 30 billion by 2020 and that industry investment in IoT should hit $1.9 trillion by 2020. That’s obviously a lot of market potential, but getting an emerging technology mainstream can be challenging—as anyone who watched 3D TV knows well. Barriers still exist to adoption like cost and security concerns as well as resistance from consumers due to privacy worries regarding IoT-enabled products and data collection. In spite of those challenges, IoT will continue gaining traction for years to come because it delivers real benefits that are fundamental drivers for growth in all industries including manufacturing, healthcare, energy & utilities among others.

IoT Explained: What the Internet of Things is and Why You Should Care
IoT Explained: What the Internet of Things is and Why You Should Care

Who are key players in this ecosystem?

Apple, Samsung, Sony, Microsoft, etc. are few key players involved in IoT . As you all know that mobile is going to play a very crucial role here as more devices will go online. Big companies like Apple & Google are working on their own operating systems which would enable IoT capabilities on mobile devices. Google has already released Android Wear OS for wearables and many other things related to IoT are also coming in future including project Ara by google. Companies like apple would release Apple Watch with iWatch application that would connect all your devices together over internet (IoT) ecosystem, so we can surely expect a lot of awesome stuff coming out soon from these companies to enable new age communication and device interaction over internet via IoT technology.

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Use cases & examples

The best way to define a concept or show how it works in action is by providing examples of what it looks like. To help illustrate why you should care about IoT, let’s look at a few example use cases. Each use case contains an overview and videos that show IoT in action. Check out these four examples

Case studies & lessons learned

There are a few general guidelines you can use to help get started. First, try to find case studies from people who went through your current challenge. This will be most helpful if they are in a similar industry or situation. Read through these cases looking for common themes in both problems and solutions. Don’t feel like you have to copy what they did; look for areas where you can do things differently or better.

IoT Explained: What the Internet of Things is and Why You Should Care
IoT Explained: What the Internet of Things is and Why You Should Care

What is IoT in simple words?

IoT stands for Internet of Things which is defined as, the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators and connectivity which enables these objects to connect and exchange data. These smart devices can capture useful data & information from your surrounding. This Data or Information captured by a device using IoT platform can be stored or communicated through internet to any connected device or application. With a global adoption rate at a phenomenal 42% in just one year (2016), it’s time we take notice & give more thought to its implications on our lives. For example – Can you imagine yourself driving down an unfamiliar road & receiving real-time updates about traffic jams ahead? Or have lights automatically come on at sunset?

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What is IoT with example?

The IoT, or Internet of Things, refers to connected devices that can collect and share data with one another. With proper implementation, you could benefit from improved energy efficiency, real-time insights into your business operations, decreased costs for maintenance or service calls (or even preventative maintenance), increased customer engagement, better safety monitoring for products like children’s toys, more accurate tracking for shipments/orders etc. The list goes on! Of course, there are also risks involved; but if you have competent security measures in place (and I’m sure you do), then your risk may be minimal. Another consideration is whether customers will value IoT data in a way that they aren’t already used to.

What is meant by IoT devices?

All physical objects are represented as digitally-enabled endpoints to ensure seamless communication. This could be your refrigerator, car, or even your bicycle. These devices can also be controlled using simple voice commands or through a user interface on a computer. The important thing to note about these devices is that they should still function without an internet connection for some time, such as your bike if you want to ride it somewhere without a smartphone or data plan available. Now that you know what IoT means and what IoT devices look like, let’s move on to security precautions which need to be taken into account.

What can IoT do?

The IoT will make all devices smart—which will enable them to interact with each other in ways that aren’t possible today. The IoT connects devices and enables them to send, receive, or act on information or commands from remote locations via telecommunication networks. It helps us communicate more efficiently by automating things like smart cars that talk to traffic signals so they can change to green more quickly when you approach. Sensors in your home can tell if you are home and adjust your heating settings accordingly so you don’t waste energy while you are away. In healthcare, sensors in clothing can detect if a person has had a heart attack, then notify emergency responders so they can provide help immediately. The opportunities are endless!

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