The Internet of Things, or IoT for short, describes a network of physical objects, such as computers and smartphones, provided with unique identifiers as well as the ability to transfer data over a network, without any human-to-human interaction. IoT is about extending the power of the Internet beyond our digital devices to whole a range of things, processes and environments. In simpler terms, it refers to everything that is connected to the Internet. It is, however, becoming increasingly common for IoT to specifically refer to objects that ‘talk’ to each other.
Over the years, we have seen more and more ‘things’ being connected to the Internet. An example of an odd product to connect to the Internet is smart toasted and fitness collars for dogs. These are just two of the many everyday products that are being connected to the web as part of the Internet of Things.
The IoT, therefore, allows for the gathering and analysis of information to create an action to help with a particular task or learn from a process. This has begun to be used in shops around the world, with devices like smart mirrors and beacons. While this can seem daunting, the IoT has very real benefits which include:
Access to information
Due to networks of devices, you are able to access information that is far from your current location. This means that you are able to access data from the other side of the world without having to change positions. This makes working and learning more convenient, even if they are not physically there and as we all know ‘knowledge is power’.
Capabilities to predict and act
With the IoT, collected data can be used to build historical trends. This enables the prediction of needs before they even arise. This is all done based on insights from the IoT network. This can help businesses to predict the needs of their customers, therefore, saving them both time and money as well as creating a loyal following.
Automation has become highly popular with businesses as well as within people’s personal lives. By automating specific processes, things are made easier and therefore saves time allowing both companies and individual people to focus their time on other things. The IoT network thus enables the automation of processes which, in business, helps to boost the quality of services.