What Are IoT (Internet of Things) Devices?
The Internet of Things refers to the network of interconnected “things” with sensors, software, processing ability, and other technologies that connect and exchange data with other internet-connected devices. You can use an IoT device to automate various tasks without human intervention. IoT devices include smartphones, medical sensors, fitness trackers, smart security systems, and other technologies.
What Is IoT (Internet of Things)?
The Internet of Things—IoT, for short—is a system of interconnected machines, computing devices, people, and even animals with unique identifiers (UIDs) that can transfer data over a network. Organizations use IoT to fulfill various tasks such as decision-making, customer service, work safety, and operation management.
What Are IoT Devices?
IoT devices are sensors, gadgets, appliances, smart devices, and other physical hardware that transmit data over an internet network. These devices connect wirelessly to a larger internet-connected device and transmit data without human intervention. An example of an IoT device is a smart TV that connects to a network to stream shows. It relies on Wi-Fi or a wired Ethernet connection. Another example is a smartwatch with sensors and wireless protocols. More products now have IoT capabilities, providing consumers with enhanced features and functionality.
Many IoT devices use artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate processes. An example is a self-driving car that utilizes AI, sensors, and cameras to move between two locations without a human operator. These devices can reduce the number of crashes on the road and identify driver behavior and error via driver assistance system technologies.
How Do IoT Devices Work?
IoT devices have sensors and small computer processors that utilize machine learning, which simulates human interactions by collecting data from different environments. This data can learn someone’s behaviors and preferences and automate tasks. For example, a smart kettle is an IoT technology that can boil water at specific times of the day, depending on the user’s schedule. Over time, users don’t need to program these devices because machine learning can adapt to someone’s behavior without following instructions. Many IoT devices connect to smartphones, allowing you to control a device from an app. For example, you can set up a smart speaker on your phone. Many smart speakers also provide Bluetooth support, enabling you to stream music from your phone without relying on a Wi-Fi network. IoT devices are vulnerable to security threats because they can connect to an unsecured network or device to transmit data. IoT data and network protocols can reduce or eliminate security concerns. These protocols include MQTT, AMQP, LoRaWAN, Zigbee, HTTP, and XMPP. Protocols are communication modes that secure an IoT device when it collects and shares data with other IoT devices.
What Are Some Examples and Use Cases of IoT Devices?
You can find IoT device usage in almost every industry. For example, a property management company might use IoT to monitor air quality in tenants’ rooms and improve living standards. A utility company might use IoT devices to monitor water levels, backup power levels, and oil and gas storage. That can improve service, reduce costs, and increase energy efficiency.
There are many personal use cases for IoT devices, too. For example, a smart lighting system that connects to a smartphone allows users to monitor energy usage, save money on utility bills, and improve their environmental credentials.
Industrial IoT Devices
IoT devices help industrial companies improve production processes and collect data from sensors, devices, and equipment. By collecting this data, companies can generate real-time analytics about operational processes and improve decision-making, cost efficiency, and other objectives.
There are various use cases for IoT devices in healthcare. For example, providers can monitor medical equipment with IoT capabilities remotely and ensure equipment performs correctly. That can improve experiences for healthcare employees and allow providers to quickly identify medical device problems.
Edge computing allows data generated by an IoT smart device to be processed closer to devices. That can optimize bandwidth and ensure data transfers to a centralized data management system.
IoT devices can inform homeowners when someone attempts to enter their properties. For example, smart home doorbell cameras serve as cheap security systems that deter would-be intruders and provide homeowners with video evidence after a break-in.
Virtual reality-enabled IoT smart devices provide individuals with an immersive experience. Users can interact with others in a virtual environment and explore new worlds from the comfort of their homes.
Connected IoT devices support financial services companies wanting to collect data about day-to-day operations. For example, these devices can give banks real-time data about ATM usage, billing, deposits, and withdrawals. Banks can use this information to speed up decision-making.
Advantages and Benefits of IoT Devices
Here are some benefits of IoT devices:
IoT devices automate various business processes via machine learning without human intervention. That allows your company to increase production output and lower operating costs.
Sensors in IoT devices collect data about business processes. You can use this data to improve productivity by identifying trends and patterns that slow down employee workflows.
IoT connectivity allows devices to perform the tasks designers created them for. IoT devices communicate with each other and share sensor data (typically through wireless connectivity) to optimize functionality.
Improved Allocation of Resources and Assets
By automating tasks, you can enhance resource and asset allocation in your organization. For example, you can free up resources for employees and allow them to focus on other tasks.
Disadvantages of IoT Devices
As previously mentioned, IoT devices can increase cybersecurity concerns when transferring data to a network. Those concerns include application vulnerabilities, access control issues, and a lack of encryption. Data leaks from IoT systems can jeopardize your business reputation.
Another disadvantage is the deployment, installation, and verification of IoT devices. You must choose a reliable internet connectivity partner and consider security when setting up an IoT system. There are also standardization problems when IoT devices use different specifications and protocols. Also, without network and power dependence, IoT devices are unusable.
Why is it called the Internet of Things?
Consumer sensor expert Kevin Ashton coined the Internet of Things to describe how networks connect physical devices to the internet.
What are some physical examples of IoT devices on the market?
IoT devices on the market include smart speakers, smart TVs, self-driving cars, medical sensors, and fitness trackers.
What is the role of AI in IoT?
AI identifies patterns and trends in the large volumes of data generated by IoT applications.
How does InfluxData work with IoT?
IoT produces time-series data that businesses can leverage for insights and intelligence. InfluxData is a time-series database that processes and stores IoT asset information for real-time data analysis.