Internet of Things (Part #1) - Everyone talks about IoT, but what is it?

The term "Internet of Things" appears more and more often. It is estimated that by 2020 more than 30 billion devices will be involved in the IoT network. So what actually is the "Internet of Things"?

This is an archive article published 09/08/2017. Some information may no longer be up to date and in line with the current state. Please contact us in case of interest.

This is a mutual, mostly wireless, connection to more devices that communicate with each other via Internet or their own network. The device must communicate with other devices and be capable of capturing, collecting data, controlling or processing the data. So, we can briefly say that it is a network of sensors, actuators and control systems that are interconnected to achieve greater efficiency, safety or comfort compared to the state before deploying them.

The Internet of Things is defined by the International Telecommunication Union as a global infrastructure for IT companies that enables the use of advanced services by linking both physical and virtual issues based on current and new information and communication technologies. They also define the difference between the device and the thing. The device must be capable of communicating with other devices and should provide at least sensing, data acquisition, controlling or processing of data. The thing is, in the sense of IoT, an object, whether physical or virtual, which can be connected to the Internet and communicate with one another.

IoT is not a single device. It's the whole system of simple and also more complicated devices that communicate with each other. The Internet is not the foundation of this communication, the Internet is only a means.

What is the difference between device connected to internet and the IoT device? And what is exception of the IoT?

The fundamental difference is in autonomy. In the 1990s, the toaster was the first device to be connected to the network and controlled over the Internet. But it only executed a command sent to it over the network. From a certain point of view, this system can be compared to TV remote control. This is certainly not intelligent control. The main difference is in intelligence of control. Sensors, actuators, servers, in general, "things" in IoT should be autonomous and show elements of intelligence in their decisions. If we take it as an example of a toaster, it would be "smart" if it made the toast at eight o'clock in the morning so the owner would wake up and immediately had his breakfast ready.

What will IoT bring us?

IoT will hit many areas of everyday life, such as intelligent households, public lighting, but will mainly be in the field of electrotechnics, healthcare or the automotive industry. According to recent surveys it is estimated that by 2020 more than 30 billion devices will be involved in the IoT network. What is already anticipated is that IPv6 will be used instead of the current IPv4.

Despite the fact that the Internet of Things has occured to be more than two years ago, SOS electronic has been cooperating with leading producers of wireless technologies such as AAEON, ESPRESSIF, FUJITSU, IMST, LANTRONIX, LEXSYSTEM, QUECTEL, WIZNETand many more for almost decade. The full range of IoT products can be found at: Communication modules.

Various communication interfaces are currently used for the Internet of Things. We will talk about these in the next part of the series about IoT.

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