The Internet of Things (IoT) is a term coined by Kevin Ashton, a British technology pioneer working on radio-frequency identification (RFID) who conceived a system of ubiquitous sensors connecting the physical world to the Internet. Although things, Internet, and connectivity are the three core components of IoT, the value is in closing the gap between the physical and digital world in self-reinforcing and self-improving systems.
IoT creates these systems by connecting things, animate or inanimate, to the Internet with unique identifiers that provide context, giving visibility into the network, the devices themselves, and their environment. Equipped with rich data sets and using advanced analytics, IoT can give us enormous insight into our world: Measuring vibrations from wind turbine blades and performing real-time analysis to determine maintenance needs before the blades fail. Reducing energy consumption in buildings by controlling lighting on floors where no one is present. Or creating self-driving vehicles that process environmental information to make split-second decisions to stop and avoid accidents. The collective knowledge about the physical world, gained through IoT, becomes the input for more efficiency, new business models, lower pollution, and better health.
There is a lot of hype around IoT. Is it just that, hype? We’ve put together a collection of resources to help navigate questions about IoT.