Examples of IoT in the World Today
What does IoT Mean?
The Internet of Things is simply the concept of having "things" connected via computer networks and having those things communicate with other things. Actually the ideas behind IoT aren't really that new, in my earlier career we used to call these concepts Machine-to-Machine (M2M), however the world of IoT is much larger than M2M could have ever been.
In fact, the number of connected things in the world is in the high tens-of-billions already - and growing! The value of the Internet of Things market is currently forecasted to reach more than half a trillion dollars by 2022!
Let's briefly talk about what the IoT is, with some practical examples of IoT in the real world.
What is IoT, what is a "Thing" in the Internet of Things?
Things could be the computers and mobile phones that many of use already have a basic understanding of, and how they connect. But the Internet of Things goes beyond this. There is a whole magical world of gadgets, devices, systems and stuff (I'm trying to avoid using the word "things" too often ) that are connected and talking to each other without us realising it.
How do IoT Things Connect?
Low Power Networks
There are all types of connectivity options for IoT, but the new low power networks such as LoRA, Sigfox and NB-IoT are one the main drivers behind the massive expansion of the market.
The other driver for the IoT growth is smartphones. Smartphones have become hubs for other things that don't have their own built-in connectivity, but rely on the phone to connect them to the Internet via the mobile networks. These tend to be personal devices with built in bluetooth connectivity, such as fitness trackers, weighing scales, and some smart-home devices.
IoT is a big driver for 5G networks, with 5G being able to offer connectivity to a significantly greater number of devices than 4G.
Smart speakers, smart thermostats, video door bells and security cameras are just some of the high-growth IoT areas that typically rely on WiFi connectivity.
Perhaps less obvious, are the more security or performance critical applications in industrial, security or utility markets that connect sensors and actuators via fixed-cable connectivity.
Top 7 IoT Application Examples
Whilst the idea of smart waste probably isn't the first thing many of us think of when we are asked about our visions of futuristic cities, it is one of the most prevalent internet of things examples currently being trialled and deployed in smart cities today.
Key to innovation in Smart Cities is the democratisation of data. Smart Buildings, Smart Highways, Intelligent Street Lighting and Traffic Controls generate so much data from IoT devices that is not necessary for the individual system's operation, and as such, is often wasted. This is known as Exhaust Data. How is exhaust IoT data being used intelligently?