What is “Internet of Things” (IoT)

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The world around us is getting more and more connected through different technologies, leveraging the internet to store the data outcome to an application or dataase. This disruptive technology is Internet of Things (“IoT”). IoT will intensely impact the way we work and play as it can be applied to almost everything. As this Mega Trend is already present in our daily lives, allot of people are unaware what IoT is and how it’s going to greatly impact our lives.

Introduction to IoT

IoT is a worldwide interconnected network which is allowing devices to communicate with us – and each other – through different use cases (e.g. sensors or drones). Even more, this network of interconnected devices is providing packs of data via smarter processes fueling application to enable real-time Big Data Analytics and/or Digital Twins. These devices help us in collecting, analyzing and monitoring information from their surroundings, that is used as input for different use cases.

IoT use cases

As of today, there are plenty of people already using (known or unknown) IoT to simplify their lives. Numerous predictions state that as of today, more then 45% of companies around the world have implemented Internet of Things to generate unique propositions or value towards their customers.

Siemens, a digital powerhouse, is already changing current business models and using IoT to fuel their Mindsphere application to connect & monitor, analyze & predict and digitize & transform the industrial marketspace. There are plenty of examples out their how IoT can reshape the modern manufacturing space.

In the consumer space, IoT is already used by large fleet companies such as DHL to enable real-time tracking of orders from online platforms such as Ebay or Amazon. Customers can lookup their order online and see where the truck is currently providing other packages and at what time their package will be delivered. For the fleet company, IoT analytics helps them to generate the best route for their drivers, radical improving productivity of their fleet. As these devices are connected to the internet – to enable real-time data exchange – drivers get real-time information if there is a roadblock and provide alternative routes to minimize the impact.

Engineering companies are using IoT devices to enable real-time sensor information from machines to their Digital Twins, fundamentally improving preventive maintenance ratios. Simply said, an IoT device can predict when a machine is going to fail, sending a fix request to an engineer to prevent this from happening without business disruption.

Construction agencies are also getting benefits from the IoT. They use IoT equipped drones to survey remote sites which look inaccessible and/or dangerous. The use of these drones has not only to eliminate the risks but also has cut down the expenses.

Future of IoT

Internet of things is referring to the billions of devices which are connected with the internet and collecting and sharing information all around the globe. It is adding an amazing level of intelligence to digital devices and making them capable of communicating real-time without human involvement.

By the year 2020, more than 21 billion devices will be connected with the internet. These devices will play and enormous part of how we interact with each other and devices to devices, like self-driving cars.

Smart cities, a mega trend which we will take separately, will benefit from more IoT devices to enable smart vehicles, smart traffic lights, smart security systems, a dynamic power grid and much more.

Link to edge computing

IoT will handle allot of data from offsite locations to Big Data engines to generate valuable insights. However, there is a high demand of real-time response times and fast connectivity to ensure all that data is real-time processed. To handle such connectivity and response times, Edge Computing is becoming more and more relevant for IoT use-cases. Read more on the link between Edge Computing and IoT here.

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