By 2020, experts forecast that up to 28 billion devices will be connected to the Internet with only one third of them being computers, smartphones and tablets. The remaining two thirds will be other “devices” – sensors, terminals, household appliances, thermostats, televisions, automobiles, production machinery, urban infrastructure and many other “things”, which traditionally have not been Internet enabled.
This “Internet of Things” (IoT) represents a remarkable transformation of the way in which our world will soon interact. Much like the World Wide Web connected computers to networks, and the next evolution connected people to the Internet and other people, IoT looks poised to interconnect devices, people, environments, virtual objects and machines in ways that only science fiction writers could have imagined.
In a nutshell the Internet of Things (IoT) is the convergence of connecting people, things, data and processes is transforming our life, business and everything in between.
A fair question to ask at this point is how IoT differs from machine to machine (M2M), which has been around for decades? Is IoT simply M2M with IPv6 addresses or is it really something revolutionary?
To answer this question you need to know that M2M, built on proprietary and closed systems, was designed to move data securely in real-time and mainly used for automation, instrumentation and control. It was targeted at point solutions (for example, using sensors to monitor an oil well), deployed by technology buyers, and seldom integrated with enterprise applications to help improve corporate performance.
While, IoT, on the other hand, is built with interoperability in mind and is aimed at integrating sensor/device data with analytics and enterprise applications to provide unprecedented insights into business processes, operations, and supplier and customer relationships. IoT is therefore, a “tool” that is likely to become invaluable to CEOs, CFOs and General Managers of business units. (WPC)
The technical definition of The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects accessed through the Internet. These objects contain embedded technology to interact with internal states or the external environment. In other words, when an object can sense and communicate, it changes how and where decisions are made, and who makes them.
Due to the great breadth in the number of industries which have begun to be or soon will be affected by IoT, it’s not right to define IoT as a unified “market”. Rather, in an abstract sense, as a technology “wave” that will sweep across many industries at different points in time. The Internet of Things (IoT) is emerging as the third wave in the development of the Internet. The 1990s’ Internet wave connected 1 billion users while the 2000s’ mobile wave connected another 2 billion. The IoT has the potential to connect 10X as many (28 billion) “things” to the Internet by 2020, ranging from bracelets to cars.
Breakthroughs in the cost of sensors, processing power and bandwidth to connect devices are enabling ubiquitous connections right now. Smart products like smart watches and thermostats (Nest) are already gaining traction as stated in Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research’s report.
IoT has key attributes that distinguish it from the “regular” Internet, as captured by Goldman Sachs’s S-E-N-S-E framework: Sensing, Efficient, Networked, Specialized, Everywhere. These attributes may tilt the direction of technology development and adoption, with significant implications for Tech companies.
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