What is Internet of Things (IoT) and its Impact on Industries?

CIGNEX Datamatics IoT Architecture

A British entrepreneur, Kevin Ashton coined this term “Internet of Things” in 1999. Also called “Internet of Everything”, it is the way of interaction amongst network of physical objects or things included within software, sensors, electronics, and connectivity. It enables objects to transfer data inside a network, to connect with humans, with computers or with other objects.

The Internet of Things (IoT)  is the idea to expand the existing Internet infrastructure (such as IP or UDP/TCP) to devices in order to facilitate communication between the devices themselves and between the devices and humans.The underlying functionality of IoT allows objects to be controlled and sensed remotely across an existing network infrastructure. Hence, it creates tremendous opportunities for a direct integration between our physical world and the computer-based systems. Each thing or object is uniquely identified through its embedded computing system and has the capacity to inter-operate within the existing Internet structure.

IoT is growing significantly as consumers,governments and business recognize the benefits of connecting inert devices to internet. As per the BI Intelligence Report, IoT will be the largest device market in the world and by 2019 it will be double the size of smartphone, PC, tablet, connected car, and the wearable market combined.

Benefits of IoT

The high capability to network embedded devices with limited memory, power and CPU resources refers to the fact that IoT finds uses in nearly every field of technology. These systems could take charge of collecting information in various settings that range from natural ecosystems to factories, buildings etc. Hence, they find applications in the field of environment and progressive urban planning too. On the other hand, IoT systems are also responsible for performing tangible and logical actions, and not just to sense things. In addition, examples of sensing are reflected in the areas of resource management that deal with electricity, heat, and energy management. A cruise-assist transportation system is also included here. Another excellent benefit that IoT brings forth is home security solutions, thanks to the smart devices connected to Internet and making up a smart home. IoT promises to bring a variety of business benefits along with it, including increased efficiency across industries, cost savings in healthcare, more convenience in the home and safer infrastructure.

Many other specialized cases of usage of IoT may exist and are taking the world to an altogether new level of ease, convenience and innovation. Based on this, IoT products can be broadly classified into five categories:

  • Smart city
  • Smart environment
  • Smart wearable
  • Smart home
  • Smart enterprise

Each of these markets has different flavors of IoT products and solutions.

Industries Impacted by IoT

In the vast industrial sector, equipments are becoming more digitized and more connected, establishing networks between machines, humans and internet. While we are still in the nascent stages of adoption, the industrial IoT opportunity could amount to $2 trillion by 2020. Specifically, we expect IoT to impact three main areas within industries.

Media - Connected devices and big data analytics will help to induce better personalized and localized media consumption, based on insights harvested from device data, geographic and socio-economic profiles.

Energy Management - This is where smart homes will show their true potential in leveraging IoT. With the help of connected devices, users can determine if the air conditioner needs to be set to a pre-determined temperature before they reach home. Connected devices can sense movement and turn themselves on or off. This provides huge cost savings in the form of lower electricity consumption.

Environmental Monitoring - With the sensors, IoT can provide an enriching and invaluable set of data backed insights for better environmental monitoring. It provides round the clock insights on conditions prevalent in soil, air and water and raises an alert in case of anomalies that depict a degradation of the quality. Bio-diversity too can be tracked to monitor habitat and movement of animal and bird species.

Manufacturing - IoT is embraced with open arms in industrial applications and smart manufacturing. The areas that see the biggest improvement include asset and situation management, network control, and management of the manufacturing equipment process for Just-in-Time delivery, quality control, margins enhancement and cost reduction.

Some of the other industry verticals that IoT influences substantially include medical and healthcare systems, infrastructure management, building and home automation, transportation and large scale deployments.

The IoT is a revolution that promises to change people’s lives, from inside the home to right across society because of the boom in low-cost computing.  From wearable health devices to home and office automation and connected vehicles, IoT has shown huge potential in almost every aspect of daily life. Vehicle brands such as Audi rely on Audi Connect for IoT technology that carries out various intelligent duties for the car owner. These include actions such as informing the driver about the possible traffic ahead, or providing roadside assistance in the case of emergencies, or even locating a nearby refueling spot when the fuel gauge reaches a low level.

As the market for IoT accelerates, so too will concerns about privacy and data security. But this r isn’t a new problem; it just means that there are more data sources and more data is being collected. The implications of IoT are far-reaching with disruption to many established industries and there are many hurdles to overcome but it’s an interesting space full of promise.

Read more on CIGNEX Datamatics’ Internet of Things (IoT) services that are helping enterprises capture the essence of IoT and utilize it for the benefit of your end customers.