IoT, or Internet of Things, is as crucial as it is misunderstood. But it’s only misunderstood (and thus potentially underutilized) because IoT encompasses so much and factors into so many industries, yet has only a vague definition.
We’re going to change that in today’s blog.
History of IoT
The term ‘Internet of Things’ was popularized by MIT British professor, Kevin Ashton. He used the term as a way to define “a network of interconnected things and devices which are embedded with or connected through sensors, software, network connectivity and the necessary electronics that enable them to collect and exchange data over the Internet, making them remotely accessible and automated.” (BCC)
The IoT market quietly made its way into the world, and its growth wasn’t anything spectacular. While there were conversations about the concept of an interconnected network of smart devices as early as 1982, it wasn’t until the 1999 that it really became popular, thanks to the Auto-ID Center at MIT and through a series of publications.
Growth really started to occur in the 2000’s, specifically between 2008 and 2010 where the number of connected devices totaled 12.5 billion compared to the 6.8 billion that makes up the global population.
How IoT Works
An IoT system functions by one or more devices, components, gathering data about a particular event through a series of sensors. The key is that each of the devices is connected to the internet through a direct connection (think cellular internet connection). The data that is collected is stored on a cloud or middleware platform, which is one reason it’s so powerful.
A simple example of an IoT device is a light that can be turned on via an app on your smartphone.
IoT Market Worth, Projections and Applications
Currently, the IoT industry is highly fragmented and seeing an influx of interest from leaders of small startups and large IT company who know that IoT platforms will enable them to thrive in the future through cloud-based, subscription revenue models.
The market is quite well-established in certain industries and applications, specifically inventory tracking, consumer marketing as well as demand generation. These markets will continue to thrive as advancements in IoT develop.
Industries, especially retail, will really benefit from the adoption of new efficient automations, as IoT will help reduce time to market for high-demand products as well as create low-cost service delivery for revenue growth and profitability.
Aside from industries that IoT already exists in, we’re expecting to see it integrated in all forms of energy-consuming devices which will allow for users to remotely control all elements in their house, effectively creating a smart house. IoT is also relied upon heavily in AI technology developed for driverless cars, social robots and machine learning.
Now that we've clarified what IoT is and how it works, we hope you can see how your company or organization might take advantage of this technology to solve challenges you face in your industry.
For more intel into the global market for IoT, download our full-length report, Internet of Things (IoT) Markets: A Global Outlook.