The internet of things (IoT) is a computing concept that describes a scenario where everyday physical objects are connected to the internet and can identify themselves to other devices or processes, via an IP address.
The IoT is significant because an object that can represent itself digitally becomes something greater than the object by itself. No longer does the object just relate to the process; it now connects to surrounding objects and database data, permitting “big data” analytics and insights.
In particular, “things” might communicate autonomously with other things and other devices, such as sensors in manufacturing environments or an activity tracker with a smartphone. IoT has evolved from the convergence of wireless technologies, micro-electromechanical systems, microservices and the internet. This convergence has torn down the walls between operational technology and information technology, allowing unstructured machine-generated data to be analysed for insights that will drive improvements. Consumer IoT took another revolutionary path, either by becoming connected – for example, speed sensors on a bike – or being newly invented. In other instances, such as in healthcare, things have been there but not widely used, such as patient health status.
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