What is IoT? What it is and why it matters

Updated: Jul 3, 2020

The term internet of things was given by Kevin Ashton and he mentioned first in the year 1999. And since then Over the past few years, IoT has become one of the most important technologies of the 21st century. Now that we can connect everyday objects—kitchen appliances, cars, thermostats, baby monitors to the internet via embedded devices.

So what is IoT -

Internet of Things (IoT) is an ecosystem of connected physical objects that are accessible through the internet. The ‘thing’ in IoT could be a person with a heart monitor or an automobile with built-in-sensors, i.e. objects that have been assigned an IP address and have the ability to collect and transfer data over a network without manual assistance or intervention.

In layman language, IoT is any device that is connected by the internet and can be controlled by it.

Pretty much any physical object can be transformed into an IoT device if it can be connected to the internet to be controlled or communicate information. A lightbulb that can be switched on using a smartphone app is an IoT device, as is a motion sensor or a smart thermostat in your office or a connected streetlight. An IoT device could be as fluffy as a child's toy or as serious as a driverless truck. Some larger objects may themselves be filled with many smaller IoT components, such as a jet engine that's now filled with thousands of sensors collecting and transmitting data back to make sure it is operating efficiently. At an even bigger scale, smart cities projects are filling entire regions with sensors to help us understand and control the environment.

The advantages of the Internet of Things are:

1. It helps in monitoring the overall business processes.

2. It helps in improving the customer experience.

3. It helps in generating more revenue.

4. It helps in enhancing employee productivity.

5. It helps in saving time and money for the organization.

6. It helps in making better business decisions.

7. It helps in integrating and adapting business models.

8. It helps in reducing the cost.

9. It improves process efficiency, asset utilization, and productivity.

10. It benefits real-time insights and analytics, to make better decisions.

11. It benefits people in creating opportunities in business and industries.

What Technologies Have Made IoT Possible?

While the idea of IoT has been in existence for a long time, a collection of recent advances in a number of different technologies has made it practical.

· Access to low-cost, low-power sensor technology: Affordable and reliable sensors are making IoT technology possible for more manufacturers.

· Connectivity: A host of network protocols for the internet has made it easy to connect sensors to the cloud and to other “things” for efficient data transfer.

· Cloud computing platforms: The increase in the availability of cloud platforms enables both businesses and consumers to access the infrastructure they need to scale up without actually having to manage it all.

· Machine learning and analytics: With advances in machine learning and analytics, along with access to varied and vast amounts of data stored in the cloud, businesses can gather insights faster and more easily. The emergence of these allied technologies continues to push the boundaries of IoT and the data produced by IoT also feeds these technologies.

· Conversational artificial intelligence (AI): Advances in neural networks have brought natural-language processing (NLP) to IoT devices (such as digital personal assistants Alexa, Cortana, and Siri) and made them appealing, affordable, and viable for home use.


The Internet of things is being widely adopted technology in most of the organizations. It helps in achieving things without any manual intervention and human help. This embedded technology helps the object to interact with internal states or with an external environment that helps in improving the decision-making ability. This is having both pros and cons as all the technologies are having but to choose and invest wisely that is in our hands.

People and organizations have achieved great things by adopting IoT. The data security and privacy issues are the only things that organizations need to take care and it becomes one of the biggest roadblocks to adopt IoT for many small enterprises or organizations. The world is growing digital at a very great pace and the devices are connected to the internet all over time without any interruption. The large networks around the globe have already expanded. The internet of things is a clear future for the different markets, organizations, and people that want to grow in this technology field. So, the scope of the Internet of things is great in the future and its already showing the results as well.

Written by

Shubham Rattra

University Institute of Engineering and Technology, Panjab University

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