You’ve probably heard this term tossed around in casual conversation or in an article about emerging technology. In essence the Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of various sensors and devices all linked together to process or gather information. The linking of these devices doesn’t have to be over the internet either, it could be via radio waves or a local wireless network disconnected from the internet.
To most the internet is a network they can use to gather information from easily. To the more tech savvy it’s a connection of computers talking to each other to accomplish their user’s (humans) end goals. The internet at its core is a means to communicate with each other. The Internet of Things is basically taking this existing network framework and using it to collect data and organize it.
So the next question is; what are the “Things” in the Internet of Things? Simply put a “Thing” could be any object that is connected to an electrical power source. It could be a heart monitor, a motion sensor, or even a toaster. Yes, even a toaster can join the IoT and someone has already joined the two together. Granted this toaster serves little purpose in the real world, but it shows perfectly how the IoT functions in a very entertaining way. Basically when Trevor – the user – pushes the lever down on his toaster to start the toasting process the toaster sends a tweet letting the world know it has started toasting. When it’s done it sends another tweet to let everyone know that the toasting has been completed. You can see a record of toast on the the toasters twitter profile.
Thats the basic function of the Internet of Things the communication and gathering/analyzing of real world events and broadcasting them to be analysed and organized by another computer or person. Now that the technology to create or make anything into a wireless devices is readily available, just about anything can become an “internet thing.” The IoT is fundamentally changing how we can collect and analyze data and its just getting started.