What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

If a headline would best describe the IoT concept it would be this: “we connect your assets or any items you care about to the internet”. Why? So you can control, monitor, manage or just watch them from your work, your car, your smart phone, your tablet or another machine. A thing, in the Internet of Things, can be a person with a heart monitor implant, a farm animal with a biochip transponder, an automobile that has built-in sensors to alert the driver when tire pressure is low -- or any other natural or man-made object that can be assigned an IP address and provided with the ability to transfer data over a network.

Where am I going to use it?

Today, computers - and, therefore, the Internet - are almost wholly dependent on human beings for information. The problem is, people have limited time, attention and accuracy - all of which means they are not very good at capturing data about things in the real world. If we had computers that knew everything there was to know about things - using data they gathered without any help from us - we would be able to track and count everything and greatly reduce waste, loss and cost. We would know when things needed replacing, repairing or recalling and whether they were fresh or past their best.

The technology applications are practically unlimited. You can have networked items that you could not imagine: garbage bins – so collectors would know which are full to collect saving time and fuel -, buses and trams - so passengers at bus-stops are aware of the waiting time -, laundry machines sending messages with their operational status, just to name only a few from a plethora of possible applications.

Today & Tomorrow.

The IoT is connecting new places – such as manufacturing floors, energy grids, healthcare facilities, and transportation systems – to the Internet. When an object can represent itself digitally, it can be controlled from anywhere. This connectivity means more data, gathered from more places, with more ways to increase efficiency and improve safety and security..

Cisco estimates that 50 billion devices and objects will be connected to the Internet by 2020. Yet today, more than 99 percent of things in the physical world remain unconnected. The growth and convergence of processes, data, and things on the Internet will make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before, creating unprecedented opportunities for industries, businesses, and people.

Cisco believes that the IoT movement represents a $14.4 trillion opportunity for businesses in increased revenues and efficiency gains.

Will yours be among them?