The Internet of Things (iOT) is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. It is comprised of leading hardware, software and analytics companies – in areas including home automation, wearables, connected cars, smart cities, 3D printing, and virtual/augmented reality.
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.
IoT has evolved from the convergence of wireless technologies, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), microservices and the internet. The convergence has helped tear down the silo walls between operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT), allowing unstructured machine-generated data to be analyzed for insights that will drive improvements.
An increase in the number of smart nodes, as well as the amount of upstream data the nodes generate, is expected to raise new concerns about data privacy, data sovereignty and security.
Practical applications of IoT technology can be found in many industries today, including precision agriculture, building management, healthcare, energy and transportation.