What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

Related Terms: IoT, Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT
 

What is the Internet of Things?

In the last few years the term Internet of Things (IoT) has become the go-to term to describe the increasing interconnectivity of devices of every kind. The Internet of Things envisions a world where sensors, devices and even people and places all exchange data in real time. The ramifications of the Internet of Things have the potential to revolutionize the way each of us interacts with the world, but the concepts within IoT aren’t all brand new, especially in the commercial computing world.

 

In these situations, modern industrial computers feature vibration resistant components and connections, often without any internal cabling, to minimize failure points and ensure reliable operation. Some industrial PCs are compatible with vibration isolation kits, which offer a buffer between the hardware and its constantly moving mounting platform.

 

IoT vs M2M

The Internet of Things builds on concepts first explored in the mid 20th century, when engineers and innovators began combining machinery and evolving telecommunications technologies. Machine to Machine communication, or M2M, played a key role in the advancement of manufacturing and industrial computer technology, allowing systems to communicate and react to each other through first wired and later wireless connections. As sensors and communications protocols have evolved, the types of devices that can speak to each other have continued to expand in kind. The advancements in cloud computing and the miniaturization of advanced sensors have led to wearable technologies and smart factories that respond to input and deliver data in real time.

 

The Industrial Internet of Things

The IoT generally brings to mind consumer devices like fitness trackers and WiFi connected appliances and thermostats, but the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) may be the most revolutionary aspect of the IoT explosion. The IIoT offers enhanced operational efficiencies and opens the door for new production, testing and management innovations. With gateway devices being used to integrate a wide range of legacy equipment, the IIoT isn’t limited to modern devices, we’re seeing industry leaders implementing IIoT protocols to enable remote management and optimize their facilities, ushering in a new era of the truly connected factory.