This article is available also in spanish here
What is the Internet of Things or IoT? Definition and examples
My list

Author | Jaime Ramos

The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the most powerful emerging technologies of everyday life. Essentially, the term refers the digital interconnection via the cloud of all computing devices with the ability to do so. In figures, in 2015, the number of connected devices in the world was expected to reach 6 billion. Six years later, by the end of 2021, this figure is estimated to reach 46 billion. The integration of 5G networks will accelerate this trend.

What is the Internet of Things or IoT?

Although the conceptual definition may seem simple, its implications are from it. Because the interconnection of “things” (known as D2D or Device to Device) provides an unprecedented capacity in the history of humanity to collect and manage information. In 2009, Kevin Ashton, a subject matter expert, described it as follows:

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 Internet of Things has the potential to change the world just as the digital revolution did a few decades back. Even more so.

Examples and advantages of the application of IoT

what is iot - 60

IoT, therefore, provides a valuable common digital awareness with numerous benefits for consumers, industry and, of course, cities.

IoT in industry

Production processes have been one of the first to be involved in this revolution. In its close relationship with AI, the Internet of Things has paved the way for the digitalization of factories.

We are not just referring to robotics, but also the area of anticipation and prediction in terms of management, thanks to Big Data. According to GlobeNewsWire, 35% of manufacturers utilize data from automation in manufacturing.

IoT in an urban context

The total “sensorization” of cities is only a matter of time. It is the starting point for the digital infrastructure revolution.

The integration of IoT in city routes (with the so-called Vehicle-to-Vehicle or Vehicle-to-Infrastructure) is an essential requirement for the development of autonomous vehicles, as with any urban element classified as smart: security, illumination systems, waste management, supply management and, in general, all climate smart infrastructures.

The Asian IoT market is the leader in this area. A report by Frost & Sullivan estimates that the economic benefits provided by this market will quadruple within five years.

IoT in quality of life

what is iot - 61 IoT technology implemented correctly would allow major problems to be tackled, such as water scarcity or hunger, thanks to the advantages of connected agriculture.

Smart homes are another area in which IoT is offering tangible results: electrical appliances such as robotic vacuum cleaners or voice assistants are extremely commonplace in homes today. In 2018, Siri, Alexa and company were estimated to live in one in four homes in the United States.

It is clear that IoT presents both historic opportunities together with some problems. It all depends, as with other solutions, on the management and use of the associated technologies. Because they may facilitate transparency and access to information, but they may also hamper it and become instruments of social control.

Images | iStock/Scharfsinn86, iStock/gorodenkoff, iStock/metamorworks

Related content
What is an urban operating system?
What is an urban operating system?
IoT security solutions: How to prevent IoT attacks?
IoT security solutions: How to prevent IoT attacks?
The six most groundbreaking urban innovations of 2021
The six most groundbreaking urban innovations of 2021
Why Corporate Innovation Needs Transformation
Why Corporate Innovation Needs Transformation
What is the Internet of Things or IoT? Definition and examples
What is the Internet of Things or IoT? Definition and examples
Accelerating Cities' Digital Transformation with Technologies
Accelerating Cities' Digital Transformation with Technologies
What is digital infrastructure and examples of its application
What is digital infrastructure and examples of its application
Governing the twin transition: Transforming today’s challenges into future opportunities
Governing the twin transition: Transforming today’s challenges into future opportunities
AI & CITIES
AI & CITIES
Proprietary or open-source software? Arguments in favor and against
Proprietary or open-source software? Arguments in favor and against
What are the three main goals of database lifecycle management (DLM)?
What are the three main goals of database lifecycle management (DLM)?
Governments in digital transformation: five areas of action
Governments in digital transformation: five areas of action
What is a smart factory and how will it impact industry?
What is a smart factory and how will it impact industry?
How digitalization is transforming government in emerging economies
How digitalization is transforming government in emerging economies
Medical apps for patients: how can they improve public health?
Medical apps for patients: how can they improve public health?
Velodyne, NavVis and Qualcomm Technologies Working Together to Build Smart Cities Faster
Velodyne, NavVis and Qualcomm Technologies Working Together to Build Smart Cities Faster
In battle with U.S., China to focus on 7 ‘frontier’ technologies from chips to brain-computer fusion
In battle with U.S., China to focus on 7 ‘frontier’ technologies from chips to brain-computer fusion
Vintage technology: 'It sounds so much cleaner'
Vintage technology: 'It sounds so much cleaner'
Designers in Tech: How Architecture Is Unlocking the Potential of New Emerging Technologies
Designers in Tech: How Architecture Is Unlocking the Potential of New Emerging Technologies
Treat Smart City Tech like Sewers, or Better
Treat Smart City Tech like Sewers, or Better
Emerging technologies can foster an inclusive COVID-19 recovery
Emerging technologies can foster an inclusive COVID-19 recovery
Shopping with delivery robots arrives in cities
Shopping with delivery robots arrives in cities
Technology for smart cities: the pillars of urban planning of the future
Technology for smart cities: the pillars of urban planning of the future
Making Data Center Smart: How Artificial Intelligence Helps?
Making Data Center Smart: How Artificial Intelligence Helps?
Experts Say the ‘New Normal’ in 2025 Will Be Far More Tech-Driven, Presenting More Big Challenges
Experts Say the ‘New Normal’ in 2025 Will Be Far More Tech-Driven, Presenting More Big Challenges
Prof Shafi Ahmed: ‘Technology will completely transform healthcare’
Prof Shafi Ahmed: ‘Technology will completely transform healthcare’
Does the use of Big Data cause privacy concerns?
Does the use of Big Data cause privacy concerns?
Eye tracking technology: what is it and how will we see it in our cities
Eye tracking technology: what is it and how will we see it in our cities
Five top tips for businesses in 2021 from industry experts
Five top tips for businesses in 2021 from industry experts
Brief history of artificial intelligence
Brief history of artificial intelligence
China’s country-as-platform strategy for global influence
China’s country-as-platform strategy for global influence
As Robots Fill the Workplace, They Must Learn to Get Along
As Robots Fill the Workplace, They Must Learn to Get Along
Top 7 IoT Smart City Trends to Look Out In 2021
Top 7 IoT Smart City Trends to Look Out In 2021
“Liquid” machine-learning system adapts to changing conditions
“Liquid” machine-learning system adapts to changing conditions
Can Artificial Intelligence Replicate the Mystery of Human Conversation?
Can Artificial Intelligence Replicate the Mystery of Human Conversation?
China to become world's largest IoT market in 2024: report
China to become world's largest IoT market in 2024: report
The skills Deloitte looks for when it acquires IT service providers
The skills Deloitte looks for when it acquires IT service providers
Who needs a teacher? Artificial intelligence designs lesson plans for itself
Who needs a teacher? Artificial intelligence designs lesson plans for itself
4 Impactful Technologies From the Gartner Emerging Technologies and Trends Impact Radar for 2021
4 Impactful Technologies From the Gartner Emerging Technologies and Trends Impact Radar for 2021
Are Videogames the Future of Remote Work?
Are Videogames the Future of Remote Work?
China to become world's largest IoT market in 2024, says report
China to become world's largest IoT market in 2024, says report
Let interoperability be the foundation of smart cities
Let interoperability be the foundation of smart cities
Four emerging technology trends in 2021
Four emerging technology trends in 2021
Top 10 innovative regions in China
Top 10 innovative regions in China
What does Integration of Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Analytics mean in Business?
What does Integration of Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Analytics mean in Business?
Robots, wristbands, and apps: startups that innovated their products for COVID-induced med tech
Robots, wristbands, and apps: startups that innovated their products for COVID-induced med tech
Top 5 IoT programming languages in 2021
Top 5 IoT programming languages in 2021
How the pandemic will shape the workplace trends of 2021
How the pandemic will shape the workplace trends of 2021
How exactly are smart cities built? From facial recognition and 5G networks to cheap sensors — these are the essential components
How exactly are smart cities built? From facial recognition and 5G networks to cheap sensors — these are the essential components
Cyberplanning: Securing the IoT ecosystem
Cyberplanning: Securing the IoT ecosystem
Recommended profiles for you
Remember to activate your profile to network!
Activate profile
Fabián Garófalo
Fabián Garófalo
Smarter Cities/Cuidades + Inteligentes
Founder
RD
RAVI KANT DWIVEDI Dwivedi
Iot
Na
MR
Miriam Russom
Microsoft
Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Azure IoT - Smart Cities
Naresh HB
Naresh HB
Geospace
Developer
Basab Nandi
Basab Nandi
CATS Global
Executive Partner
EG
Estephani González
FBM
D
ST
Sarah Terreri
PAL Robotics SL
EU project manager
EP
Eduardo Walter Prandi
ISETP
Profesor
Harold fernando Herrera
Harold fernando Herrera
Sanjhar sas
Arquitectura
RD
Rohin Daruwala
VJTI Mumbai
Professor and Dean
Alex Mademochoritis
Alex Mademochoritis
IAAC
Academic Coordinator
Pere Perez
Pere Perez
VISYON
CEO
AP
Alfonso Pérez
Ayuntamiento de Logroño
Director General
TI
Tomohiro Iso
KPMG Consulting
Edge AI solution development lead.
UU
Umar Umar
Yogyakarta State University
Manager
Rubén  Herrera
Rubén Herrera
RH Company
RH Company tiene como misión y visión es servir y crecer para brindar soporte a la sociedad.
AP
Anand Deo Prasad
Kamlesh Infotech
Properitor
LR
Luis Redondo
MTP
I directly reports to CEO
Jeff Merritt
Jeff Merritt
World Economic Forum
Head of IoT and Urban Transformation
Mahmoud Karaki
Mahmoud Karaki
Hebron Munaciblity
Software Administration

Only accessible for registered users
This content is available only for registered users
TO: $$toName$$
SUBJECT: Message from $$fromName$$