Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Internet of Things (IoT) Explained

Recently Cisco announced the launch an Internet of Things (IoT) division that will focus on linking data, machines and people and the standards that go with them. Just like with Big Data, many of us do not have a very good understanding of what the Internet of Things really is.

The Internet of Things refers to uniquely identifiable objects and their virtual representations in an Internet-like structure. Equipping all objects in the world with minuscule identifying devices or machine-readable identifiers could be a real technical breakthrough.

According to ABI Research more than 30 billion devices will be wirelessly connected to the Internet of Things by 2020.

Kevin Ashton, cofounder and executive director of the Auto-ID Center at MIT, first mentioned the Internet of Things in a presentation he made to Procter & Gamble in 1999. Here’s how Ashton explains the potential of the Internet of Things: “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.”

With companies like Cisco making big bets on the Internet of Things, we can be sure that many other companies will follow, and this will be a dramatic change in the way we collect data.

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