The Internet of Things (IoT) Journey – Where it all begins (1/2) – The definition of IoT

IoT a simple abbreviation?

IoT is an abbreviation of three, well understandable words: Internet Of Things. When you search for each of these individual words, you’ll find various answers but in general people agree upon each other with the meaning of these words. Especially the definition ‘internet’ is interesting for IoT. However, when you search for a combination of all three words “Internet of Things”, you’ll find much broader definitions. – The Internet of Things (IoT) is a computing concept that describes a future where every day physical objects will be connected to the Internet and be able to identify themselves to other devices.” – The internet of things (IoT) is the network of physical devices, vehicles, buildings and other items—embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data. is the network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment. (definition by Jacob Morgan, as part of a larger article): “Simply put, this is the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other)”

To clarify the differences we’ve searched for this meaning, below you can see various differences and similarities.

Similarities: Things we generally agree upon are:

The key role of connecting.
It involves technology.
It’s about sensing (the range of what it’s sensing does differ from one and other).
It has something to do with ‘devices/objects’ but it’s not really defined what these ‘things’ are.
Nobody describe the scale of these connection (is it local/global or intergalactic.)
Nobody describe the way the data is stored or collected.

Differences: Things open for debate are:

The range of sensing, does it just sense other IoT’s or the ‘whole’ environment’.
How ‘smart’ is such a device and is it ‘aware’ of its own existence.
Is it a network on itself or is it part of a larger interconnected network (the definition of Internet or other type of network).

Comparing the definitions and discussing this, we came to a conclusion that we are interested in the results, by making raw data and numbers become insights, information and value for whatever purpose. So rather than making a precise definition of IoT we can all agree upon, we’ll focus on the possibilities.

This is why we inserted Machine Learning as part of the IoT infographic. While (Machine) Learning is not part of any IoT definition, it does make an important part of IoT and distinguishes modern IoT solutions from the old-school IoT. Our joy with IoT is about finding smart things and use it for results. We’ll focus our efforts to smart buildings, devices, etc. and use the data to make better decisions and perform smart tasks.

The result is what matters, the IoT journey is our joy.

Part 2 of the topic where it all begins, will be about the possibilities and environment.

Download this post as a PDF IoT – Where it all begins – Definition 1-2

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