IoT is short for Internet of Things. The Internet of Things refers to the ever-growing network of physical objects that feature an IP address for internet connectivity, and the communication that occurs between these objects and other Internet-enabled devices and systems.
IoT Extends Internet Connectivity
The Internet of Things extends internet connectivity beyond traditional devices like desktop and laptop computers, smartphones and tablets to a diverse range of devices and everyday things that utilize embedded technology to communicate and interact with the external environment, all via the Internet.
Examples of objects that can fall into the scope of Internet of Things include connected security systems, thermostats, cars, electronic appliances, lights in household and commercial environments, alarm clocks, speaker systems, vending machines and more.
Businesses can leverage IoT applications to automate safety tasks (for example, notify authorities when a fire extinguisher in the building is blocked) to performing real-world A/B testing using networked cameras and sensors to detect how customers engage with products.
The Future of IoT
As far as the reach of the Internet of Things, there are more than 12 billion devices that can currently connect to the Internet, and researchers at IDC estimate that by 2020 there will be 26 times more connected things than people.
According to Gartner, consumer applications will drive the number of connected things, while enterprise will account for most of the revenue. IoT adoption is growing, with manufacturing and utilities estimated to have the largest installed base of Things by 2020.