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What is the Internet of Things: Definition and Examples of How It Is Used

What is the Internet of Things: Definition and Examples of How It Is Used

Amazon Echo, Google Home, self-driving cars, and drones—these are all commonly used Internet of Things (IoT) applications. According to Statistica, the number of IoT devices is forecasted to almost triple from 9.7 billion in 2020 to more than 29 billion in 2030. This market growth indicates that IoT technology is becoming increasingly popular and adopted among different industries. 

So, what exactly is the Internet of Things and how does it work? Here we’ll talk more about the IoT, giving definitions and examples, as well as discussing the importance of internet of things security. 

What Is the Internet of Things? 

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of internet-connected objects—physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items embedded with electronics and software that enable these objects to collect and exchange data. IoT is connecting people and businesses everywhere by enabling them to interact with everyday objects in a more intelligent way. 

A Brief History of IoT 

The Internet of Things is not a new concept. In 1982, a modified Coke machine at Carnegie Mellon University became the first internet-connected appliance. This was followed by an array of internet-enabled devices that continue today, including internet-connected refrigerators and wearable computer items like Google Glass. 

With this explosion in technology advancements, IoT has become a major focus of research and development. 

What is the Future of IoT? 

The internet of things has the potential to revolutionize how we interact with everyday objects, from healthcare applications to connected cars and smart homes. IoT provides us with new ways of collecting data and making decisions, offering enhanced convenience and productivity. 

As technology continues to evolve, it’s expected that more internet-connected objects will become commonplace in our lives. However, the security of IoT is a growing concern. 

Internet of Things Security 

While internet of things (IoT) technology offers numerous benefits, it also poses a risk in terms of security and privacy. As internet-enabled devices become more commonplace and pervasive, the need for strong internet of things security measures becomes increasingly important. 

It’s important to ensure that internet-connected devices are secure and that any data collected is protected from malicious actors. Whilst there are steps being taken to introduce legislation and to create a standard for IoT connected devices to make them more resilient to cybercrime, organizations should make use of encryption, authentication, and other cybersecurity best practices to protect internet-connected objects. Additionally, organizations can deploy internet of things security penetration testing tools to identify potential vulnerabilities in their systems. 

13 Types of IoT Applications 

The internet of things is used in a wide variety of applications in everyday life, from healthcare to smart cities. Here are some of the most common applications: 

1. Smart Homes 

Homes are becoming increasingly automated and connected with internet-enabled appliances, lighting, security systems, and more. 

2. Smart City 

Smart cities are using internet-connected systems to improve public safety, reduce energy consumption, and optimize traffic flow. 

3. Self-Driving Cars 

Self-driving cars are using internet-connected sensors and cameras to navigate their surroundings. 

4. IoT Retail Shops 

Retail shops are using internet-connected devices to track customer behavior and optimize operations. 

5. Farming 

Farmers are using internet-enabled sensors and data analysis to improve crop yields and monitor animal health. 

6. Wearables 

Wearables are gaining popularity as fitness trackers, smartwatches, and augmented reality devices become more prevalent. Wearables can collect data about a user’s health and activities to provide more insight into their well-being. 

7. Smart Grids 

Smart grids are internet-connected electrical networks that enable more efficient energy management by allowing utilities to monitor and control their electricity consumption. 

8. Industrial Internet of Things 

The industrial internet of things is the use of internet-connected sensors, machines, and people to collect data in manufacturing, oil and gas production, transportation, and other industries. 

9. Telehealth 

Telehealth is the use of internet-enabled technology to monitor patients from a distance. Doctors can even use internet-connected devices to communicate with their patients and monitor their health remotely. 

10. Online Education 

Online education is becoming more popular as internet-connected laptops, tablets, and other devices allow students to access course materials from anywhere in the world. 

11. Smart Supply-Chain Management 

Smart supply-chain management is the use of internet-connected systems to track and manage the flow of goods from suppliers to customers. 

12. Traffic Management 

Traffic management systems use internet-connected sensors and cameras to collect data about traffic flow, helping cities manage their transit systems more efficiently. 

13. Water Management 

Internet-connected sensors can be used to monitor and control water usage, helping cities conserve resources. 

Secure Your IoT Devices with GlobalSign 

At GlobalSign, we understand the importance of securing IoT connected devices. We offer a range of services to help organizations protect their internet-connected devices and data from malicious actors, including IoT Security Certificates, MS Azure IoT Hub Integration, and more. 

Our IoT specialists provide organizations with the tools and expertise they need to secure internet-connected objects and ensure their data is safe. Request an IoT consultation today to learn more about how we can help you protect your IoT devices. 

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