An IoT device is a non-standard computing device that can connect wirelessly to a network and has the ability to transmit data. The IoT involves extending Internet connectivity from standard devices such as desktops, laptops, smartphones, and wireless module tablets to physical devices and everyday objects that are traditionally dumb or do not use the Internet. These devices are embedded with technology that allows them to communicate and interact via the Internet. They can also be monitored remotely.
Connected devices are part of an ecosystem. In this ecosystem, each device communicates with other related devices in the environment to automate household and industry tasks. They can communicate available sensor data to users, businesses, and other intended parties. Such devices fall into three categories: consumer, enterprise and industrial.
Consumer-connected devices include smart TVs, smart speakers, toys, wearables, and smart appliances. For example, in the smart home, devices are designed to sense and respond to a person's presence. When a person comes home, their car is connected to the garage to open the door. Upon entering the house, the thermostat has been adjusted to its preferred temperature and the lighting is set to a lower intensity and color because their smartwatch data indicates it was a stressful day. Other smart home devices include sprinklers that adjust the amount of water sprinkled based on the weather forecast and robotic vacuums that know the areas of the house that are cleaned most often.
Enterprise IoT devices are the edge devices used by businesses. There is a wide variety of enterprise IoT devices. These devices have different functions, but often tend to maintain facilities or improve operational efficiency. Some options include smart locks, smart thermostats, smart lighting and smart security. Consumer versions of these technologies exist as well.
Smart devices can help companies hold meetings. Smart sensors located in meeting rooms can help employees identify and schedule rooms available for meetings, ensuring that the right type of room, size and features are used. As attendees enter the meeting room, the temperature adjusts to occupancy. As the appropriate PowerPoint loads on the screen, the lights dim and the speaker begins his or her presentation.
Examples of consumer, enterprise and industrial IoT devices include smart TVs and smart sensors assembled in conference rooms and on assembly line machines.
Industrial IoT devices are used in factories or other industrial environments. Most industrial IoT devices are sensors used to monitor assembly lines or other manufacturing processes. Data from various types of sensors will be transmitted to monitoring applications to ensure that critical processes are operating at their best. The same sensors can also prevent unplanned downtime by predicting when parts will be replaced.
If a problem occurs, the system can send a notification to the service technician informing them of what the problem is and the parts needed to fix it. This prevents the technician from going to the field to diagnose the problem and then going to the warehouse to get the parts needed to fix it.
How do I work IoT devices?
IoT devices differ in function, but there are some similarities in how they work. First, an IoT device is a physical object that interacts with the real world in some way. The device may be an online sensor or a smart surveillance camera. Either way, the device can sense what is happening in the physical world.
The device itself includes an integrated CPU, network adapter and firmware and is usually built on an open source platform. In most cases, the IoT device connects to a dynamic host configuration protocol server and gets an IP address on which the device can operate on the network. Some IoT devices can be accessed directly over the public Internet, but most are designed to run only on private networks.
While not an absolute requirement, many IoT devices are configured and managed through software applications. However, some devices have integrated web servers that do not require external applications.
Once the IoT device configuration is up and running, most of the traffic goes out of the site. For example, a security camera can transmit video data. Similarly, industrial sensor streams transmit sensor data. However, some IoT devices (e.g., smart lights) do accept input.
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