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What is IoT (Internet of Things)?

Published 11.02.2022

Digitization is in full swing. One buzzword that is heard again and again is IoT, but what is IoT and what does it do?

Networking is already part of everyday life in many areas. But especially in our lives. For example, it is completely normal for us to share pictures and posts on social networks, or for our smartwatch to provide us with daily information about our fitness status. The Internet of Things now aims to transfer precisely this degree of networking to all other physical objects. However, it is not possible to give a universally valid definition for the Internet of Things, because it has an astonishing diversity. However, the basic structure is identical in most cases and consists of the following components:

  • Objects
    The starting point of the Internet of Things is objects to be monitored or connected.
  • Sensors
    The sensors attached to the objects, record data.
  • Communication
    There are various models for transferring data. Well-known wireless technologies such as Bluetooth and WLAN are often used. Technologies such as LoRa® and NB-IoT are also being used more and more frequently.
  • Infrastructure
    Cloud platforms collect and store the data. It is here that the actual added value of the Internet of Things develops. This is where the evaluation and conversion of data into information takes place.

Which industries can benefit from the IoT?

There are virtually no limits to the areas of application for IoT solutions. Almost in every industry, added value can be created through its use. There are basically two possibilities for this:

  • Networking productss
    In this approach, sensors are integrated directly into a new product. This serves to open up new business areas or improve the user experience.
  • Networking processes
    There are numerous possibilities for networking processes and workflows. In addition to automating processes, maintenance cycles can be predicted, locations can be determined, and environments can be monitored.

Examples of IoT applications:

Construction industry: A sensor system consisting of trackers, a gateway and a cloud application provides data on the location and condition of devices and goods. The use of the data can, for example, automate prescription processes, reduce search times and adapt the equipment fleet to meet demand.

Smart-City: Sensors in waste garbage cans record the fill level and inform the responsible waste disposal companies as soon as they need to be emptied.

Food transportation: Sensors monitor the temperature of food to check whether quality requirements have been met.

Facilities Management: A sensor system monitors temperature, humidity, gas concentration, brightness and volume and detects deviations from optimal working conditions. This can have a positive effect on the ability to learn and concentrate. In addition, the collection of data can also optimize cleaning processes in buildings, for example.

What advantages does this bring?

Roughly speaking, all kinds of processes can be automated by networking objects, items or devices. Due to the versatility of the Internet of Things, numerous advantages result from the collected data. For example, maintenance can be better planned, errors or even failures can be predicted before they occur, or devices can be tracked via GPS. Ultimately, the benefits of networking result in savings and maximized transparency of internal processes.

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