What Is IoT Technology?
The Internet of Things (IoT) changes how we live and work. By connecting everyday objects to the Internet, IoT technology opens up possibilities for enhanced efficiency and convenience. From smart homes to industrial automation, IoT is transforming industries across the globe.
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What is IoT’s Meaning?
Kevin Ashton, a British technology pioneer, coined the term “Internet of Things” in 1999. IoT technology is a network of physical devices and other objects with sensors, software, and network connections. Buildings, vehicles, and home appliances can connect with IoT, meaning the Internet can control everyday objects. These everyday objects can collect and exchange data, making them readable and recognizable over networks.
IoT enables real-time information and enhances decision-making for businesses. While the growth of IoT is exciting, it also brings its fair share of challenges. Privacy and IoT security concerns, interoperability issues, legal and regulatory complexities, and data storage and processing hurdles are among these challenges.
What Are the 4 Types of IoT Technology?
You can break down the types of IoT Connective technologies into four wide categories:
- Cellular Networks (3G, 4G, 5G): They use the existing mobile phone infrastructure, ensuring reliable and widespread coverage. This makes them highly beneficial for IoT applications that cover vast geographical areas or require mobility.
- Personal Area Network (PAN) and Local Area Network (LAN): PAN and LAN technologies excel at connecting IoT devices within close proximity. This is typically in a home or office setting. Bluetooth and WiFi are two common examples.
- Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN): LPWAN technologies give IoT devices a combination of low power usage and long-range connections. This is particularly advantageous for applications that demand extended battery life and broad geographical coverage.
- Mesh Networks: With mesh network protocols, devices can establish connections in a non-hierarchical manner. In this setup, you can connect each device to multiple others, enabling efficient and flexible communication between devices.
What Are Examples of IoT Applications?
The Internet of Things (IoT) has emerged as a groundbreaking innovation with vast applications across multiple industries. These are a few instances where IoT technology is already making significant strides.
1. Smart Homes
A smart home allows you to control various devices like lighting systems, thermostats, door locks, appliances, and security systems. You can conveniently manage and operate these devices from anywhere with a smartphone or networked device. You can set your lights to dim at a specified time, program your thermostat to adapt to your daily routines. Your security system can send instant alerts if it detects any unusual activity.
2. Wearable Technology
Wearable devices such as fitness bands and smartwatches can track and analyze various health-related data points. These include your heart rate, sleep quality, calories you burn, and more. They can monitor blood oxygen levels and notify users about irregular heart rhythms. In addition, they offer features like smartphone notifications and GPS navigation.
IoT devices facilitate the constant monitoring of patients’ health metrics. Real-time data helps healthcare providers identify potential health issues and intervene before they become critical. Insulin pumps with IoT technology can automatically regulate insulin levels by analyzing glucose readings. Additionally, smart inhalers can monitor medication usage and offer helpful reminders.
Asset tracking in hospitals is easier with IoT. Placing IoT sensors on wheelchairs, hospital beds, and other equipment is a practical solution to track and monitor use. This helps prevent equipment loss and allows for efficient maintenance scheduling. Wearable panic buttons automatically alert healthcare providers or emergency responders and notify them of a patient’s location for faster response times.
IoT devices can monitor weather conditions, soil quality, crop growth, and cattle health. This information empowers farmers to make informed decisions that boost farm productivity and improve their bottom line. For instance, a farmer could utilize soil sensors to monitor soil moisture levels. With this data, they can automate irrigation systems, which optimizes water consumption and resources.
5. Smart Cities
IoT smart bins with sensors notify city management when they reach their full capacity, ensuring timely and effective waste collection. Real-time traffic monitoring can include road sensors for optimized traffic light sequences, reducing congestion and promoting smoother traffic flow.
Retailers use RFID tags in stores to keep track of inventory and ensure items can’t be stolen. Smart shelves with weight sensors monitor inventory in real-time, providing staff members with immediate alerts when restocking is needed. IoT technology can also personalize shopping experiences for each customer with tailored discounts based on unique shopping history.
Harness the Power of IoT Technology
Operators seeking to enhance their business performance should look no further than Syniverse. We offer extensive solutions to help operators create the best experience for their customers.
Kathiravan is a Vice President of Product Management in the Carrier Business Unit of Syniverse. He is responsible for the management and growth of products that form Syniverse’s IoT and Private Wireless pillars. These ‘Next Generation Solutions’ drive the development of emerging connectivity products, such as Global SIM & eSIM, Private LTE, Sponsored Roaming, Open Connectivity Complete and Secure Global Access, and combine them in seamless ways to support various IoT use cases.
Kathiravan has been in the telecommunications industry for over 20 years and has been deployed around the world to deliver products and services, specializing in new product introduction. He has a bachelor’s degree in computing (Hons) from University of Portsmouth, UK, and has been PMP certified since 2009.