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Internet of Things (IoT) 101: Functions, Benefits, and More

Mohammed NaserMohammed Naser

The Internet of Things (IoT) is evolving fast with the arrival of 5G and edge technology. Since there is growing interest in the topic, here is a breakdown.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is essentially an umbrella term used for devices connected to the internet to handle data but aren't computers. A broad range of devices come under this category - from sensors to digital assistants to electronic appliances. With the arrival of 5G and edge technology, the capabilities of these devices are evolving. Since there is growing interest in the topic, here is a breakdown that can help.

Defining the Internet of Things

In simple terms, the Internet of Things is all about bringing the power of internet connectivity to devices that are not computers to perform various tasks such as sending, receiving, and at times, processing data. The primary objective behind IoT is to get enterprises better insights from the devices and environments they use. Internet of Things widens the scope of computing and connectivity to areas where computers don't have access or are unnecessary.

The origin of IoT can be traced back even to the 1970s, but as a term, it was coined in 1999. Processing and connectivity were still challenging and at their nascent stages initially. Now, IoT devices around the world number in their billions, and the data handled runs in trillions of gigabytes. How do these devices work? What are the essential functions? Here's a look.

How IoT Functions

The prime elements of the Internet of Things are devices that collect data. These devices range from tiny sensors to fitness trackers to giant autonomous apparatus performing complex physical tasks. Since these devices are connected to the internet, they have unique IP addresses. The collected data is then transferred to central processing points (for example, a cloud server), processed, and analyzed so that enterprises can take actions according to the results.

In certain specific use cases, sending and receiving data is not a convenient solution, as real-time action is necessary. It is in such cases that the power of edge computing comes into play. Instead of sending the data to a central server, the processing is done closer to the devices. If needed, the data can be collected centrally at a later stage.

Overall Benefits of Internet of Things

The applications of IoT devices are categorized into consumer, industrial, commercial, and infrastructure. Here are some of the benefits that the Internet of Things brings in across the board.

  • Opportunities to predict patterns and act rapidly
  • New business insights
  • Improved monitoring and analysis capabilities
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Increased customer interactions and feedback
  • Unlocks potential new revenue streams VEXXHOST Cloud to Provide Support

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