What is the Internet of Things?

Similar to the “Internet of People”, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a structure which enables communication and data exchange between things.  However, the difference here is that the objects interact with each other irrespective of direct human interaction. After all, the ultimate goal of the Internet of Things is to help people.

This networking of objects is mainly possible due to the development of miniaturized computer chips, sensors and components for data transmission with which all possible everyday objects as well as industrial machines are equipped.

The IoT and its technologies are a central element of the 4th industrial revolution.

The goal of IoT is to make the statuses of the things concerned measurable and controllable. A reaction can therefore take place to certain statuses if necessary in order to improve its usability for the consumer.

Technological basis for the Internet of Things

  • The development of RFID, radio-frequency identification (a radio technology with which objects became identifiable automatically and without contact using radio waves) is considered to be the fundamental technology of the Internet of Things.

    Furthermore, all kinds of sensors and actuators that make the functionality and detection of statuses and the carrying out of actions possible are now also regarded as important elements.

  • Internet of Things - Radio technology

Requirements of IoT

  • Low energy consumption, low maintenance costs, a long service life and low manufacturing costs are among the basic requirements of the IoT technologies.

    The use of IoT technologies for the mass market is only applicable if they can be used on an extremely large quantity of items in a financially sensible way.

    Only then can the potential of these technologies be fully exploited. The demands made of the software also differ dramatically from all previous implementations.

    Operating systems with IoT capability generally have storage and energy consumption that are as sparing as possible in accordance with the architecture of the integrated circuits.

  • Internet of Things - Energy consumption

Demands made of the Internet of Things

  • There is a great deal of potential in many areas in the IoT – it is not without reason that experts agree that we are talking about one of the central factors driving the economy of the 21st century.

    In order to realize its full potential, the researchers, developers and operators who would ultimately like to integrate the IoT in their products and their production are faced with several challenges.

    In order to achieve IoT that is as comprehensively integrated as possible, which is needed in order to make full use of its strengths, it would be beneficial to use components and applications that are as standardized as possible. These standards must first assert themselves on the market.

    The more comprehensive a system is, the more prone it tends to be to security breaches. The more pervasive the networking, the greater the potential is for damage to the system and even damage caused beyond the system. Another security factor is the network connection, which is a challenge for the companies using IoT technology.

    Another challenge at the moment is the cost. The technologies of the Internet of Things may well be already available, but integrating them into mass production quickly results in skyrocketing manufacturing costs.

  • Internet of Things - Data transfer