The Internet of Things

The dictionary defines the internet of things as “a network of everyday devices, appliances, and other objects equipped with computer chips and sensors that can collect and transmit data through the Internet. Abbreviation: IoT.” The term originated in the late 90’s. Yes, it is hard to believe that IoT has been around that long (at least theoretically).  

The Internet of things (IoT) is a network of physical devices, really anything that collects and communicates data. It is seen by many as the next industrial revolution. Business Insider forecast there will be 34 billion devices connected to the internet by 2020. 24 billion of these will be IoT devices.

The media (internet) is plump full of IoT talk. You have to have it, right? but what really is it? And should you care? 

I think the best example of personal IoT is Google. Your Android-based phone tracks your travels and starts to recognize your patterns. As you pass a grocery store your phone makes a suggestion on the groceries to buy as your fridge automatically builds a grocery list as you use the items within the fridge and sends it to your phone. Google knows that you typically get home from work every day at five so it automatically adjusts the Nest thermostat to your preference in temperature. As you approach your home the camera recognizes your face and unlocks the door and turns on the entrance lights. You ask your Google Home to play music and based on your trends it selects the right type of music. When you go to bed you ask your Google Home to turn off the lights and your phone sets an alarm automatically as it knows that you have that 8 AM meeting tomorrow morning.

Why is this IoT? It is IoT as you have a collection of sensors collecting data, transmitting it across a network (the internet), and storing it in the cloud. Your IoT hub is analyzing the data and reacting to it accordingly. You have the five key components of IoTSensors, Networks, Standards, Analysis, and Actions.

I feel at times that I’m a bit late to the IoT dance, however, it’s never late to start. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to explore Autodesk’s IoT solution. Starting by exploring what IoT is and getting started with the Autodesk IoT Discovery Kit. 

  • What is IoT?
  • The Autodesk IoT Discovery Kit
  • A look at Electric Imp
  • What is Autodesk Fusion Connect?
  • What’s next?