The Internet of Things is the concept of connecting any device (so long as it has an on/off switch) to the Internet and to other connected devices.

IoT is strictly an aspect of digitization (using data to drive a business), but in practice, the terms are used interchangeably with little consequence.

The smartphone is an obvious example of a smart device. It contains a user interface and sensors used by applications loaded on the device and is, therefore, a source of real-world data and a place to consume IoT insights. Other smart device examples include self-driving cars or sports and running watches, which collect and give feedback on runner data.

Learning about IoT helps IT decision-makers propose innovations that can drive improved business and personal outcomes. Implementing new solutions can save money and time, as well as improve safety and efficiency.

The rapid expansion of data increases the volume of insights that can be extracted, enabling new business outcomes and opportunities. For example, on rotating machines (huge numbers of these exist), local sensors can monitor machine sounds to:
1.Detect early stages of failure before a breakdown occurs,
2.Show that a device is performing well, or
3.Indicate that a next-scheduled maintenance can be cancelled.
Rotating machines become the foundation of a huge set of use cases. There are so many types of rotating machines, including where every electric motor in the world is found!

AI can be used to interpret data from IoT information obtained from the physical world, analyzed using data science and AI.

Examples include a robotic manufacturing machine, a physical environment sensor (like temperature, humidity, and light), or a remote-control light switch. Another example involves measuring the health of each physical system on a car (engine, brakes, transmission, satellite navigation, etc.) and determining if maintenance can be delayed (saving money) or brought forward (avoiding breakdown or failure). By doing this, a positive experience of the car can be maintained. This may please the owner who does not change vehicles very often. For the planet’s sake, maximizing the use of everything we make is essential.

Almost everything we touch can be a part of IoT, but they must be able to provide information directly (from sensors) or indirectly (from video camera).

An IoT application is used to gain insights from data. It can run in the cloud or in a data center at the edge—anywhere. It can run in your smartphone.

IoT application examples include:
  • * A house security camera that records and detects changes, while alerting a smartphone
  • * An elevator monitoring system that tracks proper functioning, so that engineers can make scheduled maintenance at a convenient time before failure.
  • * Drivers who are directed to vacant parking for their car in a smart city.
  • * Hospital patient monitoring
  • * Listening for earthquakes

IoT will appear to vanish, as we will not explicitly see it. IoT will become a part of daily life everywhere. Already IoT applications are part of our everyday life.

Yes, IoT can be easy, but people make it difficult by misunderstanding how to obtain and use data to produce business outcomes they will value. Perfection is not essential, which makes IoT easier. If 50 percent of the benefit is easy to obtain at low cost, grab it now!

IoT programming involves working with data to produce outcomes. Besides using programming languages, well-known data analysis frameworks used in data science have a major role to play.

The workings of IoT happens in four steps:

  • * Collect data from the real world
  • * Analyze that data (possibly adding other data sources)
  • * Produce an insight
  • * Translate the insight into action that you can take to realize the experience in an outcome

Yes, Python is great for starting and experimenting with Raspberry Pi, for example. Arduino is another great platform for learning using C/C++.

IoT does not always require coding. Phones driven by Alexa may download apps that require simple configuration. With other examples, the app will consist of tools you configure to get answers. PTC ThingWorx is an example.