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The Internet of Things – Key Concepts

The Internet of Things – Key Concepts

The Internet of Things, sometimes referred to as the internet of everything, is a very broad concept which at present may be used to describe a general development of technology, but in the near future will probably need to be broken down into differentiated categories as the basic trend it describes becomes increasingly a part of everyday reality. A few basic concepts:

Internet of Thingsthe Internet of Things (or IoT) broadly describes a scenario in which vast numbers of objects or organisms are embedded with uniquely identifiable computing devices connected to the internet, enabling them to collect, store, share and analyse data and to be remotely controlled via other internet-connected devices.
M2M Communication M2M (or machine-to-machine) communication is the communications infrastructure of the Internet of Things. It refers to communications technologies which enable embedded computing devices to share data with each other via wireless or wired connections without the need for human interaction or triggering the communication.
Industry 4.0 / The Industrial Internet the use of IoT technology in the context of industrial engineering and production. In this scenario, by embedding sensors and connected computing devices in every step of the production process, all relevant data becomes available in real time across the entire value chain and throughout the full life cycle of a product. This enables the production process to become self-optimizing, flexible and highly customized, and transforms the supply chain into a collaborative data network across the entire product life cycle, from design through inventory, production and shipping to recycling.
Smart Agriculture the use of machine-to-machine technology and the IoT to increase productivity and yield of food production and ensure it is environmentally sustainable. Sensors in agricultural equipment, in the soil or attached to livestock monitor specified parameters such as moisture or fertilizer levels, and computing devices embedded in agricultural equipment analyse the data to optimize decision-making processes, often using machine-learning software which can analyse data and optimize processes in real time. For example, GPS-guided steering is used for ploughing, planting, fertilizing and harvesting. Using data from satellite photos, farming equipment can apply variable levels of fertilizer and water to crops, and forward-sale contracts are made less risky through improved yield forecasts.
Smart Home the use of IoT technology to provide the inhabitants of a building with internet-connected monitoring and control devices that can remotely control and autonomously optimize the building’s key functions such as heating, lighting, security, multimedia or cooking.
Smart City a smart city incorporates digital technology, including but not limited to IoT technology, throughout all the key functions of the city, from traffic and energy management, public transport, health care, water and waste to culture, governance and public services, with the effect of greater resource efficiency and sustainability, improved liveability and heightened public service.
Smart Transportation the use of digital sensor and communication technology in road, rail, waterway or air transportation. The term is generally used with a particular emphasis on road transportation. Infrastructure and vehicles are equipped with digital sensory and communication computing devices, enabling data collection and both vehicle-to-infrastructure and infrastructure-to-vehicle as well as vehicle-to-vehicle data communication for purposes of traffic flow optimization, resource efficiency, safety, surveillance and law enforcement or infrastructure maintenance. Some examples are collision detection and avoidance systems, automatic vehicle recognition, dynamic traffic light systems or parking guidance systems (see smart city).
Connected cars an automobile equipped with devices, some of them including sensors, that are connected via wired or wireless communication technology to other devices within and outside the vehicle. Some of the typical applications are internet-connected media and entertainment systems, navigation systems connected with and contributing to dynamic traffic management systems, safety and driver assistance features such as fatigue detection, automatic parking or collision protection, emergency and road side assistance functions such as automatic emergency calls, contextual help such as restaurant recommendations, and vehicle management and diagnosis systems. In its most sophisticated form, the connected car becomes a self-driving car, which monitors its environment, avoids collisions, obeys traffic rules, controls speed and direction and navigates to a defined destination autonomously.
Smart Grid an electricity network that intelligently integrates and optimizes the actions of all the elements within the network, from power generation through supply and transport to consumption, by means of internet-connected monitoring and communication computing devices. Examples are smart meters which monitor power use in connected buildings in real time and provide information to optimize power generation and supply, load balancing technology which matches supply to demand or power system automation which enables rapid diagnosis and maintenance of grid disruptions or outages.
eHealth a broad term describing the use of digital information and communication technology throughout the healthcare industry. Some of its basic forms are: 1) Telemedicine: the provision of diagnostic and treatment services remotely via internet-connected devices or video conferencing. 2) Digitisation of healthcare companies, e.g. the increasing use of sophisticated computational models and genome sequencing in the pharmaceuticals industry (bio-informatics). 3) Mobile health: the use of remote patient- or self-monitoring devices such as wearable devices, monitors for vital signs and health information, smart contact lens or ingestible smart pills. 4) Digitisation of pharmaceutical distribution through e-prescriptions and online pharmaceutical sales. 5) Collection of medical data such as diseases, allergies and prescriptions on smart cards or chips to provide information for emergency and regular treatment.
Wearables computing technology embedded in accessories or clothing which can be connected to the internet and can collect data through biofeedback and tracking of physiological functions and motion metrics. Many wearables also perform key functions of smartphones . Examples include watches and fitness tracking bracelets, glasses, contact lenses, e-textiles and smart fabrics and jewellery. Applications so far have been primarily in the fields of health and fitness and gaming and entertainment, but there are also implications across a wide variety of fields such as education, transportation or industrial production.