What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

IoT for “Internet of Things” or Internet des Objets in French, you know the meaning of this expression directly or indirectly. But what does it really involve?

Definition of the Internet of Things
Historically the term IoT was first used in 1999 by Kevin Ashton, a British engineer, to describe a system where physical objects are connected to the internet.

Over time, the term has evolved to encompass the entire ecosystem of connected objects. IoT thus begins in the physical world with the sensors that collect the information, it is then transmitted through the connection and integration of systems between them, the data is finally processed and stored for analysis and evaluation. The many players in this ecosystem – sensor manufacturers, software publishers, incumbent or new operators on the market, integrators… – make it heterogeneous but make it rich.

Connected objects for multiple uses
The Internet of Things contributes to the modification or creation of new uses. The best known are those related to the general public with smartphones, connected watches, or even connected household equipment.

However, other areas have strong potential for deployment of IoT projects such as :

The industry with predictive maintenance, automated alert management, process optimization, energy savings…
The city with the development of connected car parks, remote lighting management, dynamic urban signage, resource management (water, electricity.

Transport with fleet management, dynamic carpooling, accident monitoring…
Healthcare with remote patient care and monitoring, connected machines. Even if, the development is more difficult because of the numerous constraints related to the confidentiality and security of medical data.
These are just a few examples because all areas can be impacted by the development of the IoT, the only limit being imagination.

What future for IoT?

Now that we are able to connect almost all objects, what are the benefits? There is an exponential growth of the collected data however raw they have only little value. The real added value will lie in the crossing of these and in their analysis. We must find a way to present this complex data in an intelligible way in order to make the most of it.

Interoperability thus becomes a necessity, communication between the various objects connected via standardized protocols will thus make it possible to encourage the development of new services. Objects can interact with each other to provide more complete data. Indeed, the Internet of Things thus offers a more accurate knowledge of uses and makes it possible to offer more adapted services.

Interoperability will simplify the development of IoT platforms that will allow multiple devices and networks to be managed from a single interface. Improving the management of connected objects and their networks is a strong demand that still few players are able to meet.

In conclusion, the Internet of Things is becoming a mature market that offers great opportunities for its various players. However, its development will depend on the ability of these same actors to set standards and better manage the incredible amount of data collected.

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