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Explaining the ideas behind the “Internet of Things”

You never know whether it’s worth paying attention to the latest buzzphrase or not. Will it be around five years from now? Or will it fade away?

Well, one phrase worth paying attention to is the “Internet of Things” (sometimes abbreviated, by jargon fans, as IoT).

But what is it? Here’s one explanation, from the McKinsey Quarterly:

In what’s called the Internet of Things, sensors and actuators embedded in physical objects—from roadways to pacemakers—are linked through wired and wireless networks, often using the same Internet Protocol (IP) that connects the Internet. These networks churn out huge volumes of data that flow to computers for analysis. When objects can both sense the environment and communicate, they become tools for understanding complexity and responding to it swiftly. What’s revolutionary in all this is that these physical information systems are now beginning to be deployed, and some of them even work largely without human intervention.

And this video does an excellent job of explaining it, too:

Want to delve into the topic further? Here are three articles:

  1. McKinsey Quarterly
    What’s the significance of the Internet of Things? In part, it’s the new business models and processes that will result.
  2. ReadWriteWeb
    Will it be cost effective to put sensors in just about everything? Maybe. ReadWriteWeb delves into the possibilities.
  3. Singularity Hub
    “Massive data collection could change the world,” according to this article. “Companies all over the globe are working on ways to use tracking and internet connectivity to give new digital life to physical objects and locations.”

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