Doorbells, dog fitness collars, cars, MRI machines, even beer coasters are getting smarter, more connected, and frankly, more chatty. Internet of Things devices are taking the world by storm, changing the way we receive medical treatment and play video games, and they are even improving the air we breathe.
What Is IoT Technology?
An everyday object containing a specialized microchip that enables an internet connection can become an IoT device. A fish tank, a human with a heart monitor implant, or a car with built-in sensors alerting the driver of low tire pressure all count. Various objects can now be assigned IP addresses. Then, they can transfer data to an online platform, and finally, a user.
So what is IoT technology? When analyzing the technology supporting the IoT and its inner workings, a complete IoT system combines four main components: devices (or items), connectivity, data analysis, and a user interface.
A teddy bear, a TV, an airplane part, or a wearable fitness tracker. All of these devices have microchips inserted into them and are assigned unique identifiers (a 128-bit number that uniquely identifies an object or entity on the internet). Smart devices collect data from their environment like temperature, motion, or even full videos. Then they send the collected data to the cloud.
Depending on the type of device, the data can travel to the cloud via various methods: WiFi, satellite, Bluetooth, cellular, low-power wide-area networks (LPWAN), or the ethernet.
Once the data reaches the cloud, it’s analyzed. This analysis could include checking if the room is too hot or checking whether there’s movement in your home while you’re away on vacation. What is the IoT doing when it comes to analyzing a potential emergency as opposed to fulfilling your daily whims? The difference between the two will affect the way the information from the cloud is communicated to the user.
What happens when there is, in fact, an intruder in your house, or maybe a fire? You receive a push notification, an email or a text, depending on the degree of urgency and your preference.
Most people use internet of things applications on their phones or web browsers to send requests to a device via the cloud. In doing so, they can dim the lights, turn on the coffee machine, or increase the temperature in the bathroom before taking a shower. You could also send requests via a smart voice assistant like Alexa, Cortana, or Siri.
Mobile phones and computers don’t count as IoT devices even though they’re regularly connected to the internet. Your phone or computer instead become remote controls for all of your connected devices, meaning they make it easy for you to check if you’ve turned off the oven before leaving the house, and you can even turn it off via said device if you need to.
The standard internet of things definition would best be illustrated with an example. A smart thermostat measures your home’s temperature and then delivers the collected data using the IoT software hosted in the cloud. The data is then stored and analyzed on a cloud-based IoT platform (which also keeps information on millions of other devices). Once there, the data is sent to an authorized user when they request it. A user can view the data using a web-based app.
What is an IoT platform?
An IoT platform is a form of “middleware” that works between your IoT devices and data and the applications that you use to access them. There are a few popular control platforms on which developers have built IoT apps that interact wirelessly with smart sensors and devices. Some of these include Samsung’s SmartThings, Amazon’s Alexa, and Apple’s HomeKit.
Top IoT Companies
The world’s top IoT companies have begun developing intuitive technology and infrastructure that will change our everyday lives. Smart devices and sensors are no longer a party trick to impress guests and help us secure our homes while we’re away; we’ll soon live in a world where smart thermostats, buildings, and vehicles combine to create entire IoT-enabled cities.
To help you gain a better understanding of what’s in store, we’ve compiled an IoT company list of the top 31 players in this field. All of these pioneers are using Internet of Things components to create technology that we could previously only dream about.
What companies are involved in the Internet of Things?
Experts estimate that there’ll be over 30 billion connected devices by 2020. IoT companies are linking everything from health devices and trucks to fridges and oil drills, and it’s making them millions of dollars. Forecasters have estimated that the market will double in size to a staggering $520 billion (USD) by 2021.
Connected machines can now sense, observe, and measure the world around them, and communicate the collected data between each other with no intervention from humans. This means machines no longer have to bother with our inaccurate, subjective interpretations to make logical conclusions.
IoT-enabled businesses can collect accurate data in real time, run post-production analyses, and optimize their processes based on those findings. Companies involved in the Internet of Things have already recognized the value of automation and accurate data collection; now their competitors are taking notice, which is leading to an increase in market share and profitability.
What is IoT software?
The Internet of Things is a giant network of connected mechanical and digital devices that operate autonomously. This includes devices we wear, such as fitness trackers, as well as medical implants and chip sensors we embed in animals. Many of these devices use sensors to interpret information from the outside world, then share that information with other connected devices over the network.
IoT software allows all of this to happen. It enables machines to collect and share data, operates the (mostly) cloud-based platforms where that data is stored, and analyzes said data. IoT software can also use information from a range of devices to help identify its faults and improve its efficiency.
What is an IoT chip?
An IoT chip is a tiny electronic device embedded in smart objects and machines. It connects to wireless networks, sends and receives data, and generates commands. In reality, these chips use the same data circuits and technology we see in mobile devices, only they do so without the human-friendly aspects, such as displays or user interfaces.
IoT chips are almost always connected so they can send and receive data automatically and in real time. Many companies use IoT devices as replacements for human-controlled systems in remote, hard-to-reach environments like offshore oil rigs or underwater developments. As such, most IoT chips are built for durability and longevity.
What is MEMS and NEMS?
MEMS and NEMS sensors enable IoT devices and applications worldwide and across industries. MEMS stands for microelectromechanical system, even though the term mainly refers to microdevices with tiny embedded systems that permit higher-level functionality.
There are several types of MEMS:
Micro-engines, which serve as highly compact energy sources;
Optical MEMS, which send optical signals;
Inertial sensors like accelerometers or gyroscopic sensors;
Fluidic MEMS, which are known for being particularly precise.
Fluidic MEMS, for example, are used both in high-end digital printing and in medical devices that measure blood sugar levels or medication dosages. The term NEMS, on the other hand, refers to nanoelectromechanical systems. These serve the same purpose as MEMS, but on a nano scale.
Compared to other similar sensors, MEMS and NEMS have proven more efficient, sensitive, and precise. The technology’s fail-safe performance in extreme conditions has made it vital for safety features like airbag activation and vehicle stability.