The IoT itself consists of a web of internet-enabled smart devices.
Although each of these devices is different, they all share certain
At their most basic, IoT objects gather data. Each
object is essentially its own, self-contained computer with its own
internet IP address. Data is automatically collected through built-in
sensors, and can then be shared through the internet, transferring data
among objects, systems, and people, without the need for human
interaction. IoT objects range in sophistication from simple monitoring
devices to extremely complex self-controlling machinery and AI-enhanced
When an IoT object interacts with the world, built-in sensors gather
relevant data. For example, a modern wind turbine would be capable of
collecting data on motor temperature, wind speed, and rotations.
the data has been captured, the object then sends it into the cloud. To
do this, it may rely on a variety of methods, including direct ethernet
connections, Wi-Fi, 4G or 5G cellular, Bluetooth, low-power wide-area
networks, or satellites. Each of these options has its own strengths and
limitations in terms of bandwidth, range, and availability; individual
IoT devices will often be optimized for specific connectivity protocols.
When IoT data arrives in the cloud, it is then processed by
server-based software. Once processed, the information is made available
to the end user. In the example of the smart thermostat, the
temperature data is compared against a predetermined range—if the
temperature fits within that acceptable range, no action is needed, but
if the temperature is outside of that range, then the thermostat may
alert the user, or automatically activate the room’s heating or cooling
systems to bring the temperature back within the acceptable range.
In terms of B2B applications, the data is made available to remote
operations teams who then triage and investigate any issue that is
detected by predetermined rules. These teams then decide whether to
remotely address the issue, or to send a field service technician to
resolve it on site. Alternatively, potential issues may be preemptively
addressed; by monitoring equipment for warning signs, remote operations
teams may elect to perform preventative maintenance to resolve problems
early, rather than waiting for the equipment in question to fully fail.
In many cases, users can directly interface with the IoT platform
through a connected application, via their mobile device or web browser.
This allows them to set parameters and adjust, or to simply check in on
how the device is performing. When a user makes changes to their
equipment, the IoT device sends information to the cloud where it is
processed, and then is delivered to the device itself.