The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of devices - for example, computer, mechanical and digital machines which are all interrelated and have the ability to transfer data over a network through unique identifiers (UIDs) without the need for a human to interact with the information. This can include home systems such as lighting, electronic appliances, streaming services, and smart speakers. Several large cities are also utilizing IoT in order to monitor traffic volumes and weather conditions.
There are four pillars which underpin the ability of IoT to operate successfully:
An IoT device is a form of hardware that is capable of transmitting data from one location to another through the internet. This data is usually recorded by a sensor located within the device. A wireless solution is needed to support many devices that run on a single network. IoT devices can include mobile devices, medical devices, cars and electronic appliances.
The major function of IoT is to gather vast amounts of data in order to improve application functionality and process information. For example, music streaming services gather data on the music and artists that each individual listens to; and exercise applications regularly utilize location trackers to track users’ movements and physical activities throughout the day. Organizations often integrate IoT with their HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and security, allowing enterprises to control these systems from one centralized location or even remotely. Several forms of data can be collected, however, status data is the simplest and most prevalent form collated. This is then used for more complex analysis.
It is essential that the gathered data can be analyzed correctly and processed efficiently. This pillar is what makes IoT applications so powerful and useful in the everyday life of individuals and organizations. Analytics is performed through the application of data analysis tools and procedures to the generated data types. Once this data is processed and understood, it then becomes valuable information. Analytics helps to optimize and enhance the benefits of IoT for the user.
Connectivity enables the three previously mentioned pillars to work in conjunction with each other. It is essential that connection is maintained so that data can be transferred and analyzed correctly. High-bandwidth connectivity with little to no issues is a requirement in order to maintain this real-time data flow. Without this regular flow of data from the device, no analysis of data could take place. Without this information, the optimization of systems could not occur. Any data that was collected may also be inaccurate due to the loss of potentially valuable data through poor connection.
Each of these four pillars underpin the success of IoT. Each is essential not only for a reliable and coherent customer experience but also to ensure functionality. Without one element of these pillars, IoT would not be capable of performing the tasks that it does as it would be unable to communicate the necessary data back and forth. Strong and consistent user experiences through IoT will help to build strong connections between the user and the brand which will ultimately boost consumer confidence and loyalty.
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