The interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data.
Dr. Timothy Chou is no stranger to Silicon Valley. As a tech executive, investor, academic and board member his message is clear. It's time to embrace IoT.
See and control IoT devices that are invisible to traditional security products.
An engineer makes an adjustment to the robot "The Incredible Bionic Man" at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington October 17, 2013.REUTERS/Joshua RobertsYou've likely heard the phrase "Internet of Things" — or IoT — at some point, but you might also be scratching your head figuring out what it is or what it means.The IoT refers to the connection of devices (other than typical fare such as computers and smartphones) to the Internet. Cars, kitchen appliances, and even heart monitors can all be connected through the IoT. And as the Internet of Things grows in the next few years, more devices will join that list.We've compiled a beginner's guide to the IoT to help you navigate the increasingly connected world.Terms and Basic DefinitionsBelow, we've provided a glossary defining the Internet of Things:Internet of Things: A network of internet-connected objects able to collect and exchange data using embedded sensors.Internet of Things device: Any stand-alone internet-connected device that can be monitored and/or controlled from a remote location.Internet of Things ecosystem: All the components that enable businesses, governments, and consumers to connect to their IoT devices, including remotes, dashboards, networks, gateways, analytics, data storage, and security.Entity: Includes businesses, governments, and consumers.Physical layer: The hardware that makes an IoT device, including sensors and networking gear.Network layer: Responsible for transmitting the data collected by the physical layer to different devices.Application layer: This includes the protocols and interfaces that devices use to identify and communicate with each other.Remotes: Enable entities that utilize IoT devices to connect with and control them using a dashboard, such as a mobile application. They include smartphones, tablets, PCs, smartwatches, connected TVs, and nontraditional remotes.Dashboard: Displays information about the IoT ecosystem to users and enables them to control their IoT ecosystem. It is generally housed on a remote.Analytics: Software systems that analyze the data generated by IoT devices. The analysis can be used for a variety of scenarios, such as predictive maintenance.Data storage: Where data from IoT devices is stored.Networks: The internet communication layer that enables the entity to communicate with their device, and sometimes enables devices to communicate with each other.IoT Predictions, Trends, and MarketBI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, expects there will be more than 24 billion IoT devices on Earth by 2020. That's approximately four devices for every human being on the planet.And as we approach that point, $6 billion will flow into IoT solutions, including application development, device hardware, system integration, data storage, security, and connectivity. But that will be money well spent, as those investments will generate $13 trillion by 2025.Who will reap these benefits? There are three major entities that will use IoT ecosystems: consumers, governments, and businesses. For more detail, see the Industries section below.IoT IndustriesSeveral environments within the three groups of consumers, governments, and ecosystems will benefit from the IoT. These include:ManufacturingTransportationDefenseAgricultureInfrastructureRetailLogisticsBanksOil, gas, and miningInsuranceConnected HomeFood ServicesUtilitiesHospitalityHealthcareSmart BuildingsIoT CompaniesThere are literally hundreds of companies linked to the Internet of Things, and the list should only expand in the coming years. Here are some of the major players that have stood out in the IoT to this point:Honeywell (HON)HitachiT-Mobile (TMUS)Comcast (CMCSA)GE (GE)AT&T (T)Cisco (CSCO)IBM (IBM)Amazon (AMZN)Skyworks (SWKS)Apple (AAPL)Sierra Wireless (SWIR)Google (GOOGL)Iridium Communications (IRDM)Ambarella (AMBA)ARM Holdings (ARMH)Texas Instruments (TXN)PTC (PTC)Fitbit (FIT)ORBCOMM (ORBC)Garmin (GRMN)Blackrock (BLK)InvenSense (INVN)Microsoft (MSFT)Control4 (CTRL)Silicon Laboratories (SLAB)CalAmp (CAMP)LogMeIn (LOGM)InterDigital (IDCC)Ruckus Wireless (RKUS)Linear Technology (LLTC)Red Hat (RHT)Nimble Storage (NMBL)Silver Spring Networks (SSNI)Zebra Technologies (ZBRA)Arrow Electronics (ARW)IoT PlatformsOne IoT device connects to another to transmit information using Internet transfer protocols. IoT platforms serve as the bridge between the devices' sensors and the data networks.The following are some of the top IoT platforms on the market today:Amazon Web ServicesMicrosoft AzureThingWorx IoT PlatformIBM's WatsonCisco IoT Cloud ConnectSalesforce IoT CloudOracle Integrated CloudGE PredixIoT Security & PrivacyAs devices become more connected thanks to the IoT, security and privacy have become the primary concern among consumers and businesses. In fact, the protection of sensitive data ranked as the top concern (at 36% of those polled) among enterprises, according to the 2016 Vormetric Data Threat Report.Cyber attacks are also a growing threat as more connected devices pop up around the globe. Hackers could penetrate connected cars, critical infrastructure, and even people's homes. As a result, several tech companies are focusing on cyber security in order to secure the privacy and safety of all this data.More to LearnBI Intelligence has compiled an exhaustive and detailed report on the Internet of Things that is your one-stop resource for all you need to know about the IoT.The report gives a thorough outlook on the future of the Internet of Things, including the following big picture insights:IoT devices connected to the Internet will more than triple by 2020, from 10 billion to 34 billion. IoT devices will account for 24 billion, while traditional computing devices (e.g. smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, etc.) will comprise 10 billion.
Nearly $6 trillion will be spent on IoT solutions over the next five years.
Businesses will be the top adopter of IoT solutions because they will use IoT to 1) lower operating costs; 2) increase productivity; and 3) expand to new markets or develop new product offerings.
Governments will be the second-largest adopters, while consumers will be the group least transformed by the IoT.
And when you dig deep into the report, you’ll get the whole story in a clear, no-nonsense presentation:The complex infrastructure of the Internet of Things distilled into a single ecosystem
The most comprehensive breakdown of the benefits and drawbacks of mesh (e.g. ZigBee, Z-Wave, etc.), cellular (e.g. 3G/4G, Sigfox, etc.), and internet (e.g. Wi-Fi, Ethernet, etc.) networks
The important role analytics systems, including edge analytics, cloud analytics, will play in making the most of IoT investments
The sizable security challenges presented by the IoT and how they can be overcome
The four powerful forces driving IoT innovation, plus the four difficult market barriers to IoT adoption
Complete analysis of the likely future investment in the critical IoT infrastructure: connectivity, security, data storage, system integration, device hardware, and application development
In-depth analysis of how the IoT ecosystem will change and disrupt 16 different industries
To get your copy of this invaluable guide to the IoT universe, choose one of these options:Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIPPurchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORTThe choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the fast-moving world of the IoT.
Many people think the Internet of Things (IoT) is about your toaster talking to your refrigerator. While there will no doubt one day be very useful consumer IoT applications, more immediately there are many industrial applications, and many more potential ones, to consider.This article, the first of three on the IoT, constructs a framework for precision technology — that is, an organization of the technologies that will enable the building of precision machines. The second article will take the point of view of a machine manufacturer and discuss the value of using such technology to build precision machines. The third article will discuss how such machines can be used to power precision industries like farming, transportation, healthcare, construction, and power.Things Are Not PeopleMost first- and second-generation enterprise software was focused on us — people, whether individuals or groups. Applications were designed to help people do something useful, like buy a book, issue a purchase order, recruit employees, or communicate with others.But things are not people. That may seem obvious, but there are at least three fundamental differences that matter for purposes of this discussion.There are a lot more Things than people. These days, you can’t be on the Internet and not see some pronouncement about how many Things are going to become connected. John Chambers, former CEO of Cisco, recently declared there will be 500 billion “Things” connected by 2025. That’s about 70 times the number of people currently living on this planet.Things can tell you more than people can. The main mechanism people use to communicate with applications is a keyboard, and most applications use some kind of form to collect simple data from people.Things, by comparison, may have many sensors. A typical cell phone has about 14 of them, including an accelerometer, GPS, and even a radiation detector. Industrial Things like wind turbines, gene sequencers, and high-speed inserters can easily have 100 sensors.Things can talk constantly. People don’t actually enter data all that frequently into “Internet of People” (IoP) applications for e-commerce, human resources (HR), purchasing, customer relationship management (CRM), or even enterprise resource planning (ERP). But a utility grid-power sensor can send data 60 times per second, a construction forklift once per minute, and a high-speed inserter once every two seconds.IoP ApplicationsThe first generation of enterprise application software from SAP, Oracle, Siebel, PeopleSoft, and Microsoft leveraged the availability of low-cost, client-server computing to automate key financial, HR, supply chain, and purchasing processes. The business model was based on licensing the application software, and the purchasing company was left with the responsibility (and cost) of managing the software’s security, availability, performance, and updates/upgrades.Timothy ChouAround 2000 there came the second generation of enterprise application software. It was largely differentiated by a fundamental shift in the delivery model. The software provider took on the responsibility of managing the software, and with that change came a change to the business model.Rather than an upfront licensing fee, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model emerged, which allowed customers to purchase the service monthly or annually. Key business suppliers from this era included Salesforce.com, WebEx, Taleo, SuccessFactors, NetSuite, Vocus, Constant Contact, and Workday, to name a few.As a result, most basic corporate functions — sales, marketing, purchasing, hiring, benefits, accounting — have been automated. You can debate the effectiveness of the automation, but while the resulting improvements in operational efficiency through CRM or ERP software are good, they’re hardly transformative. It’s really only in the areas of retail (think Amazon) and banking (think eTrade or PayPal) that software has transformed businesses.Perhaps now, with the changing economics of computing, the continued innovations in communications technology, and the decreasing cost of sensors, we can move to a third generation of enterprise software. That new generation will tackle the challenges of precision agriculture, power, water, health care, and transportation, and fundamentally reshape businesses and our planet.IoT ApplicationsIn order to organize the technology of IoT, let’s define a simple five-layer framework. The first layer is composed of Things. We’ll use the words “Things” and “machines” interchangeably.In the second layer, things are connected to the Internet in many different ways. The third layer consists of technologies designed to collect the data, which are increasingly time-series data being sent every hour, minute, or second.The fourth layer is about learning. Unlike IoP applications, which entice people to type something, with IoT applications we will learn constantly in settings like hospitals, farms, and mines.Finally, you should ask, what’s all this technology for? What are the business outcomes? This layer, the “do” layer, describes both the software application technologies and the business models affected by companies that build Things, as well as those who use them to deliver health care, transportation, or construction services.Let’s take a closer look at each of the five layers.Things: Enterprise Things, whether you’re talking about a gene sequencer, a locomotive, or a water chiller, are becoming smarter and more connected. If you’re going to build or buy next-generation machines, you’ll need to consider sensors, CPU architectures, operating systems, packaging, and security.Sensors are beginning to follow Moore’s Law, becoming dramatically less expensive every year. They are increasingly being attached to low-cost computers, which can range from simple microcontrollers to fully featured CPUs supporting either the ARM or Intel instruction set architecture.As you move to more powerful processors, more powerful software can be supported — but as powerful as that software is, it becomes a point of vulnerability in our hostile world.Connect: Things can be connected to the Internet in a variety of ways. Connecting Things requires a diverse set of technologies based on the amount of data that needs to be transmitted, how far it needs to go, and how much power you have. Furthermore, there are many choices at a higher level around how to manage the connection and how it’s protected and secured.Collect: Remember, Things aren’t people. The sheer volume of data that can be generated by Things will be exponentially larger than that of IoP applications. Data might be collected and stored using SQL, NoSQL, or traditional or next-generation time-series collection architectures.Learn: With an increasing amount of data coming from Things, we’ll need to apply technology to learn from that data. Learning and analysis products will include query technology, and both supervised and unsupervised machine-learning technologies.Most of the technology for learning from data streams has been applied to learning from data about people. As with all layers in the stack, there is much room for future innovation.Do: As with IoP applications, there will be both packaged applications (ERP, CRM) and middleware to build IoT applications.Of course, in the end these applications — whether bought or built — will have to drive business outcomes. As machines become increasingly complex and enabled by software, many of the lessons learned in software maintenance and service will also apply to machine service.As many in the software industry already know, the movement to delivering SaaS has revolutionized the industry. So, maybe we’ll also see “machines-as-a-service.”Timothy Chou is a lecturer on cloud computing at Stanford University. He is a former president of Oracle on Demand. For more information about IoT and how it might reshape your business, check out his new book: “Precision: Principles, Practices and Solutions for the Internet of Things” and his online class Precision IoT: The Class.