What is the real value of IoT?

How the IoT will make our lives better

By Cees Links, GM of Qorvo Low Power Wireless Formerly CEO and Founder of GreenPeak Technologies

Is the Internet of Things just another new technology fad? If you ask tech industry professionals, consumers, media, analysts and even the vendors who make and market IoT solutions, products and services, you will discover that there is a lot of confusion about what the Internet of Things is. First of all, the name “Internet of Things”, also known as IoT, can be misleading. Actually, there is no specific internet of things. The Internet of Things lives and runs over the regular internet, just like every other connected computer, online game box, video streaming device or smartphone. It is no surprise that many companies prefer to talk about the Internet of Everything (IoE), and probably rightly so, as it is a better term that describes the reality of what universal connectivity really encompasses. The internet itself is essentially a communication infrastructure that connects all devices in the world.

Companies and people access it through a service provider, whether a telecom, cable or satellite operator, or by connecting to hotspots almost anywhere in the world. Describing the Internet of Things sounds more like connecting a “thing” to the internet. This immediately leads to the question: what are the goals and benefits for the user? This question is becoming more important, and the answers more relevant, because IoT is being hyped today, setting people up for disillusionment – unless we understand what this connectivity is really all about. Here is another interesting question – Is the IoT really all that new? The Internet of Things, in one way or another, has existed for over 20 years. In its early days, it was somewhat obscure, often called M2M, Machine to Machine communication for industrial applications. Since then, it has progressed significantly. Today’s IoT technology is more maturing than emerging. IoT devices are moving into the mainstream but they still have further to go.

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