08.18.2014Personal Tech

What Is the 'Internet of Things'?

By: Jerry Rizzo
Understanding the Basics of the "Internet of Things" and How It's Impacting You Today

Just when most thought the Internet couldn’t become anymore infinite, allow the “Internet of Things” to come along and expand on its infiniteness.  You may have stumbled upon this term online or have overheard it dropped around the water cooler a time or two.

If you do a simple web search you’ll most likely see this definition surface:

“a proposed development of the Internet in which everyday objects have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data.”

While this definition satiates the techies of the world, my parents would still have their heads half-cocked in confusion.
What is the “Internet of Things” (IoT)?

Very simply, you’ve had things (dishwashers, toasters, thermostats, TVs, radios, etc…) since the day you were born. Most recently, these things are being updated with the ability to connect to the Internet. These Internet enable devices are referred to as being “smart”. Smart devices will be able to communicate with your home network to automate and upload usage data to help improve your overall experience.

Every one of these devices you connect to the Internet is one device of the many devices among Internet of Things! Get it?

Technology research leader, Gartner Inc. projects, that by 2020 there will be 28 billion connected devices in the IoT.
Broadening the Scope of IoT (If you’ve had enough for one day, stop here.)

As you can gather, many items in our home will become part of the IoT, but the IoT is also functioning on a larger scale. IoT is being used to help reduce waste and save energy by improving existing transit networks. This is just one example of how the IoT is going to be able to improve processes and lives.
The Takeaway

The next time someone says brings up the “Internet of Things”, remember it’s simply all of those smart devices connected to the Internet.
Further IoT Reading: The Internet of Things: Everything You Need To Know in 2 Minutes (via Mashable)

Jerry Rizzo is Digital Communications Manager for Verizon and all-around digital media enthusiast. Tracking trends in technology, design, and social media, Jerry is always on the hunt to tell the next great story.