03 May

You've often heard of the Internet of Things (IoT) but do you think it's an abstract and meaningless concept, and you don't even know what it is for and if it's useful for your company? Don't worry, in this article we will explain in detail the IoT concept and how it completely changed the world of industry and technology.

Internet of Things: definition and main features

The acronym IoT, as we have underlined above, indicates the Internet of Things which in Italian can literally be translated as "internet delle cose”. This term was first introduced by Kevin Ashton, a researcher at MIT, who wanted to distinguish the web strictly from the web of "things", later this neologism was introduced in the telecommunications sector, to identify those objects or real things that are characterized by an internet connection. In general, the definition of IoT is very cumbersome and superficial, so to fully understand the scope of this new tool it is necessary to make some practical examples. The Internet of Things indicates how objects through chips or sensors can connect to each other and interact with the surrounding reality, such as the use of sensors, cameras and data collection within a company to prevent machine breakdowns and significantly reduce maintenance costs, this is a typical IoT application. The introduction and development of the IoT has led to an epochal turning point in the world of industry and telecommunications and forecasts estimate that the growth of devices able to connect and interact with each other will reach figures that were unthinkable only a few years ago.

The different steps of the Internet of Things

Like all innovation processes, the introduction of the IoT has also passed through several phases and in the future could still change and innovate. The first step of the IoT was to introduce devices capable of connecting to the network and to collect data, later they were implemented to allow the transfer of this data and to process it based on certain requirements. The most important step to get an idea of ​​how fundamental the IoT phenomenon is, is represented by the introduction of devices connected on the network that initially collect data, select them and then generate actions based on the indications provided by the user. For example, think of home security systems that are able to detect data (alarm system in operation, motion sensors activated, etc.) and perform an action indicated by the user via remote how to disarm an alarm for a specific entrance. The introduction of these new intelligent systems has two important functions: to make the interaction between devices easier and immediate, thus allowing the user to remotely and easily manage every aspect of his life. In parallel, the introduction and development of the Internet of Things represents a resource for companies to exploit to reach new potential customers and develop cutting-edge technologies that allow easier use of products and services. 

The introduction of the IoT: what does it involve in practice?

After having understood what IoT means, let us try to clarify and analyze what are the concrete advantages that this new technology can bring and how it is already present in everyday life. Returning to the previous example of the use of sensors and cameras within a company to monitor the "health" of the equipment, it is already possible to understand how the IoT can determine an advantage for companies to predict in advance if a machinery needs maintenance or even check that it performs its task correctly within the timeframes and according to the precise indications. This type of predictive monitoring can be applied at every stage of the production process, even in logistics, inventories or supply management.
IoT is applied in various fields such as home automation, security, energy, transport, logistics, construction, etc. and is intended to measure, predict, analyze or anticipate certain actions or events. To understand the scope of the IoT we think of the classic example of the fridge, thanks to the integration of sensors and chips and to the connection with a specific application you will already know what it contains, which foods are about to expire and which recipes to prepare with the ingredients present. With the implementation of this new technology, you will have the opportunity to know in advance what actions to take and, above all, has the goal of reducing food waste.

The different IoT applications

The IoT certainly involves advantages for the end user, who will find himself using intelligent devices capable of performing actions that were previously unthinkable, but it is also an opportunity for those who manage companies operating in certain sectors. For example, for those working in the renewable energy sector, thanks to the implementation of the IoT, you will be able to collect useful data to analyze human behaviors and create more efficient energy solutions that guarantee an optimization of consumption. The Techmakers company, to help companies innovate, taking advantage of the infinite potential of the IoT, is able to create ad hoc applications for monitoring photovoltaic panel systems or to create software capable of controlling energy parameters inside of a company, to avoid waste and better manage consumption.
The most important application of the IoT is represented by the so-called smart home, that is a home managed through the introduction of home automation devices. To understand perfectly how the IoT has changed the way of living within your own home, we give you some practical examples:
- management of heating systems via app;
- optimization of consumption based on the installation of control panels that regulate the temperature based on the presence of people or the control of the external temperature; 
- remote control of video surveillance systems; 
- opening / closing windows, shutters or entrance gates via smartphone;
- introduction of virtual assistants for ordinary home management. 
The above examples are only some possible applications through the use of IoT technology and in the future we expect new interesting innovations and discoveries.
The Internet of Things also represents an advantage for those public sectors where it is necessary to streamline procedures and guarantee efficient and immediate services such as health, education, security and finance. Think of how the IoT could improve the productivity of industries and in particular how the introduction of cutting-edge equipment and software capable of communicating with each other can contribute to making the entire chain of production processes more efficient. The introduction of automated devices that communicate and connect with each other will not only streamline and facilitate the production process, but will also reduce the burden on workers and make the industrial chain even more efficient, thus reducing the waste of resources and resources.

If you have understood, thanks to this article, the importance of IoT applied to your company and want to exploit these new potentials, you can turn to companies specialized in this field, such as Techmakers, which develops ad hoc software and IoT devices with competence and professionalism. Techmakers helps you in the creation of projects implemented with IoT technology, providing advice, training and transfer of know-how.