What exactly is IoT and how can we benefit?

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Internet of Things
Photo via Envato Elements

Over the past few years you may have heard of IoT technology. Known as the Internet of Things, it is a term used to denote any device or physical object that captures data and can share it via the internet. IoT is a huge focus within businesses as part of their digital transformation efforts, but also in the home as individuals look to add a touch of tech wizardry to their lives. All this activity means that IoT spending is forecast to almost double from $646 billion in 2018, to $1.1 trillion in 2023, according to Statista, but what are the benefits to businesses and consumers?

The benefits of IoT for businesses

The benefits of the IoT for business are typically agility and efficiency. By gathering more data and using it in a rapid, fluid way, businesses can use the increased understanding of their facilities, equipment, teams, production – any and every aspect of their business that can collect and send data.

This information can then be used to inform and alter business activities, improving their efficiency and helping them be more adaptive to events and requirements. Originally, it took time to analyse the data and implement the changes required, but now, in many industries, the use of artificial intelligence and robotics means that production can respond to IoT data instantaneously. The use of these technologies together is known as Industry 4.0 – the fourth industrial revolution that’s transforming production in the same way as steam power, electricity, or the internet.

The benefits of IoT for consumers

The IoT promises to make our environment – our homes and offices and vehicles – smarter and more measurable. Smart speakers like Amazon's Echo and Google Home make it easier to play music, set timers, or get information. Home security systems make it easier to monitor what's going on inside and outside or to see and talk to visitors.

Because of these interesting capabilities, consumers have migrated to IoT in droves, and while global consumer spending on IoT sat at $123 billion in 2021, it should grow to $170 billion by 2025.

Another factor driving the momentous adoption of IoT devices among consumers is the rise of the maker culture. This movement is based around the idea of hobbyists creating their own devices and tinkering with existing ones to find solutions to solve their specific problems. Using DIY electronic platforms, such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi, many of which were designed easy enough for children to use, anyone can bring the benefits of IoT to their home.

IoT is transforming the globe. Are you using IoT in your home or business? Let us know how in the comments section.