What is the IoT? Everything you need to know

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What is the IoT?

The world around us is getting smarter and more connected as technology becomes a common sight in many areas.

Digital devices are not just in our pockets or our offices, but increasingly in our homes, buildings, and many places and cities. Helping collect, analyse and monitor data and information about their surroundings, these devices are able to communicate with each other through the ‘Internet of Things’.

Often shortened to the IoT, this worldwide, interconnected network allows devices to talk to each other and to us, delivering reams of data through smarter processes that will greatly increase the quality of life around the world. 

The Internet of Things is predicted to revolutionise the way in which we live our lives, with many industry experts tipping it to have the biggest technological impact since cloud computing, as more data than ever before can be collected, stored and analysed.

Many consumers are already enjoying the benefits of the IoT, as popular products such as the Amazon Echo smart speaker and the Nest thermostat from Google becoming common sights in homes around the world.

But the wider world can also benefit from the IoT, with businesses being able to streamline previously complex and data-hungry processes through improved automation, freeing up employees for other tasks. 

Public sector organisations such as hospitals can also use sensors to monitor patients more effectively, and local governments can monitor pollution, traffic levels, weather data, and much much more.

The IoT is growing fast, and is set to affect more and more areas of our lives in the years to come, resulting in a smart world that previously was only imaginable in science fiction.

IoT - the latest news and views

01/11 - What “x-as-a-service” means for IoT - It's never been easier to become a Mobile Virtual Network Operator...

31/10 - CIOs fear "burden" of IoT projects - IoT multiplies the complexity of enterprise cloud ecosystems...

29/10 - Seven critical questions every business needs to ask before implementing an IoT plan - Fail to prepare, prepare to fail...

11/10 - How interoperability accelerates IoT collaboration - Issues with connecting multiple devices and services have slowed IoT adoption...

10/10 - Enterprises expect IoT results in less than three years - IoT is no longer an emerging technology...

09/10 - Connecting the seas: How radio is aiding maritime IoT - KNL Networks says its radio network can keep ships stay connected...

01/10 - IoT technology 'vital for success' of UK businesses - Businesses of all sizes see this emerging technology as vital to their future success...

01/10 - Steak & chips: how IoT and machine learning will disrupt risk in animal insurance - Even farm animals are becoming connected in today's digital world...

01/10 - Six principles to secure the IoT - It's up to IoT leaders to take the lead in security and privacy...

27/09 - "Most sophisticated" Torii botnet targeting IoT devices - The newly discovered malware strain is building the most sophisticated botnet ever seen...

21/09 - Privacy in the age of IoT: the future’s connected for VPN - Many have asked: do ‘normal people’ actually care about online privacy and VPNs? Yes, they do...

20/09 - How can the IoT transform the sports business? - Sports venues are getting a much needed upgrade from IoT technology...

19/09 - IoT malware grew significantly during the first half of 2018 - New research from Kaspersky Lab reveals how cybercriminals are targeting IoT devices...

06/08 - Why IBM is pushing to be the driving force in the IoT - The IoT and IBM could prove to be a match made in heaven...

03/08 - Qualcomm reveals major IoT push - Chipmaker unveils its plans to help power the global IoT..

18/07 - Vodafone expands IoT range for businesses - New surveillance and energy management tools bring IoT to more companies across the UK...

17/07 - Microsoft and GE team up for major IoT launch - Partnership will see major expansion of Industrial IoT from Azure and GE Digital...

13/06 - Vodafone: 5G smartphone uncertainty means focus on core network and IoT - Vodafone UK CTO says 5G will be a gamechanger, but smartphone innovation in the 4G era won't be matched...

04/06 - Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom test NB-IoT roaming - Two operators claim trial is massive step forward for cross-border IoT...

01/06 - LPWAN is the final piece in the mobile IoT puzzle - Vodafone's IoT business is focusing on services and partnerships rather than technology...

31/05 - GSMA: Mobile operators must change to grab $1.1tn IoT market - GSMA warns that just 5 per cent of IoT revenue will be found in connectivity, so mobile operators need to evolve...

17/05 - Mobile IoT networks to be a 'core component' of 5G - GSMA says NB-IoT and LTE-M deployments are paving the way for massive IoT powered by 5G...

08/05 - Nokia snaps up SpaceTime Insights to boost IoT drive - SpaceTime Insights acquisition allows Nokia to expand IoT work...

24/04 - Telcos exploring mixed approaches to IoT - Communications providers see the potential in IoT but are taking multiple paths, Ericsson report says...

23/03 - Operator partnerships could be the key to IoT success - O2 says it wants to do more than just dish out SIMs and connectivity...

22/03 - IoT security spend to reach £1bn in 2018 - Gartner figures suggests increased awareness of threats is boosting spend...

07/03 - New internet of things security code aims to stamp out Mirai and other threats - The government is taking action on IoT security...

22/12 - Why 2018 could be a decisive year for IoT - Major report highlights struggle between competing technologies over the next year...