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This is How Many IoT Definitions There Are...

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Digi-Key Electronics’ Internet of Things (IoT) Resource Center Inspires the Future: Read More

It's a right of passage for most new technological movements in the IT space to go through a lengthy buzzword phase where the definition is hazy and still evolving.  It doesn't help when marketing teams make their own claims about the word (examples include DevOps, Big Data, HTML5), but eventually the technically sound members of the industry settle on a fairly specific set of defining attributes for the new buzzword.

The Internet of Things is a newly conceived technology space that is just entering the early stages of being a buzzword.  Sometimes the best way to cut through the hazy descriptions is to read several definitions and then form your own.  It turns out there are a lot of definitions for IoT right now.  

I found a huge list of definitions excerpted from books, articles and research at this site:

IoT Definitions

A lot of the definitions, however, were long-winded and more philosophical than I had hoped.  I would have preferred a few more technical and specific definitions, but using some of these definitions and other resources, I made a few definitions of my own.

  1. A network of objects such as Radio-Frequency IDentification (RFID) tags, sensors, actuators, mobile phones, etc. that use unique addressing schemes to interact with other connected objects to perform various tasks.

  2. Consists of all natively IP-enabled and Internet-connected embedded devices and networks, along with the Internet services that control and monitor those devices.

  3. A network of objects (such as sensors and actuators) that can capture data autonomously and self-configure intelligently based on physical-world events, allowing these systems to become active participants in various public, commercial, scientific, and personal processes.

Which definition of IoT do you prefer?  Or do you have your own that you'd like to share?

Digi-Key’s IoT Component Selector is your one-stop-shop for the IoT


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