What Separates IIoT From IoT: Uses and Priorities

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What Separates IIoT From IoT: Uses and Priorities

So, how are IoT and IIoT separate? The short answer is that they aren't, at least not very. See what's important for the Industrial Internet and what's key for consumers.

· IoT Zone ·
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IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) and IoT (Internet of Things) are exactly the same thing. I know that might sound counter-intuitive, but bear with me for a second.

Usually, if someone uses the term “IIoT”, they are specifically talking about the ways IoT can be used for industrial, manufacturing, and agricultural applications. IIoT focuses on improving connectivity between devices, efficiency optimization, and time savings for industrial organizations (plus many other possible benefits). The term “IoT” can include everything mentioned in IIoT, plus consumer use-cases for IoT (like smart home technologies and wearables). You can essentially think of IIoT as a subcategory of IoT.

Let’s dive a bit deeper though and explore some of the ways people are using IoT for industrial and home applications.

Industrial Internet of Things

Fleet Management and Asset Tracking

According to Berg Insights, North America is expected to have 12.7 million active fleet management systems by 2020. That’s because companies are starting to use IoT-embedded devices and software to manage their vehicle fleets. It helps them keep track of where their vehicles are going and correct their paths if a driver starts heading in the wrong direction. Using IoT to track “things” on the field is often referred to as asset tracking. This can be used to track more than vehicles; asset tracking can monitor raw materials or containers in a warehouse, allowing companies to track and manage their inventory.

Predictive Maintenance and Analytics

Companies are also using IoT-enabled systems to predict when equipment is about to fail. Sensors can send out a notification to maintenance crews if a piece of equipment is close to expiring or has other issues. This reduces the amount of time maintenance must spend checking systems, which allows them to spend time doing other tasks. IoT-enabled systems can then start gathering data on how often these notification failures are sent out. Organizations can use this data to create maintenance timelines, allowing teams to service equipment before it even fails. According to McKinsey Global Institute, predictive analytics is becoming one of the most popular uses cases for industrial analytics, which means we’ll definitely be seeing more of it in the future.

Internet of Things (Consumer-Focused Perspective)

Smart Home Applications

Amazon Alexa would be a classic example of an IoT-enabled device. It can connect to the internet and communicate with other devices in your house. Amazon is currently doing everything in its power to make sure you use Amazon Alexa to control everything in your house from locking your doorschanging the temperature, and turning the lights on or off with voice commands.

There are so many more exciting ways IoT can be used for the home that doesn't require Alexa though. For instance, check out some of these exciting smart home automation projects:


A Fitbit device would be a classic example of an IoT wearable device. Not only can you use it to track your steps, but you can send this information to yourself or others via email. Apple’s smartwatch is another example because it can connect to the internet, communicate with your phone, and even send messages to other devices. Here are other ways that people are using IoT for wearable devices:

  • Lobot 2.0: Wearable Headgear: Headphones that can send and receive commands from a web page or a Pebble Time watch.
  • Mango: An obstacle-detection and GPS-enabled navigation wearable for the visually impaired.
  • Mimo Baby Monitor: The Mimo Baby Monitor is a onesie stuffed with sensors and monitors the baby's respiration. This data is sent to the parent's smartphones. 

IIoT and IoT Lines Will Become Blurrier

IIoT is in the midst of a massive transformation. As the number of connected devices grows from 8 billion (2017) to 20 billion by 2020, more and more companies are going to enter the industrial IoT arena. Before, IoT interconnectivity was exclusively for companies that had the resources to build an IoT system. But companies like Particle, a pre-built and full-stack managed IoT service, can give anyone the necessary hardware, software, and cloud infrastructure to handle millions of concurrent device connections. This even allows consumers to add Industrial-IoT like capabilities to their home automation projects, which will further blur the separation between IIoT and IoT.

connectivity, iiot, iot, use cases

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