What is the Internet of Things?
The internet of things is the concept that the devices and objects that you interact with or are part of a system, process or industry can relate to each other and with cloud storage. As well as to compute in order to create experiences, intelligence and actionable data where it wasn't previously possible. The internet of things is part of the internet so you must fundamentally understand the internet. The internet is a multitude of end points connected together, that allow individuals to interact with data, where the internet of things creates the ability for objects to interact and, ultimately, is the platform upon which you build applications and services. In itself, it's just a way of connecting things just like the internet at its fundamental level has no content.
The internet is just a way of bringing things together and making them available to people. The internet of things extends that concept to end points, which are not human interaction devices. Think of it as your refrigerator, a car or part of an industrial process that's going to generate data, which may, in the short term, allow you to enable or disable something. “Yes, it's over temperature, let's turn that off”. But, over a prolonged period of time, it's generating data that you can then reference to look for trends and meta trends, allowing you to determine a correlation. A real world example is that of, in a factory the temperature of a particular conveyor belt seems to change by time of day. This raises the question of, do we have an issue with the environmental control system in that building? It's that kind of second order ability that generates some of the huge value in IOT.
Another characteristic of the internet of things is its various end points, which are no longer bound by the number of human beings on the planet. Instead, it’s the number of devices, systems, sensors, and switches or in other words, exponentially greater than the human beings on Earth. How many things do you interact with? And if all of those things are potentially connected, then instead of you being a cell phone and a computer and, perhaps, one or two devices at home, you're now a hundred different. You can take the number of people in the world and multiply it by a huge factor to come up with a number of end points in the internet of things.