What is IoT?

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IoT stands for ‘Internet of Things’. It’s used to describe the network of objects, or “things”, that contain software, sensors and other technology that enables them to connect to one another. The purpose of IoT is to use traversed data to automate processes and operate devices remotely. There are millions of different applications of IoT and it is utilised in every single industry to increase productivity, maximise accuracy and to reduce costs. IoT can be applied to large-scale machinery such as wind turbines as well as our everyday household items like our coffee machines.

At the end of 2018, there were 22 billon IoT-enabled devices. In 2022, this number has increased to 29 billion. That’s more than four times the amount of people on Earth. And what’s more, it’s estimated that 75 billion devices will be connected via the Internet of Things by 2025.

How does IoT work?

IoT systems are usually tailored to meet the specific needs of a business or end-user. However, most IoT devices transmit data in the same way. Here’s an example of how a basic IoT system works:

  1. Sensors
    A sensor or tracker within a device collects data. This could be temperature, pressure, lumens, motion, location or any other metric.
  2. Connectivity
    The data captured by your sensors is then transmitted to a cloud storage facility via M2M connectivity, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LPWAN or directly via a wired connection.
  3. Data processing
    This stored data is processed by software on the receiving device. The data is usually checked against a set of predefined rules to identify important information that the end-user requires.
  4. User interface
    Raw data that has been captured by sensors and traversed over to your device can be very complex. This needs to be turned into a format that is readable and useful for the end-user. This is usually sent to the end user in the form of an alert or notification such as a text or email. However, some data needs to be processed differently. In some cases, end-users may need to interact with the data you have received and make changes remotely. This is often the case with digital signage solutions when a motorway sign needs to be updated in relation to heavy traffic. And in other cases, an action may need to be performed automatically. For example, if an intruder is detected by a motion sensor on your remote CCTV solution, your security system can alert the police automatically, rather than sending an alert to your phone.

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Where is IoT technology being used?

IoT technology is used in every industry. In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that it can be found in almost every facet of everyday life. Whether it’s tracking your taxi to managing a fleet of sailing boats, IoT is embedded in our society.

Here’s a list of some of the major industries harnessing the Internet of Things:

Agriculture and farming

The Internet of Things is helping to transform agriculture and make farming easier for farmers. Data from crops and livestock that has been obtained through IoT sensors can be used by farmers to make informed decisions. Plus, remote security cameras are helping reduce the loss of machinery and equipment due to theft.

Fleet management and automotive

The automotive industry is a top contender when it comes to harnessing IoT technology. Connected cars are now the new normal, and fleets of vans and lorries are being fitted with M2M SIM cards to assist with supply chain monitoring and tracking.


IoT in healthcare enables patients to have more freedom and live independently. The care that a patient receives can be personalised using M2M SIM cards. Cold chain management is very important when it comes to healthcare, and IoT is helping to improve this every day.


Over the past decade, the retail sector has been utilising IoT to its full potential. It has enabled retailers to analyse foot traffic via heat map data, plus, it enables businesses to analyse customer buying habits. This data can then be used to deploy further IoT technologies such as in-store engagement solutions that keep your customers interested in your products and services.

Smart buildings

Smart buildings are bringing the automation of day-to-day into reality. IoT technology is not only being used to turn houses into a self-running machines, it is being implemented in office spaces all around the world as well. Businesses are now able to maximise the potential and efficiency of their office spaces, using factual data in real-time.

Smart cities

The Internet of Things is leading cities into the future. As investments in IoT and M2M technology continues to rise, new smart solutions are being deployed across our cities. From enhancing public safety with automatic streetlights to reducing congestion with remote traffic management solutions, entire cities are now harnessing the power of automation.


The utilities industry is transforming thanks to the utilisation of IoT. Solutions such as smart meters are becoming commonplace in houses and offices to help manage energy usage. Plus, tracking devices are helping keep workforces safe in remote locations.