Internet of Things: The Five Types of IoT
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If you’re in the connectivity industry, then the Internet of Things (IoT) probably seems pretty straightforward; it refers to a network of interconnected computing devices, machines, objects, animals, and people capable of sharing data with other devices and systems over the Internet.
Again, if you’re in the connectivity industry, you probably read this definition and immediately began visualizing things like climate sensors, Bluetooth beacons for tracking shipments, connected TVs and OTT devices, virtual assistants, smart thermostats, unattended retail kiosks, smart shopping carts, etc.
But if you’re unfamiliar with this terrain, then IoT, along with the above definition, may seem a bit esoteric. And admittedly, with seemingly limitless use cases being applied across every major industry, it can be tough to initially wrap one’s mind around the concept. Indeed, if the basic principles of IoT don’t trip you up, then the implications are bound to.
But IoT is premised on a simple question: What would happen if thing A could “communicate” with thing B? It’s sort of like Mad Libs, just fill in the blanks. What would happen if your car could “communicate” with your home? What would happen if pacemakers could “communicate” with doctors? What would happen if farmers could “communicate” with their crops?
Sure, these questions might seem abstract; and the notion of farmers communicating with their crops is bound to conjure images of woo-woo spiritualists summoning the atmans of their corn fields from patchouli-scented barns. Nevertheless, with environmental sensors, agronomists can, in a sense, communicate with their crops. Since these sensors monitor climate, soil, and plant conditions, they’re able to provide real-time feedback to help maximize crop yields. No patchouli necessary!
All kidding aside, it’s worth contemplating the implications of such questions. What WOULD happen if thing A could “communicate” with thing B? How much could households save on utilities if their homes could communicate with their cars? How many lives could be saved if doctors had real-time insight into the vital signs of at-risk patients? The mind reels.
And consider this, according to some estimates, there could be more than 75 billion IoT devices worldwide by 2025. So, the Internet of Things is no transient fad — it’s here to stay. And the possibilities for technological innovation, economic growth, and human prosperity are dizzying.
With this in mind, we wanted to take a moment to introduce you to the five types of IoT. We’ll cover:
- What is Consumer Internet of Things (CIoT)?
- What is Commercial Internet of Things?
- What is Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)?
- What is Infrastructure Internet of Things?
- What is the Internet of Military Things (IoMT)?
The Five Types of IoT
What is Consumer Internet of Things (CIoT)?
Consumer IoT (CIoT) refers to the use of IoT for consumer applications and devices. Common CIoT products include smartphones, wearables, smart assistants, home appliances, etc.
Typically, CIoT solutions leverage Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and ZigBee to facilitate connectivity. These technologies offer short-range communication suitable for deployments in smaller venues, such as homes and offices.
What is Commercial Internet of Things?
While CIoT tends to focus on augmenting personal and home environments, Commercial IoT goes a bit further, delivering the benefits of IoT to larger venues. Think: commercial office buildings, supermarkets, stores, hotels, healthcare facilities, and entertainment venues.
There are numerous use cases for commercial IoT, including monitoring environmental conditions, managing access to corporate facilities, and economizing utilities and consumption in hotels and other large venues. Many Commercial IoT solutions are geared towards improving customer experiences and business conditions.
What is Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)?
Industrial IoT (IIoT), is perhaps the most dynamic wing of the IoT industry. Its focus is on augmenting existing industrial systems, making them both more productive and more efficient. IIoT deployments are typically found in large-scale factories and manufacturing plants and are often associated with industries like healthcare, agriculture, automotive, and logistics.
The Industrial Internet is perhaps the most well-known example of IIoT.
What is Infrastructure IoT?
Infrastructure IoT is concerned with the development of smart infrastructures that incorporate IoT technologies to boost efficiency, cost savings, maintenance, etc. This includes the ability to monitor and control operations of urban and rural infrastructures, such as bridges, railway tracks, and on- and offshore windfarms.
Technically speaking, infrastructure IoT is a subset of IIoT. However, due to its significance, it’s often treated as its own separate thing.
What is the Internet of Military Things (IoMT)?
The last type of IoT is the Internet of Military Things (IoMT), often referred to as Battlefield IoT, the Internet of Battlefield Things, or simply IoBT. IoMT is precisely what it sounds like — the use of IoT in military settings and battlefield situations. It is chiefly aimed at increasing situational awareness, bolstering risk assessment, and improving response times.
Common IoMT applications include connecting ships, planes, tanks, soldiers, drones, and even Forward Operating Bases via an interconnected system. In addition, IoMT produces data that can be leveraged to improve military practices, systems, equipment, and strategy.
Pareteum is an experienced provider of Communications Platform as a Service solutions. We empower IoT developers, enterprises, OEMs, communications service providers, internet service providers, mobile operators, early-stage innovators, and telecommunications infrastructure providers with the freedom and control to create, deliver, and scale innovative communications experiences.
The Pareteum platform connects people and devices around the world using the secure, ubiquitous, and highly scalable solution to deliver data, voice, video, SMS/text messaging, media, and content enablement.
For more information on Pareteum’s IoT offerings, be sure to catch our webinar!