The Internet of Things (IoT) is the latest development in the long and continuing revolution of computing and communications. Its size, ubiquity, and influence on everyday lives, business, and government dwarf any technical advance that has gone before. IoT is a term that refers to the expanding interconnection of smart devices—ranging from appliances to tiny sensors. A dominant theme is the embedding of short-range mobile transceivers into a wide array of gadgets and everyday items, enabling new forms of communication between people and things, and between things themselves. The Internet now supports the interconnection of billions of industrial and personal objects, usually through cloud systems. The objects deliver sensor information, act on their environment, and in some cases modify themselves, to create overall management of a larger system, like a factory or city.
The “things” in IoT are primarily deeply embedded devices, characterized by narrow bandwidth, low-repetition data capture, low-volume data usage. These devices communicate with each other and provide data via user interfaces. Some embedded appliances in the IoT, such as high-resolution video security cameras, video Voice over IP (VoIP) phones, and a handful of others, require high-bandwidth streaming capabilities. But countless products simply require packets of data to be intermittently delivered.