Exploring the Internet of Things
Everyone has heard the phrase IoT, but what does it actually mean? A simple definition is this: The Internet of Things is the phenomena of more and more physical things being able to connect to one another and the internet. It is the intersection where the physical and digital world meet, and it creates more opportunity to improve human experiences, efficiency, and business returns. According to a study completed by Control Engineering, there will be more than 60 billion Internet-connected devices within the next 10 years.
The significance of IoT is not the ability of systems or devices to collect data, but rather that IoT allows devices to tabulate and analyze data in a way that brings human significance to the user of that device. Let us use a FitBit for example. The fact that FitBit can count your steps or monitor your heartbeat is not unusually significant. But the Fitbit’s ability to alert you that your energy utilization is 20% below your average daily use is very significant. Fitbit uses data to evaluate and improve the human experience of the user.
Opportunities to connect data to physical patterns and experiences also crosses over to the industrial world. Oil & gas refineries run sensors that constantly monitor the activity of the plant floor. “Smart” systems can analyze thousands of bits of data and determine which bits are significant to the continuous function and safety of the plant. IoT systems in industrial spaces serve to improve quality, predict future patterns, and prevent disaster.
So how does this relate to wire and cable? Well, for industrial and factory industries, the continuous convergence of information, automation, and operations technology leads to an increased need in efficient communication systems. Systems with strong Ethernet cabling and bandwidth have the ability to promote greater inter-operability on the plant floor, providing faster detection and response time, flexibility, and real time data.
Personal and business interests will continue to be affected by the increased inter-connectivity of the physical and digital world get ready!