In a word, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a fast expanding system of devices (other than computers and smartphones) that can connect to the internet and other connected devices. Currently, this covers specific appliances, automobiles, light bulbs, and home security systems. Some may be obvious, such as smart TVs that can provide streaming viewing services, self-driving cars, or smart thermostats that can be controlled by an app on a smartphone, but others may be less obvious, such as a plumbing leak detector that can be monitored via an app or computer, or medical devices, such as a heart monitor, that can collect data about someone's health and send it to a health provider remotely.
With the fast development of smaller and more inexpensive computer processors, as well as the proliferation and greater availability of wireless networks, nearly anything with internet access may be converted into a linked device. Connecting all of those different objects while adding sensors to them enables them to have digital intelligence that they would not otherwise have, such as a light bulb automatically brightening or dimming itself based on outdoor lighting conditions or a car driving itself to a specific destination.
The number of consumer devices that can connect to the internet, have wireless connection, and are part of the Internet of Things has grown dramatically in recent years, and this trend is expected to continue. Almost any product may be linked and classified as "smart" or an IoT device. These are some examples:
- Video Surveillance
- Access Control
- Alarms & Sensors
- Life Safety Devices
- Audio & Video
- Smart Home