What’s the big deal about the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things (IoT) [Just say, “I” “O” “T.”] is an annoying way to describe a novel, and fast-growing industry which can make every appliance and any piece of equipment smart. At first, it’s a little hard to wrap your head around, at least it was for me… The applications will be endless. In sales papers, you might hear about the newest refrigerator which can tell you when you’re out of milk or eggs. That’s the IoT at work! But, this is only one application.

The inter-connectivity of devices that we use daily will be the innovation which can change how we live. For these devices to send us a status “report” which says how much we have left of something or if it is running properly, it would need sensors, lots of sensors with various functions that are run by high-powered chips. Texas Instruments (TXN), Microchip Technology Incorporated (MCHP), and Comtech Telecommunications Corp. (CMTL) are just 3 examples of growth companies for IoT chips, microprocessors, and controllers.

Major players are already investing. Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Oracle, there are billions being invested into appliances that can process, real time, and decide, such as ordering and shipping laundry detergent. The small, but powerful Amazon Echo is an IoT.  I imagine you will see more business partnerships form out of what will eventually become a $ trillion industry as well.

These communications updates I spoke about must travel somewhere where they can be retrieved. That’s where “the cloud” and application programming interface (API) come in. And major tech companies have years of experience now with cloud-based applications, both internally and as a service offering. The cloud will receive transmissions from these smart devices via wireless connections that need to be fast, efficient and secure. Your favorite devices will not only “work together”, they will trade information in a secure, virtual network of your own making.

Industrial manufacturing uses are on the horizon as well that will open ways to further automate production lines, maintenance schedules, and supply lines. The IoT revolution is on the way!

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