Born at the turn of the century, the Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming industries at lightning speed today. IoT describes the network of physical objects—"things"—that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies that connect to and exchange data with devices and systems over the internet. IoT devices range from ordinary household objects to sophisticated industrial tools.
In 2021, the number of active IoT devices has grown to more than 10 billion, and IoT is expected to continue to thrive. By 2025, more than 152,200 IoT devices will connect to the internet every minute. Flourishing well into the future, the number of active IoT devices is projected to surpass 25.4 billion in 2030.1
IoT is useful because, in a nutshell, the Internet of Things is smarter than the Internet. IoT devices create information about connected devices, analyze it, and make decisions – all without human intervention. Security cameras, sensors, vehicles, buildings, and software are examples of things that can exchange data among each other.
So, what exactly does IoT technology look like? The three types of IoT devices include consumer IoT, enterprise IoT, and industrial IoT.
Consumer IoT devices make our home and personal lives more convenient, efficient, and secure. Such devices include smart lighting, appliances, security systems, and more.
Enterprise IoT devices gather data from physical assets to improve safety and troubleshooting and to better manage the assets. Enterprise IoT devices empower companies to reduce manual work and increase overall business efficiency. Examples of enterprise IoT devices include condition monitoring sensors (temperature, humidity, smoke, power, etc.) and worker location and safety monitoring devices.
Industrial IoT (IIoT) devices enable businesses to digitize plants for smart manufacturing and connected factories. Applications also include robotics, medical devices, and software-defined production processes. Commonly used in manufacturing operations, smart devices are also present in construction vehicles, supply chain robotics, solar and wind power, agricultural sensor systems, smart irrigation, and more.
While consumer IoT devices are important to us all, in this article we focus on the latter two applications: enterprise and industrial IoT.
Enterprise and industrial IoT devices share the same technical premise: they collect data via sensors and send the data to remote monitoring software that you can access on your mobile phones, tablets, or desktop PCs.
Enterprise IoT devices deliver predictive analytics, leverage condition-based monitoring to improve people and environmental safety, maximize operational efficiency and productivity, and manage energy (PUE) – all of which equip your business to thrive in a changing world. These devices analyze collected data via intelligent dashboarding and reporting.
Typical enterprise IoT devices from Black Box include AlertWerks and Magikk. Black AlertWerks Wired is a state-of-the-art IoT solution that offers real-time environmental monitoring to protect mission-critical IT equipment. Loaded with intelligent sensors and monitoring gateways, AlertWerks actively monitors the conditions in a rack, server room, or data center and protects critical assets from extreme temperature, humidity, power spikes, water leaks, and smoke.
Another enterprise device, Black Box Magikk is a small, wearable, sensor-activated device that combines the power of satellite-based positioning and sensor-based data to track workers' locations. Equipped with two-way communication, single-button calling, and emergency SMS, Magikk is the device to choose for personal safety and real-time monitoring of remote workers.
An industrial IoT device, Black Box JIDO is an advanced, easy-to-use GPS tracking and security solution for the transportation and logistics industry. It provides real-time GPS location data for protection of valuable assets in transit and storage. With JIDO, authorized personnel gain 24/7 access, visibility, and control over the status of long-distance shipments in transit and storage, while all data is securely stored in the cloud.
Prime applications for enterprise and industrial IoT include asset management and digitizing processes. By digitizing manufacturing processes, businesses optimize assets, maximize operational efficiency and productivity, and better manage energy (PUE).
You can also expect to see IoT applications for AI-enabled visual inspection for quality control, AI-powered bag loading, and AI-driven perimeter intrusion monitoring for modern warehouses.
As you have learned, the personal and business potential of IoT technology is nearly limitless. Because businesses are driven by a need for regulatory compliance, we are likely to see more regulation of IoT as the technology matures. Increased network agility, integrated artificial intelligence (AI), and the capacity to plan, deploy, automate, and secure diverse use cases at hyperscale will accelerate the industrial and enterprise IoT.
Ready to embrace the future with IoT? Learn about IoT devices from Black Box: