Your mobile phone, your car, streetlights and even your fridge! There isn’t much out there that doesn’t fall under the umbrella of IoT. But, with its widespread influence, the question for many of us arises “what is IoT?”.
In this article, we will tackle this complex topic and break it down into plain English, providing you with real-life examples of its utilisation in our lives.
What is IoT?
If you were to consult the google gods, you would receive an overly complex definition that leaves you with more questions than when you started. However, at SAPHI, we are all about making things simple, so when we asked our experienced team for a definition, we received the following response:
“IoT refers to all of the physical devices out there that are connected to the internet.”
– SAPHI engineers
In essence, IoT encompasses pretty much anything that holds electronic components - the phone in your pocket, the laptop on your desk, the TV in your living room, and the car in your driveway are all things that can be connected to the internet. Hence the name Internet of Things. Our team prefer to refer to these things as "Ground-to-Cloud devices".
We can conceptualise IoT devices as things on the ground that collect data from the environment and transfer it to users around the globe via some medium (the cloud).
It is more than just visualisation
IoT is more than just capturing and visualising data; the real value arises when you can automate processes based on those values to achieve outcomes - just like we are doing at SIMPact.
With the SIMPact project, in crude terms, we are using hundreds of Ground-to-Cloud devices that monitor the surrounding environment and, in response to this data, control the existing irrigation infrastructure to reduce the ambient temperature of Sydney Olympic Park.
The control of the irrigation system is designed to be fully automated with the implementation of machine learning algorithms (see our post about machine learning here) that trigger actions when pre-defined values are met.