If you are interested in technology you have likely heard of the IoT. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a growing and rapidly changing industry and concept.
It has been predicted by the year 2021 there will be more than 28 billion ‘things’ connected to the Internet. Of that 28 billion, 16 billion things will be directly related to the IoT.
Below is a list of IoT terminology, that anyone interested in the Internet of Things should know and understand (at least to a certain degree).
A term used to explain the process of printing a physical object using a digital file. The printers themselves, known as 3D printers, are used in conjunction with computer-aided design (CAD) and computer software. 3D printed things can range from everyday objects such as tools (example), to complete vehicles (example) or even firearms (example).
API – Application Programming Interface
Software programs that incorporate protocols, tools, and additional resources used by developers to build interoperability between and across programs which are running in the same environment. APIs are frequently needed when 2 or more IoT companies or devices integrate. For example, when a smart light bulb works with voice controlled platforms such as Amazon’s Alexa.
An extremely structured set of instructions developed to perform a specific task that contains a finite set of steps. Algorithms are used for computational problem-solving.
Software which uses an extremely complex set of rule-based instructions. The goal is to boost computational decision making at or above a human’s level and ability. Some fear that as artificial intelligence improves there is a chance technology will overpower the human race because we have programmed them to learn and become extremely intelligent.
Using technology to enhance the physical world. Any device that works in conjunction with your surroundings creates an augmented reality. For example, google glass creates a sense of AR because of the screen which allows you to view a screen while simultaneously interacting with your surrounding area.
A computer controlled vehicle (car, truck, train, etc.) that is equipped with sensors and cameras that allow the vehicle to navigate without the aid a human being. Telsa (example) and the google self-driving car (example) are great examples of this.
When large data sets are analyzed to determine trends, events, or activities on a very grand scale. For example, data collected from a city’s traffic camera determine when and where the most traffic accidents occur. Internet of Things devices have the ability to record massive amounts of useful data.
An open standard for wireless digital communications over short distances. Radio frequency technology which allows devices to transfer and receive digital audio, video, text, signals, and much more. Bluetooth is constantly improving which is great for IoT. The latest advancement will be the release of Bluetooth 5 which is scheduled for late 2016 or early 2017.
A standard unit of measurement for computing. Bytes are comprised of 8 binary digits incorporating alphanumeric characters. Types of storage include bytes, kilobytes, megabytes, gigabytes, terabytes, petabytes, exabytes, and zettabytes.
When remote servers are used to store data and host applications. Storing data in the cloud is becoming the industry standard because of the flexibility and convenience. Cloud applications can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
A term used to explain when any device, whether industrial or personal, is connected through a network. The network connection can come in various forms such as the internet or Bluetooth. All Internet of Things devices are also considered to be connected devices.
The capability of a machine to recognize and adapt to environmental factors. These factors include user behavior, surroundings, and many other variables. All of the information collected is processed to determine the next action. For example, many laptop computers will adjust the screen’s brightness depending on the environment that the computer is in. Another example is when the Nest smart thermostat will adjust depending on the temperature within the home as well as patterns of occupancy.
Security that relates to online systems, applications, and devices. Cyber security is one of the main concerns relating to the Internet of Things. Every new IoT product to market must consider cyber security very seriously during the development process. The ability for hackers to overtake your smart home, smart car, or smart device is very concerning for overall public safety.
DIY – Do it Yourself
The process of building, tinkering or experimenting without the aid of professionals. Do it Yourself innovation comes in many different forms. For example, 3D printing can be used when developing DiY IoT devices.
When data becomes scrambled for the sole purpose of security. When data is encrypted, only the person sending or receiving the information is able to unscramble (read) it. Encryption is an important part of cyber security as it aids in preventing someone from hacking your device or information.
A local area network (LAN) that is connected with a cable that allows data to travel through it.
Specific coordinates used to communicate a location. The use of satellites, cellular data, WiFi, and other systems are used to provide a general location and information.
GPS – Global Positioning System
A system that uses satellites in space to determine the specific location of objects on earth. Almost all smartphones today contain GPS technology.
H2M – Human to Machine Communication
The interaction between people and computers. (NEED EXAMPLES)
A term coined by General Electric (GE) used to explain the connectivity between humans and machines.
Infrastructure used to connect computers, smartphones, machines, and other devices to each other, as well as over a common network.
IoE – Internet of Everything
A term coined by Cisco Systems used to describe all things connected. This includes the Internet of Things (IoT).
IoT – Internet of Things
The IoT acronym stands for Internet of Things, which is any device that connects and shares data over the internet. The Internet of Things has become a buzzword for the ever increasing technology industry which includes connected devices and more and more ‘things’.
IP – Internet Protocol
A communications protocol which is used as a networking standard for the Internet. Allowing for computers to handle packet switching, routing, addressing, as well as other functions.
LAN – Local Area Network
A group of locally connected devices including computers, scanners, phones, and more that communicate in real time over a cable or wireless infrastructure.
M2M – Machine to Machine Communication
The ability for computing devices and other machines to exchange data and perform functions without human involvement. M2M derived from telemetry communication but has since improved.
NFC – Near Field Communication
Wireless communication technology that allows objects with NFC to exchange data with little to no human intervention.
PAN – Personal Area Network
An interconnected set of devices used by a single person within a restricted area. Typically around 10 meters.
RFID – Radio Frequency Identification
A wireless technology that uses either passive or active tags and readers with antennas to identify objects. Passive means non-powered and active means powered. The data from these objects can determine location, condition, and any changes to computers. RFID chips are key to developing some IoT devices and applications.
RTLS – Real Time Location System
A system which uses radio frequency tags to automate tracking on a continuous basis.
A branch of computer science and engineering that involves developing and building complex machines which are capable of performing complex tasks. Robots are continuing to get smarter with the advancement of Artificial Intelligence.
A device which detects changes to the surrounding area and environment. Sensors are increasingly able to communicate with smartphones and other computing devices. Sensors are a key component of the Internet of Things. Embedding sensors inside of objects are what creates connected devices.
A connected house, or living area, which uses technology to improve the quality of life. Smart homes will typically learn and adapt to your daily habits. For example, a smart home outfitted with a smart thermostat will learn your heating/cooling preferences and update accordingly without the need for human input.
A mobile phone which incorporates sophisticated sensors and a variety of digital computing capabilities. These capabilities include cameras, GPS, microphone, and many other features. There are currently over 2 Billion smartphones worldwide.
The ability for machines to communicate with one another and exchange data with computers and other systems through advanced telecommunication features.
UAV – Unmanned Air Vehicles
An aerial vehicle that operates without the aid of an onboard crew. These are often referred to as drones and can be used for military, business, or personal reasons. Drones are controlled remotely, usually from the ground and within sight of the UAV.
Also know as wearables, wearable computing is when small computing devices are worn and used on the body. For example, smart watches, fitness trackers, smart glasses, or any other device similar device is considered a wearable. Wearable computing devices typically have built in sensors which exchange data with other devices such as smartphones.
Are we missing any terms?
If you know any IoT related acronyms or terminology that are not featured here, please include them in the comments below. We will review and update the list accordingly. Thanks for taking the time to learn more about the Internet of Things.