Understanding “The Internet of Things”

October 7th, 2015

It’s been around for years at an industrial level, but is getting more significant recognition today, so just what is The Internet of Things?


Today’s post from our SafeSourcing Archive.

Although it is a term that has been around for almost 17 years, “The Internet of Things” is really starting to pop its head up in research industry reports, magazines, news specials and other business journals.  The question is what is “The Internet of Things” and what does it mean for your business as we head into 2018.

The concept which had its roots begin with radio-frequency identification tags that were designed to track equipment more easily, the Internet of Things was coined to define a world in which sensors, tags, and other data points will continue being imbedded into equipment and devices allowing them to not only be tracked, but to share information like health, location, status, and supply or service levels.  In essence the network of information will expand outside of the internet into the world of objects.

So the question still becomes for businesses of how this new concept can be used to help them.  Today we will look at a few of the ways you may already be using this concepts today without even knowing it.

Intelligent Sensors – One of the downsides to human beings collecting and creating much of the data available on the internet today is that we tend to be inaccurate and fallible in the manner in which we go through this process.  No one wants to sit for 24 hours a day recording the temperature, humidity and air pressure in a room so that they at some point notify someone else that there may be an issue.  With intelligent sensors that can send alerts through a company’s network of through the internet, accurate and frequent readings can be taken every second if need to be report changes as they occur real time.  Add to the fact that this becomes independent of the most rural locations or extreme conditions and the value of these sensors becomes extremely important to companies where changes in these types of conditions can drastically affect their products.

Object to Object communication – In the example above the sensors on objects become important channels to collect information, aggregate and analyze the data and provide decision points for people to act on.  What is also part of the Internet of Things if the capability for objects, based on data from their surroundings, to communicate and request changes right away.  If the sensor on a multi-million dollar reel of airplane material could read the temperature, which must be kept in a freezer, and then send an alert to the system controlling the temperature of that freezer to slightly adjust the environment you could reduce the possibility of damage in real time without having to wait for a response.

Image and voice recognition – As technology changes and information data centers grow in size, the Internet of Things will be able to take input such as photos, video and audio and create actions based on what they see.  Consider a network video appliance that has the capability to analyze and recognize objects in the video frames as it streams and saves them.  Recognizing the shape of gun, the metrics of a car wreck, the numbers on a license plate or the shape of a face could all be used and sent to other Internet of Things objects to help create scenarios where lives are saved and disasters averted.

Over the next few months you will be hearing a lot of the Internet of Things and the affect it can begin to have on your business from financial, safety and efficiency standpoints.  To understand more about the Internet of Things or how you can begin to look at this concept in how you source your goods or services, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.

We look forward to your comments.


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