Have you heard of the Internet of Things (IoT)? Even if you have little or no knowledge of information technology (IT) trends, you’ve probably heard of or seen this term used. In recent years, the IoT has become a hot topic among business owners and IT professionals alike. As more and more internet-connected devices are manufactured and sold, the IoT will continue to grow. But what exactly is the IoT?

What Is the IoT?

The IoT is a massive collection of computers and devices, each of which contains a unique identifier (UID) that allows it to transfer and receive data over a network — either a public network like the internet or a private network like Wi-Fi — without the need for human input.

While computers and smartphones are some of the most common IoT devices, the term “IoT” encompasses all network-enabled and connected devices. This includes everything from smart washing machines and video surveillance systems to surgically implanted medical devices and weather monitoring systems. If a device is capable of transmitting and receiving data over a network without the need for human input, it’s considered an IoT device.

25 Billion Connected Devices By 2025

According to a recent study conducted by Gartner, there were over 14 billion connected devices used in 2019. By 2025, however, Garter predicts this number will balloon to 25 billion connected devices.

You can find IoT devices used in countless commercial industries, one of which is healthcare. As previously mentioned, surgically implanted medical sensors may exhibit the characteristics of an IoT device. Some medical sensors, for example, gather data about a person’s health, which they transmit to a computer or server for further analysis.

The Rise of IoT Devices

What’s fueling the rise of IoT devices exactly? One reason for the IoT device market’s strong projected growth is the simple fact that network-connected devices are now cheaper and easier to manufacture than they were in the past. Manufacturers can produce and sell network-connected devices at a low cost, resulting in cost-savings benefits for consumers and business owners who purchase them.

For businesses, the IoT can prove useful in driving revenue. According to a separate Gartner study, businesses that adopt the IoT experience 80% better results than their counterparts that don’t embrace the IoT. With IoT devices, businesses can take advantage of streamlines data transfers that, ultimately, allows them to carry out their operations more efficiently.

While the IoT may sound complex, it’s actually pretty simple. It encompasses all network-connected devices that can transmit and receive data over a network without human input.

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