If you've been following the technology, comms or IT sector you may have heard of something called the 'Internet of Things' or IoT for short. The IoT has been around for quite a while, but is now being used by consumers and businesses to make things more convenient, more efficient and ultimately better.
The internet of things is a global network of internet enabled devices. These devices are should be traditionally 'dumb' (not connected via an internet connection) devices such as a kettle or a light bulb. These new 'smart devices' use an internet connection, whether that be from your home Wi-Fi network or using a remote SIM card, to send and receive information. The best and most common example of the Internet of Things is smart meters. Smart meters use a data connection from their own SIM card to send data back to the energy supplier's HQ without the need for a field engineer to come and take a reading. The IoT delivers this data in real time using the UKs 4G and 3G networks.
Your house or business may already make use of the Internet of Things with devices such as a thermostat, CCTV or even remote controlled lighting. IoT makes up a significant portion of all the UK data connections and having a reliable SIM is important.
The IoT is an incredibly useful tool for both businesses and consumers. It can help businesses reduce their costs by removing the requirement for an engineer to asses a machine, smart meter or other device. The Internet of Things can also be used by a business to remotely control machines or devices, such as a lighting tower or a fleet of transportation robots. Most commonly, the Internet of Things is used for removing a human element to reduce business costs and increase efficiency. Normally, for example, a human would have to go and asses an issue if it was reported. But with IoT, you can run a remote diagnostics and make an assessment without a site visit or an engineer on the road.
IoT data is in real time and therefore often allows businesses to offer a better and more proactive service when remotely controlling or monitoring their machines/devices. A good example of a use of the IoT in todays world would be our Prolectric case study. Prolectic monitor their solar lighting towers remotely to keep diagnostic costs low and increase their business efficiency.
Machine 2 Machine is a variation on IoT. Both the Internet of Things and M2M are very similar by design, with both transmitting data over a network between devices. The main difference is that Machine 2 Machine is a data connection between two machines. M2M connectivity is most commonly used to control a device or give realtime diagnostics. An example of M2M would be robots using their own data connections to communicate to one another in a warehouse to prevent collisions. Machine 2 Machine is becoming more and more popular as the Internet of Things advances and the UK 4G network improves.