The Internet of Things (IoT) describes devices that collect, process, exchange and utilize data interrelatedly, via the internet or other communications networks. Some examples of common IoT devices include sensors, smart home devices, payment terminals and smart wearables. IoT devices are used across industries to make processes more efficient and precise—from waste reduction to remote monitoring.
Examples of IoT devices
Most of us interact with IoT devices every day, even if we don’t realize it. Here are some examples of IoT devices used by individuals and businesses:
Sensors are one of the oldest and most common types of IoT devices, used both by individuals and businesses. Some of the most common types include optical sensors for automatic street lights, temperature sensors for thermostats and the internal sensors embedded in industrial machinery.
Many IoT devices specialize in gathering environmental data. Actuators are sensors that specialize in receiving instructions from other IoT devices and are equipped with the mechanics needed to make physical changes based on the data gathered by other IoT devices.
Take a look at AquaPhoenix Scientific for a real-world example of industrial sensors: AquaPhoenix makes water monitoring sensors for chemical plants powered by Telnyx SIM cards.
IoT motion sensors are often included as part of more advanced security systems as well as smart home security cameras and audio recording devices in residential, commercial and industrial spaces. IoT security devices make it easy to monitor your home or business from anywhere in the world, even if your alarm system is disarmed. You can customize alerts, connect your security devices to other smart devices (like lights) and even communicate with the person whose presence triggered the motion sensor.
Smart home devices
According to TechJury, Americans have an average of 22 IoT devices per household. These include devices like speakers as well as intelligent light bulbs, connected smoke detectors and smart door locks.
Intelligent appliances include smart home devices like smart thermostats, intelligent refrigerators and connected televisions that rely on IoT devices to gather environmental information and make the appropriate adjustments.
Smart wearable technology is one of the most recognizable IoT devices. Right now, the most common wearables are fitness trackers, watches and earbuds. However, smart glasses and virtual reality headsets are gaining popularity. Smart wearables even have the potential to increase public health: studies have shown that individuals who wear fitness trackers or smart watches are more likely to exercise regularly
IoT medical devices
IoT medical devices have revolutionized the healthcare industry by enabling better diagnosis, treatment, and more holistic remote medical care. Internet-connected heart monitors, smart blood sugar sensors and even internal sensors that monitor the contents of a patient’s stomach have made it possible for doctors to care for more patients and obtain more accurate medical data. IoT medical devices also make it possible to monitor patients outside a traditional clinical setting, which prevents unnecessary visits to the doctor’s office.
Industrial and logistics IoT devices
IoT technology can optimize supply chain and logistics processes by tracking objects and recording data such as shipment weight, temperature and route conditions. For example, Telnyx helps Abra Controls provide portable wireless solutions for smart surface pressure monitoring at industrial drilling sites.
Companies also use industrial IoT devices for predictive maintenance, quality control, remote production control and asset tracking. A business might use IoT to track the current location of vehicles, monitor and manage delivery routes, track inventory or organize drone-based delivery.
Point of Sale devices
Restaurants, retailers and other merchants use IoT devices for their Point of Sale (PoS) terminals. PoS devices make it possible for merchants to customize and digitize their payment terminals, which in turn allows them to create better customer experiences and obtain real-time data about their sales.
Valor Paytech uses Telnyx SIM cards to power their popular hand-held payment devices that allow customers to pay for their meal while still seated at the table.
Personal transportation devices
IoT powers personal transportation devices like bikeshare bicycles and electric scooters. SIM cards track the device’s location, so the rider is accurately charged for how long they’ve ridden or how far they’ve gone. Then, when they’re done with the trip, they can leave the device for another person to use. Within a few years, you can expect to see self-driving cars added to this list as well.
How does IoT work?
IoT describes a system of devices that are connected to each other and can transmit and receive data from one another. This flexibility is one reason why IoT technology is so useful for businesses and individuals.
An IoT system requires data collection devices, a central processing computer and software that decides what to do with the data. Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards are small physical chips used to identify individual devices that are part of an IoT system and, in some cases, connect them to the network.
How IoT devices are connected
IoT devices connect to a wireless network that’s built to share the information those IoT devices collect. IoT devices often transmit data over Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cellular networks. The type of network IoT devices connect to is determined by how far the device needs to send data, how much data the device must send and how much power the device has available for data transmission.
For instance, Wi-Fi networks work well for home IoT devices, because those devices are often plugged into an A/C power outlet, which provides enough power to run a wifi connection. Conversely, many wearable devices use Bluetooth because it requires minimal power. Wired IoT networks are less common because they are poorly suited to the ways most IoT devices communicate.
Components of IoT devices
The components of IoT devices can be divided into two core categories: data collection components and data transmission components.
Typically, the data collection component is a sensor of some sort. This could be an optical or temperature sensor, an RFID or digital antenna or even an electrical current sensor. Regardless of what the device senses, the sensing component is there to gather information and convert it into numerical data for computer processing.
The data transmission component is usually an antenna. The transmitting antenna relays collected data to the IoT device management platform that handles the data collected by all the IoT devices on the network.
Some IoT devices may also have data storage components, but these are usually very small. IoT devices only store data to manage network traffic, as IoT network data protocols are often designed only for low volumes of data.
Concerns about IoT devices
There are two major concerns regarding IoT devices: IoT device security and network security. An unsecured IoT device can lead to severe data breaches. Securing IoT devices and managing the security for IoT connections is critical.
Often, consumers don’t realize that their IoT devices need to be secured, so they never set a password or configure the device’s IoT security. This creates a rather severe security flaw. That flaw is amplified because a single connected IoT device has connections to many other devices, which means that a single unsecured IoT device could compromise the security of the entire IoT network.
The other major concern with IoT devices is network security; it’s nearly impossible to keep all the IoT devices on a network secure all the time. Instead, it’s best practice to build IoT networks that include IoT device monitoring and safeguards to limit what can be accessed from a breached device.
IoT devices today and in the future
The concept of IoT emerged at the beginning of the 21st century and has grown exponentially. According to Statista, there are currently over 13 billion connected IoT devices (with the most recent 2 billion devices having come online in the past year alone). By 2025, the number of IoT devices in use is expected to reach over 19 billion.
The global IoT device market is currently worth about $1.5 billion, supplying devices for nearly every industry.
IoT trends point to smaller, even more capable IoT technology popularizing in the near future. This means smart wearable devices that are less intrusive (like smart glasses that look and feel like standard glasses) as well as smaller and more nuanced applications (such as surgical technology or technology that enables self-driving cars).
IoT is a growing market, and nearly every industry can benefit from its many varied use cases.
Learn how real businesses use Telnyx IoT SIM cards for global connectivity or talk to an expert today.
What are some examples of IoT in real life? ›
A few examples of IoT devices are laptops, smartphones, refrigerators, coffee machines, Apple watches, Google Home, Fitbits, etc. Devices equipped with an Internet connection and sensors can be used for IoT applications. IoT generates huge quantities of information, which becomes the characteristic of Big Data.What are IoT devices and what are their capabilities? ›
IoT devices are pieces of hardware, such as sensors, actuators, gadgets, appliances, or machines, that are programmed for certain applications and can transmit data over the internet or other networks.What is an example of an IoT device? ›
1. Google Home Voice Controller. Google Home Voice Controller is a smart IoT device that allows users to operate the TV, speakers, alarms, lights, and many more such appliances at home just by their voice.What is the best example of an IoT device? ›
Smart Mobiles, smart refrigerators, smartwatches, smart fire alarms, smart door locks, smart bicycles, medical sensors, fitness trackers, smart security system, etc., are few examples of IoT products.Is Alexa an IoT device? ›
Amazon's voice assistant Alexa is one of the more comprehensive IoT services, as it can control more smart home products than Google Assistant or Siri. Alexa is present in the Echo devices, as well as other gadgets like headphones and thermostats.What are the 3 capabilities of IoT? ›
Their essential features/capabilities are on the level of connectivity and network management, device management, data acquisition, processing analysis and visualization, application enablement, integration and storage.Is an iPhone an IoT device? ›
The first mainstream device to showcase the power of connected sensors was the iPhone — the original IoT device for the world at large, which was launched in 2007.What are three key capabilities required for IoT success? ›
As shown in Figure 1, there are three main elements that make up a successful IoT ecosystem: these are an IoT platform, the market expectation and the network effects. The platform is a key building block of the ecosystem and the focus of much investment and commentary in the industry.What is the most common IoT device? ›
Excluding smartphones, the 10 most popular IoT consumer devices in 2023 are smart TVs, smart speakers, connected thermostats, home security systems, domestic robots, smart bulbs, energy monitors, connected appliances, smart door locks, and connected car devices.Is Siri an IoT device? ›
Examples of IoT devices are digital personal assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Cortana.
Is your phone an IoT device? ›
IoT involves extending internet connectivity beyond standard devices, such as desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets, to any range of traditionally "dumb" or non-internet-enabled physical devices and everyday objects. Embedded with technology, these devices can communicate and interact over the internet.What is an example of IoT in smart home? ›
The method of regulating house appliances automatically utilizing various control system approaches is known as IoT home automation. Various control mechanisms may be used to regulate electrical and electronic equipment in the house, such as windows, refrigerators, fans, lights, fire alarms, kitchen timers, and so on.What are the three types of IoT devices? ›
Generally speaking, IoT devices can be classified into three main groups: consumer, enterprise, and industrial.Is a laptop an IoT device? ›
The Internet of Things refers to electronic devices that are able to connect to the Internet and share data with other Internet enabled devices. Also known as connected devices, this includes laptops, smartphones, and computers, however they are far from limited from just these three things.Is Roku an IoT? ›
In addition, Roku Smart Home devices are certified by ioXt Alliance, the global standard for IoT security. The Roku Smart Home initial lineup includes: Floodlight Camera. Indoor and Outdoor Cameras.Is Apple Watch an IoT device? ›
IoT devices include wearables such as the Fitbit and Apple Watch; smart home electronics such as internet-connected thermostats and door locks; smart appliances such as clothes dryers, refrigerators, robotic vacuums, and even internet-connected coffee makers.Is Tesla a IoT device? ›
Confident of their purpose, Tesla has set up an exclusive range of self-driving cars, its vehicles making a thorough use of IoT based applications. These applications have allowed the cars to be customized as per customer needs.What are the capabilities of smart objects? ›
Definition 1: A smart object is a physical object with enhanced digital capabilities including, at least, identification, communication, retention and energy-harvesting. Smart objects are derived from non-smart objects and maintain these objects original essence.What are the 4 types of IoT? ›
- Cellular. Cellular networks use the same mobile networks as smartphones to allow IoT devices to communicate. ...
- Local and Personal Area Networks (LAN/PAN) ...
- Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) ...
- Mesh Networks.
Each application and example of IoT highlights four different integrations of elements: Sensors/devices, Connectivity, Data Processing, and User Interface.
Is Wi-Fi an IoT device? ›
Wi-Fi® is an essential IoT enabler
The economic potential of the Internet of Things is boundless, and Wi-Fi delivers a vast range of opportunities across a variety of sectors including smart homes, smart cities, automotive, healthcare, enterprise, government, and industrial IoT environments.
IoT applications include Smart cities, Smart grids, Industrial Internet, and Connected cars. Rapid improvement in technology tend to use smarter devices in day-to-day life, one such device is refrigerator.Is camera an IoT device? ›
In today's ever evolving world, many home and office security cameras are actually IoT devices. This means that they are connected to the internet. As with all IoT devices, there are many benefits that come with internet-connected CCTV cameras.What are the capabilities of smart connected products? ›
With smart connected products you can:
Connect disparate devices and applications to enable access to multiple data sources. Develop new products with a digital twin, leveraging real-world product data during design. Build Augmented Reality (A/R) experiences quickly and easily.
IoT solutions consist of multiple elements: physical devices like sensors, actuators and interactive devices, the network connecting these devices, the data gathered from these devices and analyzed to create a meaningful experience and last but definitely not least, the physical context in which user interacts with the ...What are the top capabilities of IoT management and automation tools? ›
- Manages Remote Assets Securely.
- Rapid device deployment.
- IoT device monitoring and checking asset performance.
- Track security with bi-directional communications.
- Automates mass firmware.
- Provides software updates to scale deployment and stay in compliance.
- Use open APIs for better insights.
Dishwashers, refrigerators, smart TVs, smart watches, cars and trucks, heating and cooling systems, fitness machines and trackers are examples of IoT-enabled products with which you may have personal experience!What is the first IoT device in the world? ›
When the first IoT device was invented, it wasn't for a significant project or by a tech giant. A bunch of students at Carnegie Mellon University got tired of making soda runs to a Coca-Cola vending machine and finding it empty. As a result, they invented the first smart vending machine, which tracked its contents.Is a Firestick an IoT device? ›
Simply put, the firestick becomes a part of the connected devices that together let you watch your desired content with the help of just a click or a swipe. That is the power of IoT.Is Alexa IoT or AI? ›
But is Alexa considered AI? Not as such, but it's certainly a system that's using AI technology and techniques to become smarter and more versatile. In its current format, the system boasts the following capabilities: Alexa can take interaction cues, take note of errors, and then connect them.
What are the 2 IoT devices? ›
- Google Home Voice Controller. Google Home voice controller is one of the most popular IoT devices out there today. ...
- Amazon Echo Plus Voice Controller. ...
- August Doorbell Cam. ...
- August Smart Lock. ...
Air conditioners that are part of the Internet of Things are connected to the internet. This supplies the unit with information, and allows the unit to send its own information to the control system.
IoT applications span numerous verticals, including automotive, telecom and energy. In the consumer segment, for example, smart homes that are equipped with smart thermostats, smart appliances and connected heating, lighting and electronic devices can be controlled remotely via computers and smartphones.Is a smart speaker an IoT device? ›
Internet-connected voice-controlled speakers, also known as smart speakers, are popular IoT devices that give their users access to voice assistants such as Ama- zon's Alexa , Google Assistant , Apple's Siri , and Microsoft's Cortana .What is IoT in simple words? ›
The term IoT, or Internet of Things, refers to the collective network of connected devices and the technology that facilitates communication between devices and the cloud, as well as between the devices themselves.Is a smart TV an IoT device? ›
Excluding smartphones, the 10 most popular IoT consumer devices in 2023 are smart TVs, smart speakers, connected thermostats, home security systems, domestic robots, smart bulbs, energy monitors, connected appliances, smart door locks, and connected car devices.Is smartphone an IoT device? ›
IoT involves extending internet connectivity beyond standard devices, such as desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets, to any range of traditionally "dumb" or non-internet-enabled physical devices and everyday objects. Embedded with technology, these devices can communicate and interact over the internet.