British entrepreneur Kevin Ashton coined the term in 1999 while working at Auto-ID Labs (originally called Auto-ID centers, referring to a global network of objects connected to radio-frequency identification, or RFID). Typically, IoT is expected to offer advanced connectivity of devices, systems, and services that goes beyond machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and covers a variety of protocols, domains, and applications. The interconnection of these embedded devices (including smart objects), is expected to usher in automation in nearly all fields, while also enabling advanced applications like a smart grid, and expanding to the areas such as smart cities.
"Things," in the IoT sense, can refer to a wide variety of devices such as heart monitoring implants, biochip transponders on farm animals, electric clams in coastal waters, auto-mobiles with built-in sensors, DNA analysis devices for environmental/food/pathogen monitoring or field operation devices that assist firefighters in search and rescue operations. Legal scholars suggest to look at "Things" as an "inextricable mixture of hardware, software, data and service". These devices collect useful data with the help of various existing technologies and then autonomously flow the data between other devices. Current market examples include home automation (also known as smart home devices) such as the control and automation of lighting, heating (like smart thermostat), ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) systems, and appliances such as washer/dryers, ovens or refrigerators/freezers that use Wi-Fi for remote monitoring.
As well as the expansion of Internet-connected automation into a plethora of new application areas, IoT is also expected to generate large amounts of data from diverse locations, with the consequent necessity for quick aggregation of the data, and an increase in the need to index, store, and process such data more effectively. IoT is one of the platforms of today's
According to Gartner, Inc. (a technology research and advisory corporation), there will be nearly 20.8 billion devices on the internet of things by 2020. ABI Research estimates that more than 30 billion devices will be wirelessly connected to the internet of things by 2020. As per a recent survey and study done by Pew Research Internet Project, a large majority of the technology experts and engaged Internet users who responded—83 percent—agreed with the notion that the Internet/Cloud of Things, embedded and wearable computing (and the corresponding dynamic systems) will have widespread and beneficial effects by 2025. As such, it is clear that the IoT will consist of a very large number of devices being connected to the Internet. In an active move to accommodate new and emerging technological innovation, the UK Government, in their 2015 budget, allocated £40,000,000 towards research into the internet of things. The former British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, posited that the internet of things is the next stage of the information revolution and referenced the inter-connectivity of everything from urban transport to medical devices to household appliances.
Integration with the Internet implies that devices will use an IP address as a unique identifier. However, due to the limited address space of IPv4 (which allows for 4.3 billion unique addresses), objects in the IoT will have to use IPv6 to accommodate the extremely large address space required. Objects in the IoT will not only be devices with sensory capabilities, but also provide actuation capabilities (e.g., bulbs or locks controlled over the Internet). To a large extent, the future of the internet of things will not be possible without the support of IPv6; and consequently the global adoption of IPv6 in the coming years will be critical for the successful development of the IoT in the future.
The ability to network embedded devices with limited CPU, memory and power resources means that IoT finds applications in nearly every field. Such systems could be in charge of collecting information in settings ranging from natural ecosystems to buildings and factories, thereby finding applications in fields of environmental sensing and urban planning.
On the other hand, IoT systems could also be responsible for performing actions, not just sensing things. Intelligent shopping systems, for example, could monitor specific users' purchasing habits in a store by tracking their specific mobile phones. These users could then be provided with special offers on their favorite products, or even location of items that they need, which their fridge has automatically conveyed to the phone. Additional examples of sensing and actuating are reflected in applications that deal with heat, electricity and energy management, as well as cruise-assisting transportation systems. Other applications that the internet of things can provide is enabling extended home security features and home automation. The concept of an "internet of living things" has been proposed to describe networks of biological sensors that could use cloud-based analyses to allow users to study DNA or other molecules. All these advances add to the numerous list of IoT applications. Now with IoT, you can control the electrical devices installed in your house while you are sorting out your files in office. Your water will be warm as soon as you get up in the morning for the shower. All credit goes to smart devices which make up the smart home. Everything connected with the help of Internet.
However, the application of the IoT is not only restricted to these areas. Other specialized use cases of the IoT may also exist. An overview of some of the most prominent application areas is provided here. Based on the application domain, IoT products can be classified broadly into five different categories: smart wearable, smart home, smart city, smart environment, and smart enterprise. The IoT products and solutions in each of these markets have different characteristics [see Perera, Charith; Liu, Harold; Jayawardena, Srimal (2015). "The Emerging Internet of Things Marketplace From an Industrial Perspective: A Survey". Emerging Topics in Computing, IEEE Transactions on. PrePrint (4): 585. doi:10.1109/TETC.2015.2390034].