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What is The Internet of Things?

The term 'Internet of Things' became known in the 1990s. Back then, it was a new and abstract concept. But as technology is developing at a rapid pace, we are now familiar with the term and use it in our day-to-day lives without even noticing it.

An easy way to explain IoT: everyday physical devices that are all digitally connected.

All these objects are connected with the internet and built with sensors and hardware being controlled by data they collect. Some of our daily objects are already on the right path towards IoT, think about your internet-connected thermostats and wifi connected doorbells, which are all controlled by the owner's mobile through apps or websites. But there are still many physical objects to be digitalised. IoT is not only applicable to household objects for our daily lives, think about what it can offer on a larger scale such as healthcare, industry and cities.      

Why is IoT important?

Since the beginning of humanity, we have been searching for solutions to make our lives easier. We might think our lives are already pretty organised with the use of the internet, online shopping, smartwatches and mobile apps, but there is still a lot to improve. Think about the 'smart fridge', in western countries food is still getting wasted by big amounts. But what if your fridge tells you that food is almost wasting away? And the refrigerator is processing orders with the supermarket on its own with the data it collects? This is only one of the many household appliances examples of how IoT is changing the world and our lives. The efficiency, waste reduction and time-saving is a big win for humanity! So what are we waiting for?

Some considerations

One of the most significant considerations and essential factors of IoT both in industry and in our day-to-day lives is security! To secure the connection of all objects and devices, privacy and security are critical, but at the same time easy to implement. If the internet connection is secure, then all connected devices are secure. Luckily, many cybersecurity systems are making it possible to connect everything on a safe scale.  

The next consideration to implement IoT in your objects and devices are the several systems available in your country and for your industry. Some of the systems used in the experience of Rompa are:

  • WLAN, available in every country.
  • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), available in every country.
  • LoRa is available in parts of North and South America, Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia, although the bandwidths differ per location.
  • Sigfox is available in most European countries, as well as in Australia, Japan, Tunisia, Oman, Madagascar, Laos, South Africa, Iran, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and the United States.

NB-IoT and LTE-M utilise existing 3G and 4G networks, which offer virtually global coverage. LTE-M is very popular in the United States.

IIoT: Industrial Internet of Things

Not long after the concept of IoT, IIoT came on the market for usage on a large scale. With all manufacturing devices connected, they also collect and transmit data for analytic purposes. With data regularly being collected, the machines are in a constant optimisation process. In this way, fabrication becomes safer, cost-saving and efficient.

So where is IoT used in manufacturing? Some of the major industries where The Internet of Things is already implemented are the automotive-, oil- and gas industries. But we see the development also in agriculture and healthcare. 

Taking agriculture as an example, it helps the farmers make the decision when to harvest as their sensors calculate the optimal date for harvesting. These sensors are located, for example, in the soil and around the farm to collect data to one central system where the analysis is done to decide if the harvest is ready, or not.

IIoT and Industry 4.0

These concepts have been around for many years and are being developed and implemented in many industries. The term Industry 4.0 was created by the German government to acknowledge the importance of automation. IIoT became the main component to implement the concept of Industry 4.0, making manufacturers advanced and in communication.

Let's get one thing straight: both of the concepts have the same goal. This goal is to create industries that are globally more efficient, more flexible and more communicative. On one side, we have the concept of Industry 4.0 providing optimisation in materials being used, automation, new technologies and digitalisation. To make this possible the concept of IIoT is being used to implement these goals of Industry 4.0

Contact Rompa for more information

There is so much more to tell you about IoT, and we would be happy to tell you all about it! Did you know that we also launched a whitepaper regarding IoT a couple of years ago? Make sure to request a download here to read more about Rompa and IoT.  Would you like to speak to our specialists about this? Are you interested in implementing the Internet of Things concept into your production? We, at Rompa, have many years of experience in the field. Don't hesitate and contact us! We are always happy to answer all your questions and give you additional advice.