What Is IoT? – A Simple Explanation of the Internet of Things

What Is IoT? – A Simple Explanation of the Internet of Things

What is IoT

The internet of Things, or “IoT” for short, is about extending the power of the internet beyond computers and smartphones to a whole range of other things, processes and environments. Those “connected” things are used to gather information, send information back, or both.

Why does IoT matter

IoT provides businesses and people better insight into and control over the 99 percent of objects and environments that remain beyond the reach of the internet. And by doing so, IoT allows businesses and people to be more connected to the world around them and to do more meaningful, higher-level work.

When something is connected to the internet, that means that it can send information or receive information, or both. This ability to send and/or receive information makes things smart, and smart is good.

Let’s use smartphones (smartphones) again as an example. Right now you can listen to just about any song in the world, but it’s not because your phone actually has every song in the world stored on it. It’s because every song in the world is stored somewhere else, but your phone can send information (asking for that song) and then receive information (streaming that song on your phone).

To be smart, a thing doesn’t need to have super storage or a super computer inside of it. All a thing has to do is connect to super storage or to a super computer. Being connected is awesome.

In the Internet of Things, all the things that are being connected to the internet can be put into three categories:

  1. Things that collect information and then send it.
  2. Things that receive information and then act on it.
  3. Things that do both.

Popular IoT Devices to Know

The Internet of Things is a complex network of smart home devices, the internet, and ourselves. We still have a ways to go in developing IoT technology, but this form of technology is undoubtedly useful, as it allows us to automate even the most mundane household tasks.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most commonly used IoT devices.


Amazon’s popular voice-controlled smart speaker can answer questions, play music upon request, control other smart home devices, set alarms, read the news, and even make hands-free phone calls.


Phillips Hue is a smart home lighting system that involves the use of smart light bulbs, a smart hub called Hue Bridge that connects the bulbs to your mobile device, and the Hue mobile app that controls your home’s lighting from your smartphone.


The Nest smart thermostat customizes and controls your home’s temperature. This thermostat even learns your schedule so it can develop the most optimal temperature settings for your home based on what time it is.


The Ring smart doorbell connects to your smartphone or tablet through an app that alerts you when someone is at your door, shows you who is at your door, and allows you to video chat with your houseguests when they arrive.

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