Understanding the Internet of Things

As computer-based systems progress and evolve, their potential to impact our world expands, too. Recent innovations in electronics, sensors and software have made it possible for us to improve enterprise efficiency—and our capacity to connect with others. These achievements are made possible by machines connected to the internet—and all of these machines are fragments of the Internet of Things (IoT). So, what is the Internet of Things? And why are technology leaders so excited about expanding it?

At Scandit, we’ve spent the last decade creating mobile data capture software that changes the way consumers and enterprise interact with the physical world. Our long-term vision is to bring the Internet of Things to everyday objects. In other words, we want to converge the physical and digital worlds by creating machines that can identify everyday objects that aren’t connected to the internet. There’s (understandably) a lot of confusion surrounding the Internet of Things and IoT solutions. So today, we want to give you a basic brief on the IoT—and its potential to change the world as it grows.

What Is the Internet of Things?

At the most basic level, the Internet of Things is a term referring to every object connected to the internet. (Note that we used the word “object” and not “machine.”) Matthew Evans, IoT program head at techUK, defines the IoT as a collection of “devices – from simple sensors to smartphones and wearables – connected together.” This is the most traditional definition of the IoT, but recently its use has been expanded to include all objects that communicate with each other. In other words, even if an object doesn’t have a computer chip or Wi-Fi connection, it can still communicate information to an electronic device—making it a part of the IoT.

Obviously, a coffee table isn’t connected to the IoT. (Unconnected objects are often referred to as “dumb items.”) But if that table can be identified by a device through mobile computer vision, it’s capable of sending information or “speaking” to that device. With today’s tech, a table can convey its model and pricing info through the barcode attached to the box. Likewise, an older vehicle can convey its make, model and detailed history to a smartphone in seconds—as long as that device can read its VIN code. By gathering information and insights from these dumb items, modern smart devices (and other objects that drive IoT solutions) incorporate them into the Internet of Things, expanding our ability to communicate and connect.

How the IoT Impacts Modern Enterprise

IoT objects have created huge impact across a range of industries. In fact, Gartner predicts that over 50% of business systems will utilize the IoT in some capacity by 2020. Today, industrial manufacturers leverage IoT machine smart sensors to maximize workflow efficiency and mitigate waste. Retail enterprises harness IoT solutions to quickly scan barcodes via smart devices—streamlining in-store operations and creating more personalized shopping experiences for customers.

IoT objects are making waves in the world of logistics, too. Logistics enterprises can use mobile computer vision software and smart devices to quickly process the text, objects and barcodes on dumb objects—simplifying everything from order entry and mobile proof of delivery to asset management. These are just a few of the many industries impacted by the growth of the IoT. And this influence is poised to grow as our technology and capabilities expand.

The Future of the IoT

Together, AI, mobile computer vision and the Internet of Things have infinite potential to refine how we complete tasks and communicate. However, progress in this field is tempered by security needs. As you can imagine, connecting all electronic devices to a single network demands a healthy dose of caution. That’s because with more internet-connected devices being created, security threats like DDoS attacks have significantly more targets to access. (A major IoT botnet incident in 2016 took several websites and services offline thanks to thousands of malicious endpoints.) Fortunately, device security is constantly being improved to counteract these threats and keep user information out of the wrong hands.

Despite their cautious progress, IoT solutions for enterprises show great promise in the coming years. One of the most exciting aspects of IoT is the Internet of Vehicles, which encompasses the technology behind driverless vehicles. Self-driving cars are already in the advanced testing stage, and partial automation (such as automatic parking) already exists in several vehicles. With the involvement of powerhouse brands like Google and Mercedes, you should expect Internet of Vehicles technology to flourish over the next decade.

As a leader in mobile computer vision, Scandit is working to connect the IoT to more objects through smart device technology. Our revolutionary data capture software turns camera-equipped smart devices (like your smartphone or tablet) into universal sensors that can identify barcodes and other objects—and convey information about them through augmented reality overlays. By pairing our technology with mobile data capture apps, companies and consumers alike can leverage real-time data to improve productivity and streamline day-to-day activities. Check out these resources to learn more about how Scandit is advancing the Internet of Things.

Harness the IoT With Scandit

Ready to learn more about Internet of Things solutions for enterprises and how they can help position your business for success? Then reach out to Scandit today. We can teach you everything you need to know about Internet of Things applications—and how to use them to redefine your daily workflows. Also, be sure to contact us for more insights into the future of the IoT; we never turn down a chance to chat about it.