October 20, 2016

What do we mean with Internet of Things (IoT)?

The internet of things (IoT) term is said to have been coined in 1999 by a British entrepreneur. The term took a wider grip on what was earlier referred to as machine to machine (M2M) communication. It encompasses more than the mere communication between machines. Later the American company Cisco coined an even wider term, internet of everything, where they included not just IoT, but also people and processes. Today the term is still used when describing the ongoing roll-out in general - but for specific applications, other terms are often used.

However, what we need is perhaps not a wider concept. It’s already hard to use the IoT concept in practice. What do we really mean when we say it? When you think about it, the things we mean when we say things are to a great deal moving things. Take Wikipedia for instance. At the IoT page, they list a number of applications for IoT. Among them are applications which to a great extent can, or will, move! Vehicles, people, machines and many more.

What do we mean with Internet of Moving Things (IoMT)?

Keeping track of things that move is not the same as keeping track of static objects. When they move several new challenges arise. Things are moving under and above ground, indoor and outdoor, close by and far away from you. And they might be moving for a long time!

The term IoT doesn’t highlight the problems of connecting moving things. And the current technology seems insufficient to manage such problems. Some technologies are suitable outdoors but very inaccurate indoors. Some are reliable indoors but fail to cover large areas without an extensive (and expensive) infrastructure. Others have limited battery life. It’s hard to find a solution among the common technologies which will meet the requirements of the internet of moving things.

Conclusion: If we start to talk about the internet of moving things instead of the internet of things we can shed light on the actual challenges we need to address to reach our goals of a connected world.

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