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What Are IoT Devices? Definition & Most Popular Ones

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15/12/2022 |

7 min read

Dominika Reszke,

Piotr Wawryka

The world wide web wraps the world around, and so do IoT devices that rely upon undisturbed Internet connectivity and the ability to transmit data. By the end of 2022, the number of connected IoT devices is predicted to reach 13.1 billion, with the average number per household at a staggering 22.

Smart cities, real-time health monitoring, hands-free voice control, smart traffic control and electronic toll collection, smart home appliances, including smart locks and security cameras, as well as other sensor devices, are only some of the major IoT examples.

What’s vital is that IoT technologies transform and improve many aspects of people’s lives, with air quality, healthcare, and home security topping the list. They are literally everywhere, and it’s hard to get away from them. And there are people who wish they could – as for some, IoT devices are just too overwhelming and privacy-threatening.

Making things faster and simpler, e.g., by automating daily tasks, can be groundbreaking for many people and companies. But that doesn’t mean that IoT should be treated indiscriminately and carefree as a pure, divine revelation. Security threats definitely should be addressed.

In this article, we’ll present an IoT device definition and a short list of some popular IoT devices – in use by ordinary people, small businesses, and huge corporations alike.

 

Table of contents:

  1. Internet of Things devices: what are they?
  2. The most popular IoT devices
  3. What is IoT technology? Key takeaways
  4. IoT devices – get to know more on our blog

Internet of Things devices: what are they?

What is an IoT device, in a nutshell? Well, it can simply be defined as an Internet-connected device that belongs to the Internet of Things „network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with the internal states or the external environment”.

And how do IoT devices work? In brief, they are electronic devices equipped with sensors (e.g. for motion detection) and they exchange data with other elements – be it systems, devices, or technologies – of this IoT network that also covers things like gateways, hubs, beacons, and access points.

The wired or wireless technologies that IoT devices use include wireless protocols, Bluetooth, NFC, BLE, LTE, Li-Fi, 5G, Ethernet, Zigbee, Z-Wave, LoRaWan, LPWAN, RFID, LoRa, and Sigfox – to name but a few most notable ones.

As for the types of IoT devices – they can be divided by the area or domain they represent, e.g.: 

  • Enterprise IoT (EIoT) – a part of Commercial Internet of Things that covers out-of-the-box SaaS IoT solutions;
  • Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – dubbed the fourth wave of the industrial revolution, IIoT concerns the use of interconnected sensors and devices that gather and analyze data to enhance industrial processes;
  • Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) – a digital interconnection of smart medical devices, applications, and services that communicate with healthcare IT systems;
  • Social Internet of Things (SIoT) – an ecosystem where social networks between humans and objects meet and interact with the Internet of Things.

IoT technology’s huge advantage is that it enables collecting and using data in virtually any domain or industry. And, in the XXIst century, data is king.

Of course, the Internet of Things is not an isolated island, and it often interacts with other cutting-edge technologies or branches of computer science, such as artificial intelligence or machine learning. The results of this cooperation may be quite significant, increasingly permeating our lives.

The most popular IoT devices

The number of IoT devices is increasing lightning-fast, with new ones hitting the market virtually every day. They are virtually everywhere, but which belong to the most popular ones, as of today? Let’s see the list of IoT devices that have been in the limelight recently.

Some of them include:

  • Smart mobiles
  • Payment terminals
  • Smartwatches
  • Voice-controlled virtual assistants (AI voice assistants)
  • Smart wearables
  • Fitness and activity trackers
  • Remote health monitors
  • Baby monitors
  • Insulin pens
  • Air quality monitors
  • Smart home (home automation or domotics) appliances
  • Smart door locks
  • Doorbell cameras
  • Smart fire alarms
  • Smart refrigerators
  • Ride-sharing vehicles

Of course, these are only some IoT devices examples, and there are many other smart devices in the market, like augmented reality glasses, industrial robots, ingestible sensors (tiny chips swallowed by patients), or hearables (medical devices that mimic hearing aids). 

As for popular IoT products and brands, we may point at Google Nest, Apple Watch, Amazon Echo Plus Voice Controller, Phillips Hue Hue Go, Apple’s HomePod, Amazon Dash Button, and Samsung’s SmartThings Hub.

What is IoT technology? Key takeaways

IoT technology has taken the world by storm, and it’s easy to lose track of current smart IoT device trends. Indeed, IoT devices are game-changers that transform the lives of millions, making their existence way more convenient and faster.

Most IoT devices bring greater comfort to the everyday lives of popular IoT applications’ users. But there are, obviously, other devices of that kind with more advanced applications and use cases. Helping save lives – e.g., by tracking patients’ condition, sharing real-time medical data with doctors, and alerting when something problematic happens.

On top of that, IoT reshapes businesses – how they run their daily operations, how they communicate with their customers, and what kind of services and products they offer. And these are everything from household gadgets to specialistic medical robots and sophisticated industrial tools.

Moreover, IoT devices have the power to ensure seamless communication between multiple users across companies and continents. The latter feature is one piece of a puzzle that adds up to the overall increase in the operational efficiency of businesses.

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A modern IoT device should be suitably secure in addition to being dependable. This has implications for industrial security, sensitive data protection, and just feeling safe at home when surrounded by dozens of Internet-connected devices and their sensors.

However, this redefining time and space between devices and particular people is being made at an unprecedented scale and pace, which may raise some security concerns. IoT device security is definitely something to be taken care of when designing and using smart home devices and other Internet of Things appliances.

A modern IoT device should not only be a reliable IoT device but also sufficiently secured. Industrial security, sensitive data protection, and simply feeling safe when at home surrounded by dozens of Internet-connected devices and their sensors are all to be gained or lost in this regard.

IoT devices – get to know more on our blog

If you’d like to learn more about the Internet of Things, make sure to check out our other blog posts on the subject:

  • Internet of Things Cybersecurity – we’re highlighting security concerns linked with the use of older, obsolete types of IoT devices and a huge number of cybersecurity threats, including disrupting online services (Distributed Denial of Service), phishing and ransomware attacks, unauthorized access, data theft, Corporate Account Takeover, malware exploits, radiofrequency jamming, and many more. 
     
  • Possibilities and Applications of IoT in Industry – here, you will find some captivating insights on the Industrial Internet of Things and its practical applications in particular domains, such as manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, aviation, energy industry, and logistics. 
     
  • IoT in Healthcare: Groundbreaking Use Cases and Benefits – in this article, we outline how the use of IoT technology in healthcare can result in better patient care, medical cost reduction, treatment outcomes improvement, and, eventually, mortality rate decrease.

Do you want to make full use of what the Internet of Things has to offer – in a smart and fully secure manner? If you’re planning an IoT software project or thinking of the best ways to make your company more IoT-wise, contact Codete now.

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Dominika Reszke

IT Content Writer with 12 years of professional writing experience. Prefers facts and figures to any kind of fiction.

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Piotr Wawryka

Piotr has over 5 years of commercial experience writing Python applications. He is a software developer and data scientist at Codete since 2017 and a Ph.D. student at AGH University of Science Technology. His main field of interest is Neural Networks and their practical applications. He gives speeches at meetups and international conferences.

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