What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

A simple definition of IoT is the collection of all physical objects that are connected to the internet.
How does IoT work?
1
Sensors

An IoT sensor contains technology to connect it to the internet and to the real, physical world. It also includes technology to collect data. Many devices can also act on the data; for example, by sending a notification or by switching something in the physical world on or off.

Read more about sensors
2
Network

The network enables internet connectivity for the device so the device can be controlled, and so it can transmit the data it collects. Often connectivity to the network happens via a gateway.

Read more about gateways
3
Application

You need an app to interface with the device. The app is used to control the device, and to collect and analyze the data it sends back.

Read more about software applications
Sensors

An IoT sensor contains technology to connect it to the internet and to the real, physical world. It also includes technology to collect data. Many devices can also act on the data; for example, by sending a notification or by switching something in the physical world on or off.

Read more about sensors
Network

The network enables internet connectivity for the device so the device can be controlled, and so it can transmit the data it collects. Often connectivity to the network happens via a gateway.

Read more about gateways
Application

You need an app to interface with the device. The app is used to control the device, and to collect and analyze the data it sends back.

Read more about software applications

IoT Sensors

IoT Sensors are used throughout residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural settings.

Popular sensors on the market have the ability to monitor:

  • Assets, vehicles, and people
  • Energy consumption
  • Leaks & levels of liquids & solids
  • Light & heat
  • Motion & acceleration
  • Presence
  • Pressure differences
  • Smoke & gas presence
  • Soil conditions
  • Temperature & humidity
  • Tilting & falling
  • Vibration

The sensors are activated via an accompanying software application, and placed in the environment to be monitored. From there, the sensors send the data they collect through a device such as a gateway and communicate with the software application. Sensors often can be controlled through the software application.

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Gateways

Gateways are devices that connect sensors to the cloud and the software applications that control those sensors, as well as send data received from the software application back to the sensors.

Gateways are very easy to set up and configure- just plug the gateway in and activate it through the software application that accompanies your solution.

One gateway can process the data from multiple types of sensors at once, so, in most cases, it is not necessary to use more than gateway. The ability of gateways to receive data is occasionally hindered by great distances between the gateway and sensor or extreme physical barriers such as multiple walls. Typically, one gateway is all that is needed in most small to medium sized businesses and residential properties.

The Sprint products offered in the Curiosity Marketplace are configured to work with the same gateway and software application. So there is no need to purchase multiple gateways. Third party solutions provide their own gateways and compatible software.

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IoT and Software Applications

IoT devices require a software application for data and sensor management. Most apps are available for desktop and mobile devices, and are easily downloaded from the internet.

Initially, the app will be used to activate your sensors and gateway. Once configured, you can set up and manage data reports and notifications. Some apps even allow you to control the sensors remotely.

Several of the solutions on this site use the same software application so there is no need to download and check multiple apps. Products that do not work with this application are sold with their own app.

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