AUTOMATION & IOT – WHAT IS IOT?

Technology is evolving faster than ever before – with many calling  IoT the fourth Industrial revolution. Digital or M2M automation is a blanket term that can be used to describe any technology that enables networked devices to exchange information and perform actions without manual assistance of humans. In product restocking, for example, a soda machine will alert the distributor when a particular drink is about to run out. M2M communication is an important aspect of warehouse management, remote control, robotics, traffic control, organisational services, supply chain management, transport management, and telemedicine – and forms the foundation on which the concept known as the Internet of Things (IoT) is built. A drawback of M2M devices is that they can only communicate on their own network, with their own exclusive protocol and parameters.  IoT-based devices, on the other hand, communicate via the Internet, and so are able to communication between different devices from different vendors.

Telemetry is the most familiar form of M2M automation and has been in use since the early part of the last century.The purpose of Telemetry is to transmit and receive data. Before the emergence of M2M, trained individuals had to manually evaluate received data.The emergence of M2M automation made life easier as these individuals were replaced with intelligent devices able to simplify and interpret complex data. Although M2M automation made life simpler, human operators are still required to action an event when prompted by the displayed data. This is IoT comes into play –  IoT takes M2M to the next level by replacing most actions traditionally required of the human operator. These actions vary from the mundane to the marvellous. It could mean your fridge ordering vegetables from your favourite grocer, setting your house alarm, reporting stock levels in the warehouse, indicating an emergency on the factory floor or even tracking the movement of workers on a railway line for their safety.

IoT is no longer a futuristic concept – it is an essential business reality that every entrepreneur should consider implementing – using gathered data helps us to keep a finger on the pulse – we can keep track of things, reduce loss and improve costs. We are able to run our businesses proactively rather than reactively, as we are alerted in advance when things need to be repaired, replaced, or recalled. An enterprise that uses intelligent data analysis will see big operational dividends.

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