What is IoT?
IoT stands for the Internet of Things. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the Internet of Things as “a proposed development of the Internet in which everyday objects have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data.”
Simply put, IoT is the network of internet-connected physical objects which can communicate with each other and with other systems.
IoT is common in our everyday lives, from wifi-controlled light bulbs and temperature controls (like Nest) to smart home systems (like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home).
What is IIoT?
The Industrial Internet of Things, or IIoT, refers to IoT used in an industrial context. These concepts revolve around connecting machines and data management in “smart factories” to achieve improvements in productivity and quality.
Connected assets and edge devices send information to data communications infrastructures, which turn it into actionable information. Over time, engineers can use this data to find patterns which can help identify larger issues and their root causes. The information can also help drive business decisions and process improvements.
IoT vs. IIoT: What’s the difference?
While IoT applications tend to be consumer-centric, IIoT applications focus on improving efficiency in manufacturing, supply chain, and management contexts.
To handle critical machines in high stakes industries, IIoT devices must be sophisticated. Sensors must be sensitive in order to provide the precision of data needed to enable the automation, visibility, and analysis they offer to manufacturers.
On the other hand, IoT products are used in lower-risk situations, often as consumer products. Their benefits usually result in convenience, and the consequences of a piece of equipment failing are less severe.
In industrial environments, production continuity, safety, and security are critical. ARC Advisory Group recommends that “extreme vigilance must be employed to ensure that the omnipresent connectivity and openness implied by the IIoT does not compromise any of the above or overwhelm users and/or applications with too much raw data.” These unique challenges require IIoT to have more robust features than regular IoT.