10 IoT Terms and Phrases You Should Know
IoT is everywhere now, but do you understand it yet? It is time to get on board and learn these 10 must know IoT terms and phrases.
Any new form of technology brings with it unfamiliar phrases or terminology. But most new terms are easy to learn, and they’ll help you get the most out of your devices. Smartphones brought us new terms such as apps, mobile data and retina display – as well as the word smartphone itself. The Internet of Things (IoT) is no different. And with a predicted 26 billion IoT devices in use by 2020, it’s a good idea to get familiar with the terms now. Here’s our guide to 10 popular technology and IoT words that you’ll be hearing a lot more often in the future.
Homes that use smart technology typically offer a higher standard of living for their occupants. Devices like thermostats, appliances, power outlets, and more can increasingly learn your habits and adapt to them. Or, you can pre-program your smart devices and even control them from outside your home – all you need is a connection to the internet. You can take your first step towards building a smart home using our guide.
This isn’t a new concept, but Bluetooth connectivity between devices has not always been fully utilized – until now. With Bluetooth, for example, radio frequencies can let devices transfer files across short distances. It works well with IoT devices.
IoT devices can record a lot of information. Those datasets end up being huge, but analysts can use them to analyze trends or follow events. The data from traffic cameras, for example, can be analyzed by complex algorithms to help pinpoint accident black spots. In the UK, Newcastle University and Newcastle City Council will build the Science Central l housing project. It’ll use IoT technology to collect big data to help with urban planning decisions.
Universal Remote Apps
The universal remote isn’t new. But the old physical versions were clunky and sometimes felt like you needed a computer degree to program them. With so many new devices to control, a universal remote app (such as our SURE Universal Smart TV remote app) is an easy way to access everything using a single interface. As universal remote software is constantly being updated with information about new devices (at Tekoia this is a top priority), you just need to connect and enjoy.
This popular term refers to the security of online devices and systems, particularly the cyber safety of IoT devices. No one wants a hacked smart baby monitor put into service as a bot (a normal everyday computing device that’s unknowingly been compromised and is now being controlled by a bad actor) on a larger network. And you don’t want a hacker accessing your personal systems and network through something as innocent as a smart light switch, for example. You can find out what we’re doing about IoT cybersecurity here.
API (Application Programming Interface)
An API is a set of protocols and developer tools that lets software programs and services – especially those from different vendors – interact with each other. For example, if two IoT devices from different companies need to have their software and system services to interact with each other on the backend, they will likely use an API to communicate.
This refers to the intentional scrambling of data to protect it in transit or at rest. Imagine two people at opposite ends of a building. One of them puts information in a box, which he locks and sends to his colleague. Other people can try to access the information, but without the key, they can’t unlock the box. Only his colleague, with the corresponding key, can gain access. That’s what encrypted communication and websites do with your data.
These small technological marvels allow your devices to receive input from the world and monitor the outside environment. For example, when you rotate your smartphone, a tiny sensor called an accelerometer alerts the operating system that your device has changed orientation. And along with a wide range or sensors like a proximity sensor, a light sensor and a magnetometer (used by your compass app), some newer devices are coming equipped with secure fingerprint sensors and facial recognition functionality.
This relates to the ability of a machine to adapt to its environment. That sounds pretty futuristic, but it’s got useful applications. Your smartphone may already have this feature, altering the brightness of the screen based on the surrounding light. Nest smart thermostats learn when users like particular temperatures in the home, and adjust accordingly.
If you’ve seen runners pass you wearing fitness trackers, or you’ve seen colleagues read texts on their watches, then you’ve seen wearables. They’re small digital devices that work alongside smartphones or tablets, using sensors to send data between the systems. As you can see, a lot of these phrases aren’t completely new. They’re just new to this kind of technology. Once you get used to them, they’ll help you get the most out of your new IoT gadgets. Over to you – can you think of any more important IoT phrases we’ve missed?