The Internet of Things (IoT) is the name given to a digital world where, unnoticed, smart objects assist people with their daily lives, making work more efficient, leisure more enjoyable and our daily lives safer.
While in industry it will affect factories, machines and production, for consumers the Internet of Things will affect people and animals, household devices and consumer entertainment electronics, products and other goods, vehicles, medical devices, the electricity network and much, much more. Smaller and smaller computers will measure, regulate, control, navigate, calculate, research, document and communicate for us.
The advantages of smart connections
But the Internet of Things is far more than just sending lots of data over the web. It involves intensive networking of as many things as possible with one another, thus including a huge amount of data whose benefit to people's daily lives only becomes apparent once these smart interconnections between objects are in place.
For example, connected household devices and sensors could enable senior citizens to stay in their own homes for longer. These devices can monitor whether people are moving around their surroundings normally and alert carers or relatives if there is a problem.
Magic in everyday life
Market researcher estimate that more than 30 billion "things" will be connected to the Internet by 2020. Six million new things are being connected every single day. Most of them are products that had nothing to do with the Internet until now, from baby monitors and electric meters to whole production systems. All of these things not only now communicate with us but also with one another. In this way, televisions can learn our viewing habits, fitness armbands alert us if we're too inactive and the bathroom scales can check our blood pressure.
But the networks will have to do more than just absorb huge volumes of information. At the same time they must ensure a high degree of data security and sensible handling of the data acquired. None of that will be possible without high performing, super fast and smart networks like 5G.
Reliable data protection
Data volumes on the Internet double every two years. By 2020, mobile data traffic will be 150 times what it was in 2010. That is why the digital world of things needs security solutions, transparency and high data protection standards, since data is constantly being recorded, stored and exchanged between devices. In this regard, the preservation of sovereignty over the personality or customer profile is a crucial matter for data protection, and anonymization and pseudonymization in data analysis are a basic prerequisite for the trustworthy handling of data.
More performance and convenience
For Telekom customers, the increasing digitization of daily life through smart networks and intelligent devices means an increase in convenience and performance. More and more companies are also recognizing the opportunities arising from networking and wish to advance their digital business models with partners. For the digitization and networking of all areas, Deutsche Telekom offers its customers clouds and tailor-made platforms in highly secure data centers, i.e. the appropriate infrastructure in line with German data protection standards.
This is an optimal basis for intelligent networking, for example in logistics, telematics and fleet management, medicine, or security services, for cities and municipal authorities and in industrial production (Industry 4.0).
The idea behind the Internet of Things was developed in a sector that usually is a magic free zone: logistics. Every day the sector moves millions of shipments across the globe, from containers and pallets to individual screws. To keep the system running smoothly, all of these shipments have to be in the right place at exactly the right time. But the system still has a few bottlenecks. Connectivity should remedy things: with the Internet of Things, boxes will ship themselves across the logistics networks like data packets across the Internet. And the last box will let the van know they are all on board and it's time to go.
The researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML) developed a vision of the logistics system of the future more than a decade ago: smart devices will think and learn and goods will arrange their own route to their destination - the logistics Internet of Things was born. The Internet of Things has since become a reality and is enjoying exponential growth. It has become a driver of digitization in logistics and is creating the foundation for Industry 4.0. For business, the Internet of Things promises huge efficiency gains. Cisco, the network specialist, estimates the Internet of Things will generate 14 trillion dollars by 2022.