Some of the most familiar Internet-connected devices are computers such as laptops, servers, smartphones, and tablets (e.g.; iPads, etc.) but the IOT concept is much broader. One way of organizing the IOT is by market segment where there are three main categories:
- Monitoring and controlling the performance of homes and buildings - Some of the basic IOT applications underway in the connected home and buildings include temperature monitoring, security, building automation, remote HVAC activation, off-peak electricity use for non-time critical activities, and smart power meters. The worldwide use of smart power meters is expected to grow from 130 million in 2011 to 1.5 billion in 2020.
- Automotive and transportation applications - Some of the many automotive and transportation IOT uses include the Internet-connected car (syncing productivity, information, and entertainment applications), traffic management, direction to open parking spots, and electric vehicle charging. It is estimated that 90% of new vehicles sold in 2020 will have on-board connectivity platforms, as compared with 10% today. In industrial transportation, train operators like Union Pacific use IOT infrared sensors, ultrasound, and microphones to monitor the temperature and quality of train wheels.
- Health self-tracking and personal environment monitoring - One of the biggest IOT growth areas is measuring individual health metrics through self-tracking gadgets, clinical remote monitoring, wearable sensor patches, WiFi scales, and a myriad of other biosensing applications.