Understanding the Characteristics of IoT

Understanding the Characteristics of IoT

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Jaya Sharma
Assistant Manager - Content
Updated on Oct 3, 2023 17:31 IST

The Internet of Things is considered to be a global infrastructure for information. It enables advanced service by interconnecting physical and virtual things based on existing and evolving information. These represent the convergence of various domains due to which they are termed differently.


IoT, or “Internet of Things,” refers to the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies to connect and exchange data over the Internet. These devices collect and share data, often interfacing with cloud computing systems to analyze and act upon the information they gather, facilitating greater integration between the digital and physical worlds.

Table of Contents

What is IOT?

Internet of Things (IoT) is a term that describes physical objects that can connect and exchange data with other devices over the Internet. The only requirement is for the devices to be connected to a network and should be individually addressable. These objects can be remotely monitored and controlled over the internet or any communication network. However, it is essential to note that not every device capable of being connected is considered an IoT device. This includes fixed-line and mobile phones, desktops, televisions, tablets, PCs, and laptops. 

Working of IoT

The information collected by IoT devices goes through five phases in their lifecycle. The ‘Create’ phase is the first phase. Here, the device collects the information from the physical environment. This is known as the create phase. The second phase is known as the ‘Communicate’ phase. 

Here, the data generated is sent through the network to the desired destination. In the third phase, called ‘Aggregate’, the device aggregates the collected data. The ‘Analyse’ phase is the fourth phase, where sophisticated analytics help generate patterns and optimise processes. The final phase is the ‘Act’ phase, where suitable actions are performed based on the generated information.

Characteristics of IoT

The following points are the characteristics of the Internet of Things (IoT):

1. Data Sharing  

Since IoT is made up of interconnected devices, they share data with each other, making each other more efficient and improving their performance. Due to data sharing capabilities, IoT can understand your patterns, schedule and requirements more accurately. This characteristic of the Internet of Things is evident in smart refrigerators, thermostats, and smart cars. Based on the collected data, they can even predict future events. 

2. Self-adapting

Since these devices are innovative due to the use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning them, they dynamically adapt to different conditions. For example, some cameras change their settings according to the lighting and shading. Complex software, protocols and algorithms connect IoT devices to networks and process data from millions of data nodes. These devices can upgrade their software as required with the least interaction with the user. These devices can up the network and add new devices to an existing network. 

3. Intelligence

Another important characteristic of IoT is their intelligence. Simple object-level interactions contribute to the collective intelligence in IoT networks. The collected data must be converted into information that can be utilized by the devices. This intelligence must be maintained and upgraded by these devices as they keep on collecting information. 

These devices are intelligent since they combine algorithms and processing, software and hardware. Along with that, ambient intelligence improves the capabilities of IoT devices. Due to this intelligence, they respond intelligently to situations ad assist IoT in fulfilling specified tasks. 

4. Dynamic Changes

One of the important characteristics of Internet of Things is data collection from their environment. This is achieved through dynamic changes that occur in the environment around these devices. The state of these devices changes dynamically as well as the number of devices with people, place and time.

5. Strong Connectivity

It is an important characteristic of IoT due to which anyone at any time can connect from anywhere. This allows network connectivity and device interoperability. IoT can also connect manufacturing devices with identification, sensing, actuation, and network capabilities. The connectivity allows these devices to be controlled remotely. If businesses neglect the IoT connectivity, it can lead to project failures since strong connectivity ensures that these devices are working properly.

6. Scalable

IoT are capable of massive expansion with the ability to grow without affecting their performance. By adding more hardware or software to the existing system, IoT devices can be scaled, and more data can be handled without compromising their performance. 

7. Sensors 

IoT works due to its sensors which can precisely assess changes in the environment. This sensing information is the analog input from the physical world that provides a better understanding of complex world. This helps in accurate data collection, which not only makes the device more intelligent but also makes it more useful for the user.  

8. Communication

As the Internet of Things increases, these devices are becoming more interconnected. Hence, they must communicate to work more efficiently and smoothly. Through cloud service, these devices are connected to the internet. This allows communication among devices. The gateway connects with other devices so that they can connect with each other. 

One device uses another device’s connectivity to establish network connectivity even when the other device is not connected to the internet. This advantage increases efficiency in IoT and makes them more scalable. They can communicate data that can be analyzed. Communication can occur over short/ long to very long range. 

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While the characteristics of IoT make them useful for the future, these devices are prone to cyber-attacks since they are connected to the internet. Due to this vulnerability, it is important to upgrade the software of IoT to have the latest level of protection. 

About the Author
Jaya Sharma
Assistant Manager - Content

Jaya is a writer with an experience of over 5 years in content creation and marketing. Her writing style is versatile since she likes to write as per the requirement of the domain. She has worked on Technology, Fina... Read Full Bio