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What’s the Difference Between Consumer and Industrial IoT?

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The Internet of Things is invading everything from consumer to industrial products, but all platforms are not created equal.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the latest product-development buzzword, akin to other terms like “the cloud” or “smart cities.” These terms are typically very nebulous, but generally apply to an important set of identifiable products or technologies. They can be more focused, such as “cloud storage” and “cloud computing,” and many companies often identify themselves as providing products and services that fall over these names. The more-focused terminology helps narrow the collection of vendors, products, and services to a more manageable or understandable level. Hopefully, this will be the case with consumer, commercial, and industrial IoT (IIoT).

To start, we need at least a basic description for IoT. Generally speaking, IoT is a distributed network system that typically employs the internet/cloud for some aspect of its communication and usually includes sensors/control systems, a storage component, a compute component, a user-interface component, and possibly gateways (Fig. 1).

Some devices might incorporate multiple components. For example, a smartphone could provide information from its sensors while also running a user-interface application that displayed information moved up to the cloud. It might also act as a gateway to other devices like a smartwatch or a Bluetooth-based sensor.

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