Top 35 IoT Terms You Need to Know

Whether you’re at work, at home, off on vacation, or simply out on the town doing some shopping, you can’t escape the Internet of Things. For those still not in the know, the Internet of Things is a system of connectivity that takes computer devices, digital technology, objects, and people, and binds them into a network of constantly streaming information.

With the Internet of Things, everyday objects like cars, wearable tech, household appliances, even dog collars, can be equipped with sensors and an Internet connection. This setup enables the item in question to send and receive data, which can then be used to collect data that can, in turn, be used to improve products and services.

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The Internet of Things is growing daily, insinuating itself in every aspect of our lives. According to Forbes, the number of cellular IoT connections is expected to reach 3.5 billion by 2023!

With a field so rich in potential, it’s essential that IT professionals be well-versed in IoT and that includes its terminology. That’s why we now present the top 35 IoT terms for your information and edification.

  1. 6LoWPAN

    A fusion of IPv6 (the current Internet protocol), and Low-Power Wireless Personal Area Networks, it permits power-constrained IoT devices to directly access the TCP/IP Internet. This means that even the smallest and weakest IoT devices can have connectivity.
  2. Advanced Encryption Standards

    This is an electronic data encryption specification that has been the standard for IoT device transport layer security since 2001.
  3. Application Programming Interface

    A method of expediting communication between computers and hardware/software platforms.
  4. Beacon Technology

    This permits small network transmitters to interact with systems utilizing low-power Bluetooth. Apple’s version is called iBeacon.
  5. Big Data

    Large volumes of information, both structured and unstructured, collected from a massive number of sources and delivered at extremely rapid speed. This information is raw data that is used by analysts to devise better-informed strategies for businesses and other organizations. IoT is a huge source for Big Data.

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  6. Bluetooth Low Energy 

    A wireless, personal-area network characterized by lower power usage and limited range, for data transmission. It’s also called Bluetooth 4.0.
  7. Cloud Computing 

    Remote servers connected via a network and used for data storage, processing, and management, instead of relying on a local, in-house physical server.
  8. Embedded Software

    The computer software that controls hardware devices and systems that are not usually considered computers, like a smart refrigerator, for instance.
  9. Firmware-Over-The-Air

    Also known as FOTA, this technology allows the remote wireless installation, repair, and upgrading of software and services on mobile devices.
  10. Gateway 

    This is any device that gathers information from various network points and sends that information on to another network.
  11. Global Navigation Satellite System

    The GNSS is any satellite navigation system that offers autonomous geo-spatial positioning, timing, and navigation, either by region or globally.
  12. Industrial IoT

    This is the means for machines and industrial applications to have real-time communication with each other (M2M). This will probably be what brings SkyNet online.
  13. Link Budget 

    This is a telecommunication system jargon that describes an accounting of all of the gains and losses going from a transmitter, passing through the medium, and ending up at the receiver. 
  14. Low-Power Wide-Area

    A network offering a low range and low power consumption, used especially for M2M communications.
  15. Low-Power Wireless Sensor Network

    A collection of scattered, independent devices that measure environmental or physical conditions, all without significant power consumption.
  16. Lora Protocol 

    A long range digital wireless communication technique to facilitate IoT and M2M communications.
  17. LTE-M

    A more power-efficient standard for machine communications.
  18. Machine-to-Machine

    Also known as M2M for short, it’s the process of machines or other connected devices communicating with each other without human intervention.
  19. Media Access Control 

    A data link layer (DLL) sublayer that transmits data packets to and from a network interface card.
  20. Mesh Network

    A network system where devices transmit their data while also serving as relays to other nodes.
  21. Mobile IOT

    Low power, wide area devices used in conjunction with mobile devices interfacing with IoT networks.
  22. NB-IOT

    This stands for Narrow Band IoT and is used as a convenient, cost-effective means of expanding IoT into a whole new series of devices and common household items. This is a low-power, wide-area technology, and will be instrumental in expanding the scope of IoT in the years to come.
  23. Near-Field Communication

    Otherwise known as NFC, it permits two-way communication between closely located endpoints. It’s a short-range, low-power, low-speed form of radio communication.
  24. Quality of Service

    A measurement of how well a network supports IT connectivity. This covers elements such as transmission delays, availability of connections, and data loss.
  25. Radio Frequency Identification

    Commonly called RFID tags, uses electromagnetic coupling and radio frequencies to identify people and things. It has a limited range and data transmission capabilities. The number bibs that runners use in road races, for instance, are equipped with RFID tags to confirm they passed certain course checkpoints.
  26. RF Geolocation

    Otherwise known as using a radio transceiver to find another radio transceiver. The classic example of this is the ever-popular GPS, found in many models of cars.
  27. Repeater

    A device used to extend network range by receiving a digital signal and re-transmitting it.
  28. Sensor/Sensor Network

    A device or group of devices that monitor and collect environmental data from a variety of locations in network range.
  29. Smart Meter

    A device used by utility companies to collect information about energy consumption (e.g., electricity, natural gas, water), and transmit the data back to the company or even to the consumer.
  30. Software-Defined Network

    A network method that reassigns information flow control from hardware in favor of a software controller.
  31. Telematics

    A computer system designed for long-distance data transmissions, the most ubiquitous example being GPS and satellite radio tech installed in automobiles.
  32. Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol

    Better known as TCP/IP, this is the basic protocol suite for all Internet and private network communications and connections.
  33. Ultra-Wide Band

    The UWB is a weak signal sent over a wide frequency and is employed mostly as a localizing signal and distance measurement.
  34. Wearable

    Devices worn by people, and equipped with sensors, monitors, and an Internet connection, for the purposes of gathering data regarding the wearer’s activity, life, and environment (e.g. Apple Watch, Fitbit).
  35. Zigbee/Z-Wave

    Used for personal-area networks (PAN), this is a short-range, low-power standard employed for control and sensing, and can also be used to create a longer range, energy-efficient, low data transfer rate networks.

And there you have it, almost three dozen IoT terms that give you a better understanding of this rapidly expanding technology. If you want even more of an understanding of IoT, then perhaps some education is in order. For example…

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Learning About Big Data

While learning IoT-related jargon is a great thing, it’s even better when you master the concepts that relate to IoT. Simplilearn can help you accomplish this with its Big Data Architect master’s program. The IoT is a huge contributor to Big Data, and one of the best tools for processing Big Data is called Hadoop.

The program transforms you into a qualified Hadoop Architect. The empowers you in mastering various aspects of Hadoop, including real-time processing using Spark and NoSQL database technology and other Big Data technologies such as Storm, Kafka, and Impala. Big Data Hadoop architects are among the highest-paid professionals in the IT industry.

The program offers seven valuable and informative courses, featuring over 50 in-demand skills and tools, over a dozen real-life projects, and access to over 100 instructor-led online classes. When you earn your certificate, you’ll be ready to tackle the challenges of Big Data, earning a potential average of USD $150K.

Look into Simplilearn’s programs, and get immersed in the exciting new world of the Internet of Things!

About the Author

John TerraJohn Terra

John Terra lives in Nashua, New Hampshire and has been writing freelance since 1986. Besides his volume of work in the gaming industry, he has written articles for Inc.Magazine and Computer Shopper, as well as software reviews for ZDNet. More recently, he has done extensive work as a professional blogger. His hobbies include running, gaming, and consuming craft beers. His refrigerator is Wi-Fi compliant.

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