There are many definitions of what IoT is, but the most common articles found on the web agree that it is a set of computerized things interconnected through the internet. Things can be understood as people, objects, computers, phones, buildings, animals, and anything that can be connected to the internet.
The term has been in use ever since embedded systems have been able to connect to the internet and have become participants in the network. From computers to mobile phones, smart watches to thermostats and refrigerators, entire production lines can now be connected to the internet.
This evolution has also been enriched by the DIY community. Around the world, you will find prototyping systems, such as Arduinos, Raspberry Pis, and other systems-on-a-chip (SOC) available at lower prices; user-friendly programming languages; and even graphical programming.
So, how could a connected refrigerator, for example, benefit you? Well, this type of technology would allow the manufacturer to monitor your behavior and see that you are not at home from 9 A.M. to 6 P.M. each day because the refrigerator door wasn't opened during that time frame for one month. What if the refrigerator could be reprogrammed to reduce usage during that period because no one is going to open the door? What if the same manufacturer looks at the data collected from all the owners of that refrigerator? Getting an insight into what the different groups of owners are and how they interact with the refrigerator daily could make it possible to create a new model based on that information. This solution would be more ecological, customizable, and cheaper. It would also make it possible to update the refrigerator software to make it smarter, without the need for buying a new one.
People can connect objects such as door/window sensors, cameras, thermostats, light bulbs, and locks to the internet and then use the Home app on their iPhones to control them from anywhere in the world. This makes it possible to obtain automatic changes to thermostats when you are on your way home, or to be notified of things such as an open door when you're outside. It could even notify you of your daily weight, using a connected weight scale. Google, Amazon, and other companies have also introduced similar solutions to these use cases.
The IBM Watson IoT Platform does not intend to deliver a product. Instead, it focuses on delivering a secure, scalable, and reliable platform to act as a connection hub between devices and applications.