IoT is made up of two main parts: connectivity and devices. Firstly, IoT requires a stable and fast internet connection in order to provide value. This can be achieved by a solid Wi-Fi signal in the built-up environment and by good mobile network coverage, especially with the advent of 5G, in open areas. Secondly are the electronic devices, typically small, cheap and requiring as little power as possible so that they can be used for long stretches. The combination of the hardware, network connectivity and software (both on-device or in the cloud) give rise to endless possibilities and this is the IoT promise.
IoT devices come in a wide variety, from bracelets that record our physical activities, to all sorts of smart home appliances. They are used to monitor traffic, crowds, weather conditions and air quality but also in medical and manufacturing setups. Small devices can track any item, pets and even children or vulnerable people. IoT devices can be used to automate illumination, irrigation and even who gets inside a building. Given that most do not have a screen, voice commands are very common and the popularity devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home demonstrate that voice interfaces are here to stay.