The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or humanto- computer interaction. Increasingly, organisations in a variety of industries are using IoT to operate more efficiently, better understand customers (and citizens) to delivered enhanced customer service, improve decision-making and increase the value of the business. An IoT ecosystem consists of web-enabled smart devices that use embedded processors, sensors and communication hardware to collect, send and act on data they acquire from their environments. IoT devices share the sensor data they collect by connecting to an IoT gateway or other edge device where data is either send to the cloud to be analysed or analysed locally. Sometimes, these devices communicate with other related devices and act on information they get from one another. The devices do most of the work without human interaction, although some people can interact with the devices -for instance to set them up, give them instructions, or access data.
Digital technology has enabled a fundamental shift in the way the economy functions, offering possibilities for radical virtualisation, de-materialization, and greater transparency on product use and material flows, all while creating new ways of operating and participating in the economy for producers and users. Through the collection of and analysis of data on materials, people and external conditions, digital technology has the potential to identify the challenges of material flows in cities, outline the key areas of structural waste, and inform more effective decision-making on how to address these challenges and provide systemic solutions. Technologies such as asset tagging, geo-spatial information systems, big data management, and connectivity are central.