Those who are much into knowing about the technical stuffs, gadgets, etc. know what Internet of Things (IoT) is. But the enthusiasm doesn’t end here. There are similar terms that can make anyone confused but one must know for sure the exact definition of each. This is because, although it seems like all are same, these still have different meanings behind.
Internet of Everything is actually the superset of Internet of Things, meaning the technical characteristics belonging to IoE are also present in IoT but not vice-versa. It is a broader concept, definition strategically being initiated by Cisco. It basically contains four main types of elements that could connect with any other:
Things comprise of those devices, sensors, actuators, etc. that tend to either generate data or receive it from other sources, such as smart thermostats and other similar gadgets.
People are the end nodes who exchange or share information through social networking sites, health and fitness sensors, and so on.
Data is in its raw form which is analyzed and processed into meaningful information so that intelligent decisions could be made and other mechanisms could be controlled. For instance, average number of high-temperature hours each day could be calculated based on the inputs of temperature logs.
Processes are there to connect the things, people and data in order to put more value. For instance, using social networks and smart fitness devices in order to advertise relevant healthcare offerings to potential customers.
Internet of Everything is kind of ecosystem of end-to-end connectivity which include processes, technologies and concepts across all kinds of connectivity use-cases. There are many other subsets of the IoE, such as Internet of Digital, Internet of Humans, Industrial Internet of Things and the internet itself.
Machine to Machine (M2M)
It is a closed point-to-point connectivity between physical-first objects. These come under IP-based connections that enable the information transfer or exchange between the involved devices. In the recent years, the technology emphasize more onto those kinds of communications in which humans intervene to least. Examples include robotics, traffic control, and all kinds of device-to-device connectivities.
Web of Things (WoT)
It is the term which refers to inter-connecting the real-world objects to smartly make part of the World Wide Web (WWW) through special approaches, architectural styles and programming patterns. It doesn’t re-invent the new standards but follows the same protocols like JSON, HTTP, REST, etc. for the programmable Web, JSON-LD, Microdata, etc. for semantic Web, oauth, social networks, etc. for social Web and Websockets for the real-time Web.
All the concepts (IoT, IoE, WoT, M2M) being explained above tend to evolve based on technological innovations but have no specific industry standards and regulations as per governing authorities, and are therefore could be used interchangeably because of the widespread confusion that alter the real meaning, and limit the use cases and adoption. These will still continue evolving with time, changing consumer needs, marketing tactics and technology.
The researchers, technology managers, and web developers need to adapt the changes so as to keep up the pace with ever evolving appliances and gadgets. The coming years would be challenging because it might take a toll on the security, both virtually and literally, in the sense that our (for instance) credit card might get exposed to unauthentic entities as well as our physical location that might help criminals (or regular stalkers/potential criminals) reach us without our own permit.