The Internet of Things (IoT) is here to create better experiences. You’d barely gain understanding about how it was revolutionizing things when another term entered the already confusing jargon. We are of course talking about the Industrial Internet of Things or IoT.
Are they the same thing?
What makes them different?
Well, while the IoT is concerned with improved health and safety and increasing efficiency for better experiences, the IIoT is related only to the first two. Consider the IIoT a part of the IoT that is focused on manufacturing, agriculture, and other industrial applications…for now!
Let us look at some other differences between the two:
While IoT solutions must consider security important, the IIoT employs more robust security measures. These range from system architecture that is resilient in itself, encryption and authentication specialized chipsets, and even safer management processes. That’s because disruption in the manufacturing process can be quite expensive in terms of lost production. Such a disruption won’t just affect the economic activity of a few individuals, but could also jeopardize national security.
The idea that devices that speak the same language can exchange data with each other isn’t new. However, the IIoT takes this exchange one step further by making interconnectivity universal by using the Internet Protocol (IP). That means there will be data exchange regardless of the type of devices involved.
No more closed systems that require the same architecture and protocols for an exchange. The devices involved will be IP-enabled, which will expand their reach based on the existing network infrastructure.
We already know that there is more to the smart devices than just an ability to being remotely turned off and on. They work according to their own local logic and processing. Besides exchanging information with other smart devices, they can also be used to receive/send commands over the internet and other networks.
With the IIoT in the picture, automation technologies can be used to collect data from other sources, combine it, analyze it, and exchange it in in newer ways.
Experts hypothesize that this technology could be used to improve the efficiency and management of the supply chain and quality control. More importantly, they could also support sustainable and green practices, which is much-needed in the face of rapid climate change that we face.
Degree of application
If you look at the IoT devices, they have simpler applications and are thus lower risk. The IIoT, on the other hand, was built to handle more critical machines. That means it uses technology that is aware of its location, more sensitive, and precise. The sophisticated, advanced analytics and controls mean that the degrees of application between IIoT and IoT are different.
For instance, the IIoT is perfect for the sensors in plants. Its location-aware technology makes it far more useful for use in the supply chain side. However, while it is much more common in the industry, the IIoT is less prevalent on the consumer side. The opposite is true for IoT, which is more widespread among consumers than in industry. That usually means that IoT devices are less expensive, sophisticated, or capable. Even so, these devices can be useful – and are being used – in the industry as part of IIoT.
But that only means that the consumer market is ripe for the taking when it comes to the IIoT. Soon, the lines between IoT and IIoT will become blurred. And that doesn’t seem like too much of a bad thing for either the industry or the consumer market.
As more and more people begin to depend on the IoT processes for decisions, the reliability of the way it operates becomes more important. While the IoT ecosystem can sense a mistaken action taken by someone authorized to do it, it must have special measures to not just detect manipulation, but also prevent it. The same goes for intentional faults that could be the result of some kind of cyber-attack. The IIoT ecosystems are a part of the ICS architecture, which considers Safety, Reliability, and Productivity important. Therefore, to some degree, the IIoT already is geared to sensing operation reliability and maintaining operation safety.
We hope this clarified the difference between the IoT and IIoT for you. The truth is that the Internet of Things might have changed the world once. The IIoT is taking that technology one step further!
About the Author:
Alma Causey is a Freelance writer by day and sports fan by night. She writes about tech education and health-related issues. Live simply, give generously, watch football and a technology lover.