Till date we have had a disconnect between the real world and the virtual one. The only bridge between the two was the human being. Only we could interpret and make intelligent decisions by understanding the behavior and observing patterns. Mental models evolved over a period of time [also known as experience] helped translate the information captured and patterns observed to make sense and take “smart” decisions.
IoT bridges this gap, by using sensors to read and digitize real world information and making it available to the virtual world in real time.
If we look at 5 basic human senses. Touch, hearing, taste, smell and sight. Theses senses gives us our world view. Or in other words gives us a picture of the real world. They also helps us to perform some actions that changes the state of the world. We now have sensors that capture some aspects of these human senses. Though, only some aspects. Like Temperature and Humidity sensors, motion detectors, sound and chemical sensors.
Besides the ability to sense, a major part of critical decision making is ability to interpret this information in real time. Which needs a large and sophisticated processing power. This was a challenge in the past but what has changed over last decade is that we are now able to get real time information from these sensors through the evolved communication infrastructure at a reasonably low cost and are also able to leverage technologies like Big Data to interpret the vast information that gets generated from these sensors in real time
To reiterate, IoT is our ability to capture real world information in the real time, share it to a central location, process this information and take immediate action. It also helps store this huge information and do offline processing to identify patterns that can be used for making future decisions. With machine learning technologies, these patterns observed can help in building a self learning and self evolving system that takes complex decisions with an ever improving effectiveness.