IoT Dictionary

This glossary includes key terms of the IoT (Internet of Things) & M2M (machine-to-machine) communications industry, including wireless and cellular technologies spanning many different markets. It is updated to present current terminology and usage. Your participation and feedback are most welcome—to submit comments, new entries, or suggestions, contact us today.

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There are 48 names in this directory beginning with the letter I.
Infrastructure as a Service.
A technology introduced by Apple that uses sensors to locate iOS or Android devices indoors and can send them notifications via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). This can be also used in stores or museums to give further information about item nearby.
Integrated Circuit Chip Identifier.
Also just ID, this marks objects for clear identification. Identifiers are usually letters, words, symbols, or numbers that can also be used to create a code that reveals a definite identity after it is decoded.
Recognizable attributes that are linked to an object, a person, etc. Those attributes expose the entity and allow for clear identification. If two things have the exact same attributes, they usually have the same identity, and they can’t be distinguished from each other.
Identity of Things (IDoT)
An area that involves assigning unique identifiers with associated metadata to devices and objects (things), enabling them to connect and communicate effectively with other entities over the Internet.
IEEE 802.11
The family of specifications developed by the IEEE for wireless LAN (WLAN) communications, first adopted in 1997. The addition of a letter, such as 802.11b, indicates a particular specification.
IEEE 802.11ac
Approved in January 2014, this is a wireless standard for high-throughput wireless local area networks (WLANs) on the 5 GHz band. In contrast to the four MIMO spatial streams in 802.11n, the 802.11ac standard supports eight.
IEEE 802.11n
Builds on previous 802.11 standards to use multiple antennas to increase data rates, adding MIMO to the physical layer. The full specification name is 802.11n-2009, which is an amendment to IEEE 802.11-2007.
IEEE 802.11p
Amends wireless access in vehicular environments (WAVE) to the IEEE 802.11 Wi-Fi standard. The amendment defines a way to wirelessly exchange data without the need to establish a basic service set (BSS), since links to roadside infrastructure may be available only for a limited amount of time. 802.11p uses channels of 10 MHz bandwidth in the 5.9 GHz band.
Initial Graphics Exchange Specification. This is a vendor-neutral, standardized file format used to transfer information between computer-aided design programs. The standard was developed to create a uniform method for exchanging graphical data between the programs.
Internet Group Management Protocol. This communication protocol is based on the IP protocol and is used to support group communication. IGMP allows for IP-multicasting that enables the transmission of IP packages to many receivers with one transmission, and this is a requirement for technologies such as Internet television.
Industrial Internet of Things.
International Mobile Equipment Identifier (used in GSM).
International Mobile Subscriber Identifier (used in GSM and CDMA).
Inertial Measurement Unit.
In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI)
Systems integrated into automobiles that deliver both entertainment and information content. Typical IVI applications include managing audio, listening to or sending SMS, making voice calls, navigating, and using rear-seat entertainment such as games, movies, games, and social networking. IVI also includes interfacing with smartphone-enabled content such as traffic conditions, sports scores, and weather forecasts.
Industrial Control System (ICS)
Computer hardware and software that monitor and control industrial processes that exist in the physical world, where operator-driven supervisory commands can be pushed to remote station devices. Industries such as electrical, water, oil, and gas are typical ICS users.
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)
A subdiscipline of IoT, encompassing connected large-scale machinery and industrial systems such as factory-floor monitoring, HVAC, smart lighting, and security. This is M2M communication where, for example, equipment can send real-time information to an application so operators can better understand how efficiently that equipment is running. Also referred to as Industry 4.0, Industrie 4.0, and Industrial IoT.
Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) Bands
An unlicensed part of the RF spectrum used for general purpose data communications. In the US, the ISM bands are 915MHz, 2.4 GHz, and 5.5 GHz, whereas 2.4 GHz is the global unlicensed frequency and has increasing amounts of interference.
Industrie 4.0
Invoking a fourth Industrial Revolution, Industrie 4.0 creates intelligent manufacturing networks where decentralized smart factories can communicate and react to each other autonomously. For example, in an Industrie 4.0 factory, self-predictive systems would trigger maintenance processes autonomously and automatically adapt logistics to the resulting changes in production. The term, also known as Industry 4.0, was first used at the Hannover Messe in 2011.
Industry 4.0
Industry 4.0 is a project introduced by the federal government of Germany and refers to the fourth Industrial Revolution. It is a strategy which aims to make better use of current and future IT-capacities in traditional industries. Also see Industrie 4.0.
Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU)
A MEMS module which measures angular velocity and linear acceleration using an accelerometer triad and an angular rate sensor triad. Other IMU sensors may include magnetometers and pressure sensors.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)
The ICT Industry provides access to information through telecommunications. The communications technologies can be things like the Internet, VOIP, wireless networks, or mobile phones.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
An on-demand business model for IT-capacities. Instead of owning IT-infrastructure or server space, you rent it and pay for it on a per-use basis. Those capacities are usually owned, maintained, and provided by a cloud service.
Insurance Telematics
Vehicular tracking devices used by automobile insurance companies to alter rates based on driver behavior. Currently, Progressive (Snapshot), Allstate, and others typically track braking and mileage. An excessive number of hard-brakes may indicate risky driving habits, for example.
Intelligent Device
Any type of equipment, instrument, or machine that has its own computing capability. As computing technology becomes more advanced and less expensive, it can be built into an increasing number of devices of all kinds. In addition to personal and handheld computers, the almost infinite list of possible intelligent devices includes cars, medical instruments, geological equipment, and home appliances.
Intelligent Transportation System (ITS)
The application of advanced information and communications technology to surface transportation for enhanced safety and mobility while reducing environmental impacts. EU Directive 2010/40/EU defines ITS in the context of road transport.
Inter-Integrated Circuit (I2C)
I2C, pronounced I-squared-C, is a serial bus that provides communication between sensors and microcontrollers such as the Arduino. In contrast to the full-duplex SPI specification, I2C has a slower data rate, and data can only travel in one direction at a time. Arduino uses 7-bit values to reference I2C addresses, and devices using I2C must use a common ground to communicate.
Internet of Everything (IoE)
A term being promoted by Cisco as a variation or extension of IoT. IoE subtly distinguishes itself by emphasizing the connection of people to things.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Internet-connected physical devices, in many cases everyday objects (things), that can communicate their status, respond to events, or even act autonomously. This enables communication among those things, closing the gap between the real and the virtual world and creating smarter processes and structures that can support us without needing our attention. IoT has evolved from the convergence of wireless technologies, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), and the Internet.
Internet of Things Privacy (IoT Privacy)
The special considerations required to protect the information of individuals from exposure in the IoT environment, where almost any physical or logical entity or object can be given a unique identifier and the ability to communicate autonomously over the Internet or similar network.
Internet of Everything.
Internet of Things.
IoT Botnet
Internet of Things botnet. A group of hacked computers, smart appliances, and Internet-connected devices that have been co-opted for illicit purposes.
IoT Healthcare
Also called “connected health,” this encompasses all advancements in the medical industry that relate to M2M communication and remote sensing.
IoT Security
Internet of Things security. The area concerned with safeguarding connected devices and networks in the Internet of things).
IP Devices
All devices within a network which are labeled with an IP address.
Internet Protocol Security. A set of protocols that provide authentication and encryption to Internet Protocol (IP) packets, adding an extra layer of security on IP communications.
IP addresses serve to identify devices on the Internet. IPv6 is the newest Internet protocol, which provides more addresses than the IPv4 protocol.
IPv6 Address
A 128-bit alphanumeric string that identifies an endpoint device in the Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) addressing scheme.
A satellite communication constellation that provides global voice and data coverage through its satellite network, operating on the 1618.85 to 1626.5 MHz frequencies.
Interim Standard 136 (standard for TDMA Cellular).
Interim Standard 95 (standard for CDMA Cellular).
ISM Bands
Industrial, Scientific, and Medical Bands.
Intelligent Transportation System.
International Telecommunications Union.
In-Vehicle Infotainment.