A device connected to the Internet of Things (IoT), is often referred to as a “smart” object. Everything from cars, home appliances to shoes and light switches that connect to the internet, are considered as smart objects – sending and receiving data and connecting the physical world to the digital world. But did you know there are two concepts used in defining IoT?

In addition to the IoT we mentioned above, there is another, equally important platform called the IIoT, which stands for ‘Industrial Internet of Things’.

Both the IoT and the IIoT have the same main characteristics in the way they connect devices and provide data, the difference is that while the IoT is most commonly used for consumer usage, IIoT is used for industrial purposes such as manufacturing, supply chain monitoring and management systems.

Industrial IoT explained
In general, the IIoT uses more sophisticated devices to extend existing manufacturing and supply chain monitoring to provide broader, more detailed visibility and enables automated controls and analytics.

On the other hand, the IoT focuses on the concept of using smart devices to improve consumer and business convenience – where humans interact with devices to gain some benefit. This might include connecting appliances to reduce monthly bills by managing your resource usage – such as automatically turning off electricity when you leave the office, or adjusting the room temperature based on current weather.

A key difference between the two is the degree of application: Since IIoT is developed to handle critical machines, IIoT uses more sensitive and precise sensors in the plant, including more location-aware technologies on the supply chain side with sophisticated, advanced controls and analytics.

The IIoT connects critical machines and sensors in high-stakes industries such as aerospace, defence, healthcare and energy. These are systems in which failure often results in life-threatening or other emergency situations.

IoT, on the other hand, tends to be consumer-level or commercial devices with low-risk impact when failure happens. They are important and convenient, but breakdowns do not immediately create catastrophic situations.

The implementation of IoT technology is here and now. Understanding the difference between IoT and Industrial IoT (IIoT) will give you a better understanding of how the emerging Industrial Internet will provide businesses with new growth opportunities and improved business performance.