What is the ‘internet of things’?

Question from Jenny Aldridge

The internet of things (IOT) is the networking of different sorts of electronic devices through the internet, allowing them to collect data and communicate. For example, at home, Wi-Fi light bulbs
can be controlled by a smart phone; in factories, faulty machines can automatically request an engineer; sensors in farmland can alert farmers to when more fertiliser is needed. 

However, while the IOT can make life more convenient and efficient, many worry about its negative implications. For example, electronic ID badges can let companies monitor their employees, enabling them to order them to work harder and spy on how long they take for coffee breaks.

Answered by Tom Lean for Brain Dump in How It Works issue 111.

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