IoT Essentials

    What is the IoT?


    The Internet of Things—or the IoT—refers to a network of connected devices that able to collect and share data about their own operations and the environments in which they’re installed. Any device enabled with two-way data communications can potentially participate in the IoT—including connected sensors, thermostats, cars, biometric devices, and luminaires.


    Learn more about the IoT

    Layers of an IoT system


    IoT implementations are as different from one another as computer networks in the details, but they all have a similar general structure. You can think of an IoT system as having three basic layers: the device layer, the network layer, and the platform layer.



    Device Layer


    The device layer contains the things that participate in the Internet of Things.





    Network Layer


    The network layer includes everything you need to connect devices to each other and to the platform layer.




    Platform Layer


    The platform layer includes everything you need for ingesting, processing, and visualizing collected data, and for extending and integrating the system.


    Edge devices are the connected devices installed in the environment in which they are meant to collect and transmit data—whether that’s your home, a workplace, a city street, or the inside of a machine on a farm or a warehouse floor. 


    The network layer includes the networking hardware itself (switches, gateways) and the communications methods used for sending and receiving data—cellular, wired Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and RF, for example, and often a combination of these.


    IoT platforms, either on-premise or in the cloud, offer a data lake for ingesting large amounts of system and sensor data, data analytics tools for making raw data useful for machines or human beings, and software, dashboards, and apps for monitoring and managing the system, and for reporting and forecasting. A well-designed IoT platform also provides data and system security, privacy features, and APIs so that software developers can rapidly create new applications that extend the system or integrate it with other smart systems.

    The IoT and lighting


    Because LED luminaires are inherently digital, they can easily participate in the IoT when outfitted with two-way data communications. Lighting is already installed everywhere that people go—home, offices and retail spaces, sporting events, city streets—so a connected lighting system is the perfect choice for adding a layer of intelligence to illuminated environments.


    A connected lighting system doubles as a pathway for data and services, delivering both illumination capabilities and capabilities beyond illumination, driven by the data that the system shares and collects. 

    Signify and the lighting IoT


    Signify offers complete connected lighting systems for both professionals and consumers.


    Both Interact and hue offer robust development tools for building new apps on top of your system, and for integrating your home or professional lighting with other smart systems.





    For professionals, Interact offers a portfolio of software applications specifically designed to bring together connected lighting systems and data with smart building, smart city, and other IoT solutions. Interact works together with connected luminaires from PhilipsColor Kinetics, and others, and with lifecycle services from Signify.





    Philips hue is a complete connected lighting system for the home, including connected lamps, an Internet gateway, and mobile apps for remote monitoring and management.

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