While the IoT is already a well-known phenomenon in the tech world, the specifics of IoT implementations are sometimes less than obvious. Here\u2019s a quick-and-dirty overview of the wildly diverse and still evolving landscape of the IoT devices themselves, divided for your reading pleasure into the consumer and enterprise realms.\nConsumer IoT devices\nThe consumer side of the IoT is mostly about inserting Internet connectivity into objects that a person born before 1990 wouldn\u2019t really have thought needed it \u2013 from the toaster and refrigerator in your kitchen, to the locks on your doors, to your car and your wristwatch.\n\nSmart home IoT devices are, arguably, the biggest deal on the consumer side of things \u2013 some people really like the idea of being able to control their lights, door locks and so on from their smartphones. Smart lightbulbs, locks and their ilk are big business, according to Statista, which estimated the total revenue from their sales at nearly $12 billion in 2018. The devices themselves have a wide range of sophistication \u2013 a smartlock could be as simple as a device with a servo to move the bolt and an Internet connection to a smartphone app, or as complicated as a full-on access control system, complete with temporary virtual keys that guests can use and logging to track access into and out of a dwelling.\nIt\u2019s much the same story with smart appliances. A simple smart toaster can notify your smartphone that the toast is ready, while some of the fancier connected refrigerators can be made to act as a hub for your whole kitchen. Bar code readers and cameras mean that the fridge can tell you what\u2019s inside, help you plan meals, and even warn you about expiration dates. Front-mounted touchscreens can show the family\u2019s schedule at a glance and let you control other touchscreens in the house.\nIt\u2019s worth noting that consumer IoT devices can pose a serious security risk. Depending on how everything\u2019s configured, it\u2019s possible that anyone able to access your home\u2019s Wi-Fi network can then access your smart devices, which is something of a big deal if you have certain kinds of smart locks or camera-equipped devices connected.\n\n\n\n\n\nEnterprise\/Industrial IoT devices\nIf anything, the diversity of IoT devices is ratcheted up even further, when it comes to business and industry uses. The major draw here is automation, which can save companies money in labor costs, maintenance and a host of other areas.\nArguably the biggest and most-established use in this area is preventive maintenance, usually in an industrial setting. The concept is simple, but it relies on a lot of clever computational work and careful integration. Preventive maintenance uses gadgets like vibration and wear sensors to measure the stresses on and performance of factory equipment. For example, in a turbine those sensors feed their data into software running on either an edge device sitting somewhere on the factory floor for quick communication with the endpoint or on a server somewhere in the data center or cloud. Once there, the data can be parsed by a machine-learning system that correlates real-time data with historical, enabling the detection of potential reliability issues without the need for human inspection.\nFleet management\u2019s another popular use case for IoT devices. These systems either take advantage of a GPS locator already installed on a car or add a new one for the purpose, sending that data via cellular network back to the company, allowing rental car firms or really any company with a large number of cars or trucks to keep track of their movements. Properly equipped vehicles can even transmit data from the sensors already present in most modern cars \u2013 things that track engine speed, fuel temperature, battery voltage, manifold pressure, and so on \u2013 to provide a degree of early warning on potential maintenance problems.\nEnterprises that aren\u2019t working with heavy machinery or fleets of vehicles are still using IoT devices, mostly for building management purposes. This is usually a question of connecting existing sensors, including electric eyes, cameras and other security gear to a single network, reporting back to a central console for automated security reporting, or connecting temperature and humidity sensors from the HVAC system to controllers for greener building environments.\nBut businesses that have a lot of hardware spread across wide areas are still the most active IoT-device users. Agriculture, for example, is another sector that\u2019s embraced the use of IoT with gusto \u2013 there\u2019s a huge array of different IoT devices working in farmers\u2019 fields these days. John Deere, for example, offers a precision navigation and tracking system, using extremely accurate, proprietary locational tech to let farmers do things like precise planting for maximized yields. Driving a combine harvester and making sure all the contents of the field make it into the grain bin used to involve driving with your head craned all the way around to ensure that the bin was still in formation \u2013 now, Deere\u2019s tech means that the bin stays in formation automatically. Moreover, sensors in the soil can measure pH, moisture, and nutrient levels, transmitting via cellular service to a farmer\u2019s laptop or tablet, which allows for a much more in-depth understanding of soil conditions.\nHealthcare technology, too, is starting to use a lot of machine-to-machine communication, placing it squarely in the realm of IoT. Work is afoot to connect various types of diagnostic and monitoring devices \u2013 heart rate monitors, fingertip oxygen monitors and so on \u2013 both with each other and with smarter back ends, to provide improved diagnostic accuracy and cut down on alarm fatigue. For example, a pulse oximeter that slips off a patient\u2019s finger will give a zero result and generally trigger an alarm, but an interconnected system can note that no other indicators have changed and deduce that the oximeter has simply become disconnected.