The Internet of Things, or IoT, can make life easier for all of us. See how smart, connected devices in your home could change your morning routine.

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Start by setting your smart alarm clock for 7 AM. Since your clock connects to your coffee machine, it has a cup of your favorite brew ready for you when you wake up.


Your central heating system is also connected, so it’s warm and there’s plenty of hot water.


Your car is connected to your calendar, so the satellite navigation has determined your route before you even get into your car.


And when you hit traffic your car can text or email your team to let them know you’ll be a bit late, or better still, it will wake you up earlier to avoid the traffic altogether.

The Internet of Things is now a reality due to the convergence of several technologies, including wireless communications, micro-electrical systems and of course, the Internet.

A “thing” is any object with embedded electronics that can transfer data over a network — without any human interaction.

Examples are wearable devices, environmental sensors, machinery in factories, devices in homes and buildings, or components in a vehicle.

IoT zones

IoT zones are places or settings where IoT data from connected devices, combined with cognitive computing, will enable disruptive industry transformation.

Disrupt the competition with full lifecycle connectivity.

Analysts project by 2025, data from connected devices will yield insights driving potential economic value of as much as*

USD 11 trillion

*Unlocking the potential of the Internet of Things. McKinsey & Company, June 2015.

What does IoT mean for business?

As almost everything — from cars to crops to conveyor belts — becomes connected, IoT is changing the way businesses operate. By combining IoT data with cognitive computing, business can extract valuable insights to improve virtually every aspect of their operations and enable innovative, new business models.

For instance, in a connected building, data can be used to save energy and for predictive maintenance. Sensors on the production line can increase efficiency. In-store devices can help retailers improve the customer experience. And medical data from wearable devices can be used to save lives.


A retail store owner may include their stores, merchandising and supply chain, and customer interactions within the stores to define a zone.

How can I make my environment IoT-driven?

The first step is to define your IoT zone by examining your infrastructure and service model.

Putting IoT data to work for you

As humans, we have limited ability to analyze the massive amount of data the Internet of Things generates. That's where the IBM Watson IoT™ Platform comes in.

The truly transformative use of the Internet of Things is to combine structured and unstructured data with cognitive analytics.

IoT in the era of cognitive

Cognitive technologies make it possible to make sense of vast amounts of IoT data to better understand what’s happening — more deeply. Infusing intelligence into systems and processes can help you increase efficiency, improve customer satisfaction, uncover new business opportunities, and mitigate risks and threats proactively.


The Internet of Things in the Cognitive Era: Realizing the future and full potential of connected devices. Read the white paper. (PDF, 146KB)

A secure IoT platform with the power of Watson's cognitive engine

The Watson IoT Platform is a fully managed, cloud-hosted service on IBM Bluemix® designed to simplify Internet of Things development so you can derive more value from your IoT data.

As more and more devices connect together to form the Internet of Things, the volume of data is expanding at an exponential rate.

Cognitive computing enables intelligent systems that can “learn” from their environments to help businesses and individuals make sense of IoT data such as images, video and text in context.


Bring the power of cognitive computing to your IoT framework by integrating the Watson IoT Platform with core IBM solutions.