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What is the Internet of Things definition?

From fridges to fitness devices and fire safety, the term ‘Internet of Things’ can be seen everywhere – but what does it mean?

If you’re wondering what the definition of the ‘Internet of Things’ is, put simply it’s a term that represents a giant network of connected things and people which collects and shares data about the way each are used and the environment around them.

Often referred to as just the ‘IoT’, the term was reportedly first used by Proctor & Gamble in 1999 to “attract senior management’s attention to a new exciting technology.”

The Internet of Things explained…

the Internet of Things definition

From smart alarms to self-driving cars, fitness devices and cooking appliances, the IoT encompasses a whole range of ‘objects’ and ‘things’.

These smart things have built-in sensors that connect to the internet and use an IoT platform to send and receive information to make a thing smarter and more efficient.

The IoT platform then acts as a middleman, integrating data from various connected things and applying analytics to streamline and share information it considers valuable with an application to improve a user experience.

These IoT platforms can be a useful, powerful tool to detect patterns or problems, as seen with FireAngel Connected.

What are IoT sensors?

the Internet of Things definition

The same way our senses allow us to understand the world around us, sensors enable machines and objects to collect information about their environments.

Sensors can measure almost anything, including temperature and humidity, moisture, air quality, motion and light. When connecting these sensors with the internet, data can be collected from the environment to gather insight and drive action.

Only 1 in 4 fires are known to UK Fire and Rescue Services

Connected technology powered by the Internet of Things can be used to expose these unrecorded fires in communities and is already being used to do so in many property portfolios across the UK.

In fact, there are endless possibilities of how the IoT could be used to create smarter, safer cities of the future.

With IoT sensors in place, data such as where the fire started, how far it has spread and how quickly it is moving can be easily collected and shared with a local fire departments’ computer system, which can then organise their own proportionate response.

Add in others such as temperature, motion and air quality sensors across thousands of buildings, and smart algorithms can create incredible insights into how to improve fire safety and keep our communities safe.

In larger buildings, fire safety technology is often a patchwork of different alarms and systems. However, by connecting all alarms and safety systems to the IoT, it creates a single point of contact to bring together multiple streams of data and allows a user to quickly view real-time information and make an informed decision.

Definition of Internet of Things in fire safety

the Internet of Things definition

FireAngel have been providing a free of charge forensic investigation service for the UK Fire & Rescue Service for any FireAngel alarm that has been involved in a fire since 2007. This inadvertently became our first foray into data.

When we received these alarms back and downloaded the data stored on the device, we found there were a lot of ‘near misses’ registered on these alarms. This highlighted trends in activations before larger or fatal fires occurred, reinforcing the message that many fires could have, and will in the future, be prevented through successful intervention.

At FireAngel, we took this data-driven correlation between behaviour and risk and created a purpose-built solution for home safety, FireAngel Connected, which uses the Internet of Things to monitor all events in real time.

This is supported by Predict™, which uses a unique algorithm patented in application to give visibility of previously hidden trends within properties, such as devices being removed, highlighting potentially dangerous behaviour and pinpointing properties at elevated risk.

Tried, tested and trusted after 10 years of development, FireAngel Predict™ creates an automatic stratification of risk in line with the Fire Safety Act 2021. Predict™ also enables active intervention from housing providers with a personalised Safe and Well check by the Resident Safety Team or Fire and Rescue Services to help prevent a life-threatening event.

Why not find out more about our IoT powered resident protection platform FireAngel Connected or our unique Predict™ technology.