So, let's define this part of our scope. What do we call an IoT device? Does it contain non-commercial products (for example hue being allowed but homemade iot devices being not allowed - I think that this is a bad idea)? Does it contain raspberry pi or similar devices? Will we allow other internet connected devices, like routers?
Unfortunately, being somewhat of a buzzword, the Internet of Things is subject to nebulous definitions (including this definition), and honestly, until the field matures, standards are created, and opinions converge, we will likely need to tolerate some ambiguity in the meantime. However, I propose any IoT device should meet the following criteria:
- It must have a connection to an internet (either the Internet, or a local intranet), either directly (via WiFi or Ethernet) or via a proxy device (eg. mobile phone). Therefore, questions about a Raspbery Pi in general would be off topic, but questions about a project involving a Raspberry Pi connected to the Internet might be on topic.
- It must have a physical component. After all, it is the Internet of Things.
- It must have the ability to be communicated with from a remote location. (i.e. bi-directional communication is necessary)
- It must be a stand-alone device. Therefore, while a Ford assembly plant is both connected to the Internet and consists of physical components, it is not an IoT device, but rather a connected system.
My post is essentially an expansion of this definition:
Internet of Things device: Any stand-alone internet-connected device that can be monitored and/or controlled from a remote location.
It is also intentionally broad as I believe the term currently connotes many different devices. While we could make the term more specific to this site, I believe we would stray from popular opinion and introduce confusion.
Please, don't try to create yet another definition of “Internet of things” just for this site. If you need a definition, use the one on Wikipedia. At least that's a widely accepted reference that can make sense to first-time posters as well as seasoned users on the site.
“Internet of things” is a vague concept. It's a marketing buzzword, not a technical definition. Don't try to pinpoint a precise definition.
To avoid endless, pointless nitpicking, when in doubt, it's on-topic.
First of all I am providing the same as I did on the main site.
The Internet of Things is not generally limited to any protocols.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has been defined in Recommendation ITU-T Y.2060 (06/2012) as a global infrastructure for the information society, enabling advanced services by interconnecting (physical and virtual) things based on existing and evolving interoperable information and communication technologies.
Thus, any device that's connected to the internet and uses or provides, or is necessary to provide an internet based service is an IoT device. The protocol that device is speaking is irrelevant.
So the points I would list as requirements for an IoT device are:
- It's a physical thing
- It is either
- using an service on the internet or
- providing information to a service on the internet
- Using or enabling that service is very central to the device. This is admittedly a bit fuzzy, but I'd say it has to be in the top 3 of the functionalities. (I.e. A connected fridge with a camera is an IoT device, since the added value from the connection comes second to actually cooling the food.)
- Logical consequence is that it is somehow connected to the internet
- The communication protocol of the device itself is irrelevant
Honorable mentions of not IoT devices:
Any sort of unspecialized equipment that can be used to access the same services (i.e. to access the data of my IoT device) as PCs, smart phones, tablets, the local internet cafe. Wait what?!? Yes, the smart phone itself is not an IoT device per se. Which means it can act as one provided the proper apps. However that's not the core functionality.
Devices like remote clocks which just synchronize with a non-internet based service.
I don't think that Internet of Things needs to involve the "internet" in terms of accessing remote services. However, it is it's own internet (series of connected devices) of what we have commonly considered things.
Historically, the internet has been a network of physical devices that share non-physical "things". However, a major part of the IoT buzzword is connecting objects that physically do things in the physical environment and telling them what to do.
Yes, the information can be transferred through any type of network, but it's the objective that makes it an IoT device.
For example, I would consider a Computer an IoT vs an Network Device based on context. If the computer serves as a processing unit to make real-world objects like blinds move or a CNC Mill machine a part, I'll refer to it as an IoT device when talking in context to those processes. Any other time, however, I'd refer to it as a simple network device.
One-off or prototype devices should be allowed, but maybe not simple off-the-shelf general purpose devices. Questions about raspbberry pi would be off topic, unless they specifically relate to a IoT function. I feel this really means there need to be multiple devices, or a client-server type architecture.