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In AI Last updated: January 2, 2023
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Internet and networking technology combines to take IT to homes and industries as IoT appliances. There is a lot of buzz among the public about IIoT vs. IoT and thus needs an explanatory discussion.

If you want to learn the differences and similarities between the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and the Internet of Things (IoT), you have come to the right place. Connected devices or IoT is a hot topic for technology students, entrepreneurs, and consumers. Find the most informative and technical discussion in simple language.

What Is Industrial Internet of Things or IIoT?

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), aka the Industrial Internet, unifies critical business assets, advanced predictive analytics by AI, automated industrial robots, and prescriptive analytics in one place.

IIoT is a high-tech network that feeds and gathers data from all the industrial devices in a factory for various business purposes like production forecasting, production monitoring, product shipping, and overall data analysis.

Also, IIoT uses state-of-the-art communications technology to gather data, analyze it, and send actionable insights to the business stakeholders so that they can make strategic decisions about product marketing, sales, and investments.

A Robotic Arm Operated by IIoT

Moreover, IIoT drives an extraordinary increase in today’s manufacturing industries’ productivity, efficiency, and performance. Some of the real-life applications of IIoT are:

  • Uncover additional production capacity by gathering real-time data from production facilities.
  • The AI-based product design cycle consumes real-time data from business operations and services to quickly launch a new product in the market.
  • Sensor devices and AI-based modern applications detect refinery pipeline corrosions in the early stages and inform the maintenance team before any accidents occur.

IIoT systems achieve the above goals by utilizing several cutting-edge technologies like high-speed wireless internet, advanced industrial sensory devices, edge & fog computing, MQ Telemetry Transport (MQTT), and Constrained Application Protocol (CoAp).

What Is the Internet of Things or IoT?

Internet of Things or IoT is an invisible network between multiple objects in various directions. Many smart home gadgets connect to this network to share actionable data. They also connect to the cloud or internet infrastructure to look for new data that they can process and put to use.

The cloud infrastructure also pulls data from these connected devices to analyze their performance, security protocols, power consumption, network breaches, and inter-device cooperation.

IIoT vs IoT Smart Home System

The result is a fully automated smart home where:

  • Smart bulbs will automatically light up when a smart security camera detects you.
  • A smart thermostat will adjust the room temperature depending on your presence.
  • A smart doorbell will send you a video feed of the person at your door.
  • And, you can ask your smart home speaker to allow the smart door lock to open the door if you think the person is not a stranger.

Home IoT system utilizes three primary components. For example, smart devices (smart TVs, smart security cameras, smart speakers, etc.), IoT apps (mobile or computer apps that use AI and ML for informed decisions), and graphical user interfaces (GUI apps for mobile or PCs to register and monitor smart devices).

Similarities between IIoT and IoT

IIoT and IoT share the common concept of smart devices networking and cloud computing to create an always-online system that gathers data to and fro to make informed decisions.

Thus, you no longer need to supervise household appliances, and industries need not employ thousands of workers to produce products that machines can do.

Instead, you can invest your time in work, family, or upskilling. As for industries, they can redistribute their workforce in different skill sections for value addition in business.

IIoT vs IoT Cloud Computing

The followings are a few tangible similarities that you must know when you compare IoT vs. IIoT:

  • Both IoT and IIoT need cloud computing infrastructure.
  • An affordable, high-speed wireless internet connection is an indispensable resource for IIoT and IoT.
  • Whether you apply IoT in factories or homes, you need Internet of Things (IoT) platforms and tools to develop software or apps.
  • IIoT and IoT use a few common I/O devices like HD cameras, beamforming microphones, GPS, geofencing technology, temperature sensors, and water droplet sensors.
  • Both IoT and IIoT require AI and ML for intelligent decision-making.

Though there are a few similarities, there are overwhelming differences between IoT and IIoT. In the following section, you will learn the contrasts of IIoT vs. IoT.

Differences Between IIoT and IoT

There are some fundamental differences between IIoT and IoT. These are:

1. Focus Segment

The Industrial Internet of Things focuses the industries like oil & gas, power plants, and manufacturing. On the contrary, the Internet of Things focuses on consumer homes or offices.

2. Scale of Application

IIoT is for large-scale applications, and its output could cater to millions of people. But, IoT is for small-scale home-based automation to provide comfort to a few people in a home.

3. Sensor Usage

Industrial Sensors

IIoT uses thousands of instruments like pressure sensors, MEMS (Micro Electro-Mechanical System) sensors, speed sensors, RFID sensors, torque sensors, etc.

On the other hand, IoT uses basic sensors to detect temperature, motion, and water.

4. Programming and Networking

IIoT needs large-scale networking systems so that a production manager can supervise the factories from companies headquarters. Also, IIoT apps come with real-time and remote programming capabilities. Industries also need an in-house IIoT programmer for troubleshooting.

On the contrary, most smart home devices require easy programming using the mobile app and do not need complex coding.

5. Security Protocols

IIoT infrastructure requires robust cyber security systems like SSL encryption, in-transfer data encryption, at-rest data encryption, visual monitoring of servers, closed-loop systems, and biometric login.

On the other hand, IoT requires less-overwhelming network security to prevent consumers” data from going into any public domain. As of now, data privacy is the most critical Internet of Things (IoT) security issue.

6. Rugged Usage

IIoT vs IoT Production Line

IIoT devices, instruments, and sensors need to withstand heat, speed, and greasy environments. Thus, manufacturers ensure these devices can endure rough usage. Also, the cloud and network infrastructure need regular maintenance.

On the contrary, smart home devices are not for rough usage and come with a shorter life cycle than industrial ones.

Final Words 👩‍💻

The number of connected devices in homes, offices, and factories will eventually rise in the upcoming years. Thus, get a clear idea of how consumer IoT devices differ from industrial ones.

The above discussion of IIoT vs. IoT gives you a clear idea about how differently you can deploy the Internet of Things technology in businesses and consumer premises. You can utilize these IoT learning resources if you are new in the IoT sphere.

  • Tamal Das
    Tamal is a freelance writer at Geekflare. After completing his MS in Science, he joined reputed IT consultancy companies to acquire hands-on knowledge of IT technologies and business management. Now, he’s a professional freelance content… read more
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