IoT in block letters
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Expanding the IoT Vocabulary

Sept. 14, 2020
The Industrial Internet Consortium has rolled out version 2.3 of its Internet of Things (IoT) vocabulary terms.

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) has published the Industrial Internet Vocabulary Technical Report,” a technical report that tabularizes vocabulary and a common set of definitions used in the industrial internet ecosystem.

Erin Bournival, co-chair of the IIC Vocabulary Task Group and distinguished engineer, Office of the Corporate CTO at Dell Technologies, explained that as the Internet of Things evolves, the report is updated with new definitions and clarity on fundamental terms for all stakeholders.

The report charts the change history of terms that were either removed, added, renamed or redefined. A section on “discouraged terms” provides alternative recommendations for terms that were either ambiguous or conflicting with other terms. For instance, the term “virtual entity” has been replaced with “digital twin,” and the term “thing” is now referred to as “IoT device” or “physical entity of interest.”

Updated definitions include:

  • Internet-of-Things (IoT): A concept where components are connected via a computer network, and where one or more of those components interacts with the physical world.
  • IoT system: A system where the components are connected via a computer network, and one or more of those components interacts with the physical world.
  • Industrial IoT (IIoT) system: An IoT system used in an industrial context.

Other terms with expanded definitions focus on computer networking. These include:

  • Cloud computing: A paradigm for enabling computer network access to a scalable and elastic pool of shareable physical or virtual resources with self-service provisioning and administration on-demand. 
  • Connectivity: The ability of a system or application to communicate with other systems or applications via computer network(s).
  • Endpoint: A component that has computational capabilities and computer network connectivity.
  • Event: Any observable occurrence in a system and/or computer network.

The report is one of six IIC technical reports that provide guidelines on vocabulary, architectures, security, analytics, connectivity and business strategy.

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