IoT vs IIoT vs Industry 4.0



Even though Internet of Things, Industrial Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 are related, they cannot be used interchangeably. Each of them has a different set of goals and applications. This article gives you a basic understanding of these technologies and the differences between them.

Internet of Things (IoT)

The term IoT was coined in the year 1999 by Kevin Ashton. IoT is majorly considered for the commercial sector and related to consumer level goods such as smartphones, light & temperature controls, biometric devices, etc. IoT devices depend on the availability of mobile devices in order to connect the smart home appliances, smart cars, and others. Connectivity of these devices is definitely beneficial but the failure of the devices doesn’t result in any critical situation.

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

In the year 2012, General Electric came up with the term Industrial Internet which later became popular as Industrial IoT.  While IoT is for the commercial sector, IIoT is mainly concerned with the industrial sector and deals with the streamlining of industrial operations. Like IoT, IIoT also enables interconnectivity of devices via the internet but on a larger scale. IIoT is implemented in fields where reliability and accuracy are of prime importance and involves control, management and transfer of mission-critical information.

IIoT connects the devices on the plant floor thereby allowing inter-device communication and development of cyber-physical systems. It provides news means to generate and collect meaningful data in the industrial space. By connecting the devices together, IIoT enables Big Data analytics, predictive maintenance, the effectiveness of the industrial equipment and offers new insights.

Industry 4.0

The German government in the year 2010 coined the term Industry 4.0 as part of the initiative which was aimed at ensuring competitiveness in the manufacturing industry. It blends digitization, automation, new technologies, and practical decisions to improve the manufacturing of products through flexibility, efficient production, and enhanced visibility.

The main goal of Industry 4.0 is to increase the value of manufacturing by using latest technologies. Industry 4.0 is more related to the manufacturing industry, unlike IIoT which covers all sectors where industrial equipment is involved.


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