IoT Definitions

This glossary explains the meaning of key words and phrases that information technology (IT) and business professionals use when discussing IoT and related software products. You can find additional definitions by visiting WhatIs.com or using the search box below.

  • T

    Thing hacking

    Thing hacking is an attack that exploits a vulnerability in a connected non-computing device – a Thing, in the Internet of Things -- to gain control of the device or access to a network it connects to.

  • thingbot

    A thingbot is something with an embedded system and an Internet connection that has been coopted by a hacker as a part of a botnet. A thing, in this context, could be just about anything but a computing device.

  • transponder

    A transponder is a wireless communications, monitoring, or control device that picks up and automatically responds to an incoming signal.

  • trillion-node network

    A trillion-node network refers to a near future state wherein trillions of devices, people, organizations, places and things are connected to the Internet. The implications of this ubiquitous connectivity and complexity hold both promise and risk that require the attention of multiple stakeholders.

  • U

    ubiquitous sensor network (USN)

    A ubiquitous sensor network (USN) is one that connects all possible sensors in a given network or environment which, theoretically, could be global.

  • unique identifier (UID)

    A unique identifier (UID) is a numeric or alphanumeric string that is associated with a single entity within a given system.

  • universal authentication

    Universal authentication is a network identity-verification method that allows users to move from site to site securely without having to enter identifying information multiple times.

  • V

    vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V communication)

    Vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V communication) is the wireless transmission of data between motor vehicles. The goal of V2V communication is to prevent accidents by allowing vehicles to send position and speed data to one another over an ad hoc mesh network.

  • VeriChip

    VeriChip is an injectable identification chip that can be inserted under the skin of a human being to provide biometric verification.

  • virtual reality sickness (VR motion sickness)

    Virtual reality sickness (VR motion sickness) is the physical discomfort that occurs when an end user's brain receives conflicting signals about self-movement in a digital environment.

  • W

    wearable computer

    A wearable computer is any small technological device capable of storing and processing data that can be worn on the body.

  • Windows Embedded

    Windows Embedded is Microsoft’s embedded operating systems  product group. Examples of embedded systems include computers in cars, traffic lights, digital televisions, ATMs, airplane controls, point of sale (POS) terminals, digital cameras, GPS navigation systems, elevators, digital media receivers and smart meters, among many other possibilities.

  • WSAN (wireless sensor and actuator network)

    A wireless sensor and actuator network (WSAN) is a group of sensors that gather information about their environment and actuators, such as servos or motors, that interact with them. All elements communicate wirelessly; interaction can be autonomous or human-controlled.

  • Z

    Z-Wave

    Z-Wave is a wireless communication protocol used primarily in smart home networks, allowing smart devices to connect and exchange control commands and data with each other.

  • Zigbee

    Zigbee is a standards-based wireless technology developed to enable low-cost, low-power wireless machine-to-machine (M2M) and internet of things (IoT) networks.

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