The Internet of Things is still growing at an unbelievable pace. However, the development of its consumer and industrial verticals differs. We would like to cover the main peculiarities of Consumer IoT and Industrial IoT in the 25th edition of our IoT digest.
Briefly speaking, Consumer Internet of Things (CIoT) is a B2C segment of IoT. CIoT solutions are made for end-users and are usually dedicated to individual non-commercial usage. Whereas Industrial IoT (IIoT) consists of products created for enterprises, factories, etc, representing B2B segment. Unlike CIoT, IIoT brings value both for companies that leverage its solutions and end-users. Companies could enhance productivity, quality, decrease price through tech innovations and, as a result, increase customers satisfaction.
Nevertheless, the development of IoT started with the Consumer segment, Industrial IoT is becoming more and more promising. Internet of Things market is crowded with different B2C solutions while only few manufacturers have implemented smart technology to their facilities. However, on the other hand, typical IIoT implementations cost much more expensive than a CIoT solution, so just a few enterprises could afford such an innovation.
Besides the basic difference in concepts, CIoT and IIoT have many differences in the technological perspective.
First of all, industrial devices should be more resistant to different conditions. While consumer devices may not event be waterproof, industrial solutions should be able to work in dangerous environments. For example, sensors that detect water leaks should be waterproof, sensors that measure pressure should be resistance to high pressure, etc.
IIoT systems should be designed with scalability in mind. Manufacturers should always be able to add additional devices, manufacturing facilities, production lines, and the system should be able to process additional data.
The other difference lays in strong cyber-security requirements. IIoT solutions always deal with sensitive commercial information that should lead to great losses if compromised. That is why it should be properly protected.
Meanwhile, industrial products usually undergo white-labeling, while consumer solutions are always produced under a specific brand.
On the other hand, consumer devices usually have more strict requirements for appearance and price. Users prefer attractive, light-weight solutions with cool interface and relatively good price.
CIoT and IIoT solutions examples
Nest thermostats are cool examples of CIoT solutions in the realm of the smart home. They learn your habits, weather conditions, etc and adjust energy consumption efficiently. The other famous CIoT solution is Fitbit. It is a smart wearable device that measures your activity. Both devices are built for end-users.
Talking about smart industrial solutions, we would like to mention Pepperl+Fuchs. It is a manufacturer of connected industrial sensors for different purposes: proximity sensors, ultrasonic sensors, photoelectric sensors, and others. It offers a full ecosystem of hardware for IIoT enablement.
IoT platforms for CIoT and IIoT
Consumer and industrial requirements to IoT platforms are also rather different. IIoT solutions need a scalable platform that supports different deployment options, multiple protocols, a lot of hardware types. It should also allow the possibility to grant different level of access to different facilities. And, of course, it should be 100% percent reliable, because any fault could cost millions to an industrial enterprise. A good example of such a platform is ThingWorx.
As to consumer solutions, they usually don’t even require IoT platforms, being directly connected to smartphones. If an IoT platform is required, it should be reasonably-priced, easy-programmed and allow companies to get users’ feedback on their product, so they could dynamically react to any requests. For consumer cases, we could suggest Copilot.
In your opinion, what domain of the Internet of Things (consumer or industrial) drives innovation?