Running on Data: Activity Trackers and the Internet of Things

The “Internet of Things” (IoT) is often described as a collection of connected sensors, but it is actually a much more complex concept. It involves not only the connection and integration of devices that monitor the physical world—temperature, pressure, altitude, motion, proximity to something else, biometrics, sound, images, and so forth—but also the aggregation, relationship, and analysis of the information those devices create in order to take action on the situation, and the business and technology changes required to use the data and analyses. Because they are a widely used consumer device, activity trackers make a good example for a discussion of the complex nature of the IoT, and we will employ them for that purpose in this article.

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