What is the Difference Between Consumer IoT and IIoT?

Semantically, this does sound like a juvenile conundrum. After all, IoT for consumers must be end-user driven and that for Industries on the manufacturing side. Prima facie, you’re right. But there’s a lot more to it that you’re probably unaware of – the holistic nature of Industrial IoT and Consumer IoT’s reductionism that you could leverage in your mundane tasks.

Let’s get into the details with an analogy. A single-phase induction motor which needs an auxiliary winding to start. Similarly, Consumer IoT requires numerous retrofits for deployment – wearable technology, mobility, m2m IoT, consumer IoT devices, personal cloud and a lot more. These form the end-to-end solutions that consumers use. Thence the reference to it being reductionist in nature – parts forming the whole. Umpteen number of IoT startups have ventured into Consumer IoT – with innovative solutions for different IoT projects, IoT gateways, IoT sensors and all aspects that leverage the Internet of Things

On the other hand, Industrial IoT; better known as IIoT, is like a three-phase induction motor – All that it needs to start is a rotating magnetic field. The analogy here is Industry 4.0 – the pacer that outran other technologies to connect ubiquitous devices in diverse industries. Industry 4.0, eponymously the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Let’s not get into its socio-economic aspects), is a combination of automated systems, cyber-physical systems, and Cloud. It proposes running an automated process in parallel to the actual physical manufacturing, but on another timeline – eventually interacting with the process you see with the compute on Cloud. This ensures high availability, scalability, real-time processing, and fills in the sundry lacunas due to humans who may err. Five Nines guaranteed.

Machine learning algorithms enable predictive analytics in industrial Iot manufacturing. PLC SCADA has automated Smart Grids since long, and IIoT sensors and actuators will make this remotely controlled infrastructure even more robust. All in all, IIoT has streamlined workflows in already automated process controls like automative, medical monitoring, and thus added to the value chain.

Consumer IoT and IIoT have their challenges too, albeit their IoT architecture seems utopian.

  • IoT Security – With wearables and mobiles using IoT, the threat of security breaches becomes multifold. Every new update implies upgradation of the topical IoT systems.
  • Capital-intensive – IoT is heavy on the wallet, by and large. This rules out the SMEs and SOHOs from the IoT scene.
  • IoT Analytics – With the large data haul from different sensors, actuators and devices, parsing and persisting data is a huge challenge that still requires extensive R&D.

Round of Applause for the noveau IoT – ERP and CRM

IoT cuts out the human intervention in assembly lines and lean manufacturing, thus leveraging the standard ERP software – making back office processes and technologies more reliable.

IoT Analytics, although in its prototype, will analyze big data to reveal anomalies in CRM services and workflows.

To conclude this discourse, let’s have concrete definitions. Consumer IoT is related to things that you use every day – from the apps in your mobiles, thermometers, to 3D printers. IIoT is IoT used in every business and manufacturing process – from automation to customer relations.

Hope this helped.

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