Networked machines that communicate independently with each other without the influence of humans are described by the term “Internet of Things”.
An illustrative example: The refrigerator, which, via sensors, detects that there is no milk left or a predetermined minimum quantity has been reached, and orders a replenishment at the connected supermarket using a network. In contrast to the normal Internet, in which a user operates an input at the terminal, the systems act independently here, machine-to-machine (M2M).
This requires digitisation as well as the condition that all devices or sensors connected to them have their own IP address by which they can be found and addressed. In the industry, the IoT is becoming increasingly important as it allows machines to independently report wear or impending failure, thereby avoiding serious production downtime.