What Are the Technologies Used in IoT?

February 28, 2023 - Revolutionized Team

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The Internet of Things (IoT) all comes down to sensors. Every IoT device, whether it’s a smartwatch, streetlight or refrigerator, transmits data to provide information and improve technology. This allows humans to acquire analytics about behaviors, further feeding the well of knowledge we have about our device interactions.

How Do IoT Technologies Work to Help Us?

The question regarding IoT technologies is how humans extrapolate and use the data they acquire. How does it get to a localized point, and how could seemingly disparate technologies work harmoniously to provide connected experiences for the modern age? 

Gateways connect IoT devices to networks, collecting all of the data the sensors obtained and storing it in the cloud, for example. There are quintessential technologies that create the bedrock for the IoT to operate. They provide the connectivity between the machines to assess for improvement as humans continue to use IoT-connected devices. 

Their capabilities designate them by the following: 

  • Range
  • Latency
  • Cost
  • Power consumption
  • Bandwidth capabilities
  • Security measures

Their specific protocols may work well in cities, for example, but not in remote agricultural settings. That’s why so many IoT technologies are on the market, so every circumstance can have the opportunity to benefit from its access. Throughout the world, large connectivity gaps exist, and IoT advancements can minimize them to promote economic and technological fairness worldwide.

Short-Range Wireless

These are the most prominent technologies optimized for shorter ranges.


For short-range connectivity that takes advantage of geolocation sensors, there are few more well-known than Bluetooth. Most wearable technologies, such as headphones and watches, provide a tangible, everyday attachment to the IoT. It’s a low-energy solution but cannot transmit immense amounts of data or connect many devices. An alternative to standard Bluetooth is BLE, or Bluetooth Low-Energy, which as the name implies, uses less power.

Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID)

It is one of the oldest technologies in the IoT world. Using antennae, tags and readers, radio-frequency identification (RFID) is a focal point for manufacturing and supply chains. It provides them with avenues to facilitate low-latency shipping and inventory management updates. 

It works well over a short range to transmit small amounts of data, but only in one direction. It is one of the best at geolocation targeting, going past the retail and supply chain industries and expanding into health care for pharmaceutical tracking. Near-field communications (NFC) is another protocol subset of RFID that optimizes radio waves to allow contactless functionality between two locations, such as Apple Pay.


Wireless fidelity, or Wi-Fi, is the most well-known communications protocol with its long history and breadth of improvements. Its widespread use has pros and cons, as it uses a copious amount of energy but keeps a good portion of the world connected to the IoT with its bandwidth. It can transmit large amounts of data simultaneously but may not have more consistent overall functionality than other protocols.


Known for its reliability and security, Zigbee helps sectors like traffic management and household electronics. It is a wireless mesh networking standard specifically created to address the high-cost IoT technologies limiting the number of connected devices. Its range is small but provides more than Bluetooth, for example, and uses less energy than Wi-Fi for better compatibility with battery-operated devices.

Medium-Range Wireless

Sometimes, you need more extended connectivity — that’s where medium-range technologies come in.


Long-Term Evolution (LTE) standards are household names because of their inextricable link to smartphone usage and Wi-Fi connectivity. LTE-A seeks to improve on previous versions with higher downlink and uplink speeds and the ability to host a more significant number of simultaneously active users. Some claim the flexibility of LTE could make it a non-negotiable in the future of IoT.

Cellular (5G)

5G is one of the licensed spectrums in the IoT world. 5G allows for nationwide coverage, an expansion of its previous generations. Each version has to adapt to the new way users interact online. 2G supports text messaging in its early stages, while 5G now supports high bandwidth video streaming and provides additional security.

Long-Range Wireless

These are the most powerful IoT technologies with the greatest stretch.

Low-Power Wide-Area Networking (LPWAN)

As the name suggests, LPWAN can power countless industries, including the environment to transportation. Popular LPWAN technologies come in licensed and unlicensed forms, including LoRaWan, NB-IoT and Sigfox, each operating via battery-powered nodes that transmit data at a low rate. It works with a star topology since the sensors transmit data one way to a central base.

Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT)

VSATs are remotely operated satellites with small antennae that transmit and receive data over some of the largest ranges in IoT protocols. Though the antennae are small, they can change in size to accommodate greater transmission power and signal frequency.

Wired Connections and Technological Integrations

All of the technologies mentioned above are wireless. However, some of the most influential inventions in IoT are wired connections. Ethernet and power line communications (PLCs) are critical to the success of IoT, and some even influence the efficacy of wireless IoT tech.

There are even industry-specific IoT variations incoming to every sector. This includes Industrial IoT (IIoT), which seeks to perfect the usage of industrial equipment. This exemplifies how malleable IoT technologies are since every sector can manipulate them to optimize their operations. For IIoT, they seek to perfect machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and improve automation throughout supply chains.

There are also machine learning and artificial intelligence that influence IoT. Though they are not exclusively IoT technologies, their analytics and natural language processing (NLP) can improve the efficiency of smart IoT manufacturing faster than human input. These are the systems that created IoT-connected conversational AI like Siri and Cortana.

IoT Technologies to Propel the Future

These technologies’ capabilities will only improve with time, increasing in range and speed. It’s impossible to determine how long each technology will remain relevance, but its foundational impact will influence all successors. The number and types of IoT devices will expand with time, revealing new ways technology can streamline our lives to create a happier and healthier future.

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Revolutionized Team

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