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The industrial internet of things (IIoT) is a term for all of the various sets of hardware pieces that work together through internet of things connectivity to help enhance manufacturing and industrial processes. When people talk about the industrial internet of things, they're talking about all of the sensors, devices and machines that contribute to physical business processes in industrial settings. By contrast, when people talk about the internet of things in general, they're talking about any connected devices that fit the IoT model – for instance, when people think about the internet of things, they often think about smart home devices that are linked together to provide consumer conveniences.
The idea of the industrial internet of things is based on the idea that the internet of things is uniquely useful to industry. For example, when General Electric chief executive Jeff Immelt calls the internet of things “beautiful, desirable and investable” in a Forbes piece posted in 2016, he’s describing some of the functionality that has led to today's smart factories and facilities. The industrial internet of things applies the idea of broad-spectrum internet connectivity to specific business goals and processes that create physical goods for markets. Many experts believe that the industrial internet of things will continue to make up a significant part of the multi-trillion dollar market that the internet of things currently represents.