Internet of Things or Things on the Internet – It's much more than classic M2M solutions when it includes bi-directional internet connectivity to devices, intelligence and insights from realtime analytics, and even more compelling may be the information sharing and alliances between businesses to provider richer consumer experiences. The (not-so-distant) future may very well hold less business on business competition in favor of bundled offerings and competition between groups of businesses and services as IOT continues to evolve.
IoT is spanning across a gamut of things such as “wearables”, medical devices and processes, sports, logistics, retail, manufacturing, home appliances, and more. Cloud has arguably been the catalyst to turning what is traditional M2M into IOT. But also the muscle of giants like Microsoft... Microsoft, via cloud services available on Microsoft Azure, has targeted the IOT space. Microsoft Azure cloud platform makes for an ideal backbone for pre-existing hardware devices that exist in enterprises today, as a startup entering this space for the first time, or academia and "Makers". Connectivity, security, data storage, analytics, command and control.... checkout what Microsoft's is doing in this space. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/internet-of-things.aspx
I was recently interviewed on this topic as well where I discuss Microsoft IOT among many others that should be of interest as well. You can download the podcast here - http://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode37.mp3