Trying to understand IoT

Hi. I’ve read a lot of articles about IoT over the months but I still feel like I don’t have a clear idea of what it is.

When I worked as a web application developer, there were a few projects where small devices would collect information and send it to a web application where the data would be displayed in a useful format. A very simple example was “capacity management” where we had simple GPRS modules with sensors attached that would send readings such as temperature, voltage, door sensor to check that, for example, a beer cellar environmental control system was working properly. This was 10 years ago. How does this compare to IoT?

Is there a standardised protocol that IoT uses to communicate, or are some sort of adaptors needed to collect information from different IoT devices?

In the classic example of my alarm clock talking to my toaster and coffee machine, telling them to make my breakfast, how would this be set up? Would they talk directly with each other, or would there be some sort of central application that co-ordinates the activities and lets me set up the triggers or actions?

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Original article: Trying to understand IoT
Author: /u/rcx677