The Internet of Everything and the Internet of Things: What’s What?

As we live in a time where new inventions, concepts, and notions storm us with a remarkable frequency, sometimes it becomes quite tricky to come up with a clear picture of what is what, especially when talking about technological advances. With respect to this issue, one of the most commonly found situations is when people are floating somewhere around the truth. The subtle difference between the Internet of Things and the Internet of Everything is one of the examples.

In this post, we will demystify distinctions between these two notions by defying them, providing examples on how each works and what impact it has on different industries, as well as dispel the most common myths. Hopefully, after you finish the reading, everything about

the Internet of Everything vs the Internet of Things will come together and let you not get further astray.

What is IoT and IoE

While due to its increasing popularity, IoT (Internet of Things) is a familiar concept to many, IoE (Internet of Everything) is fairly new and less clear. To shed more light on it, let’s start from the Internet of Everything definition. 

The above Internet of Everything meaning was offered by Cisco to describe the changing phenomenon of the Internet of Things. So does this mean that IoE replaces IoT, or that these two are the same thing?

Mind the difference between IoE and IoT

Even though quite often both terms are used interchangeably, they are actually applied to different things.

Internet of Things

Connects only physical objects (things). 

Internet of Everything

Encompasses people, things, data, and processes.

In other words, the Internet of Everything can be defined as the extended version of the Internet of Things, or its new phase. To make the difference between IoE and IoT even more obvious, let’s also see how they operate.

Internet of Things



Things — devices, sensors, etc. — build a myriad of connections between each other, creating a network. In this way, IoT can be defined as a kind of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication technology.

Internet of Everything

IoEEach component in the IoE cycle is interrelated and creates a closed-loop that starts and ends with people:

PEOPLE use THINGS that collect and produce DATA for its further PROCESSING (analysis and personalization), so, once again, PEOPLE can take advantage of it to make data-driven, smarter decisions. 

Now, let’s go beyond and look at some Internet of Things and the Internet of Everything examples to get a clearer picture of how they differ.


Internet of Everything vs Internet of Things: the impact on different industries

IoE in different industries

With the advent of the connected devices, the world literally went gaga over the opened up opportunities. But did that change with the introduction of IoE? To find the answer, let’s see where the Internet of Everything is used and how it contributes to different industries. 


A policy director of the Federal Trade Commission’s new Office of Technology Research and Investigation Justin Brookman once jokingly described the way IoT technology works on example with toasters: he replaced the word Things with Toasters to stress that each device in the connected network is used to perform a certain task. This example begs the question of whether the technology really gives healthcare a huge promise or it just connects the bunch of toasters. 

It was exactly the conceptualization of IoE that opened up space for the delivery of truly “living services” in healthcare. While IoT had sparked the wide use of wirelessly connected glucometers, scales, heart rate and blood pressure monitors, and other devices, the IoE allowed integrating them together, combining and analyzing data to make better, more personalized predictions and decisions, as well as to take meaningful actions. 

Contextualization offered by IoE is considered to be the key driver for its success in healthcare. The research on the transformation of Parkinson’s disease care launched by IMB and Pfitzer shows how IoE can be used to help patients. It receives data from sensors installed in their houses, analyzes it with the machine learning algorithms, and in this way helps to get a greater understanding of how the disease develops and makes precisely targeted actions. 


While the positive impact of connected devices on shopping should not be underestimated, the tastiest benefits could be enjoyed exactly with the Internet of Everything technology that enables the extraction of customer insights and the creation of new-level experiences. 

One of the most illustrative examples of the Internet of Everything in retail was offered by Jim Grubb for Internet of Everything. The scenario described by the author tells about a Jody who browses in her phone near the toy section. So how does the Internet of Everything work in this case?

How IoE works in retail

As you can see, both sides benefit from IoE: Jody can enjoy personalized service, while merchandisers get the opportunity to analyze the data to make their promotions better. And this is just one example of how the Internet of Everything contributes to a better shopping experience.  


Energy consumption is probably one of the hottest issues of today’s world. While people all around the globe are looking for ways to reduce water loss and make their consumption smarter, IoT helps in achieving the solution by replacing traditional, labor-intensive work models with the one that takes advantage of smart technology. Nevertheless, the Internet of Everything allows significantly increasing the efficiency of technological solutions by connecting the unconnected and providing valuable insights for further improvements. 

Smart water management and conservation solution created by Cisco for Israel’s largest municipal water utility is one of the best examples. Connecting the Supervisory control and data acquisition system with a GIS-enabled data management system, leak-detecting acoustic sensors, valve system, and ERP system, the IoE technology opened up space for the introduction of a cutting-edge Internet of Everything application that allows reducing non-revenue water loss and in this way ensure effective water conservation.

While there are just three use cases, it is worthy of saying that the benefits of the Internet of Everything extend to many other industries. The technology positively contributes to traffic management and road pricing, citizen services, connected learning, gas monitoring, smart buildings, etc. Even despite being relatively young, it has already proved to be highly beneficial. And the further it goes and develops, the more value it brings. 


The wrap-up

To conclude, let’s briefly go over the facts on IoT vs IoE.

  • The most important thing to remember is that regardless of having much in common, the Internet of Things and the Internet of Everything are not the same thing. 
  • When it comes to the question on which came first, the chicken or the egg, the answer is IoT. In turn, IoE is considered to be its improved, more extensive version.
  • In contrast to IoT, IoE not just connects things but also effectively processes received information, extracting the most valuable insights for later use.
  • Most of the so-called IoT applications that feature data analytics are actually IoE applications.

Emerline teams are open to both IoT and IoE projects and are ready to offer their strong expertise to companies willing to incorporate smart technologies into their businesses. Internet of Things and Internet of Everything solutions created by Emerline positively impact tens of companies operating across various industries, including healthcare, entertainment, energy, warehouse, retail, banking, etc. 

If you have any questions, we are always here to provide you with comprehensive answers. Just feel free to ask. 

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