Smart Objects: The Future of the Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things (IoT) describes a vision in which everyday objects are connected to the Internet, be identified and communicate with other devices. These objects are typically referred to as "smart objects." The aim is to digitizing applications and processes to make them easier and more efficient.

What are “Smart Objects”?

Smart Objects (also known as Intelligent Objects) are objects that are equipped with positioning and communication technologies and are integrated into a communication network, the so called Internet of Things (IoT).

These intelligent objects can enter, store and process data and interact with other objects, systems or people. They can be embedded or fixed in other objects and capture data about position and sensors, as well as execute decision and control functions.

Functionalities of Smart Objects create added value

Functions of Smart Objects in IoT
© Fraunhofer IIS/ H. Herger
Functionalities of Smart Objects

Smart Objects in the Internet of Things fill the gap between the real and the digital world and offer new functionalities:

  • Real-time Data Acquisition within the Operational Processes
  • Decentralized Information Processing and Decision Making
  • Independent execution of complete business processes


These functionalities create significant added value for both companies and people:

  • Work Support: Supporting people by intuitive, easy-to-use devices and novel cyber-physical services
  • Digital data processing: gaining additional information about processes at shorter intervals
  • High Resolution Management: Support for planning, management and controlling through automated data collection

Our Offer

Features of Smart Objects
© Fraunhofer IIS/ H. Herger
Features of Smart Objects

By combining positioning, environment model and process knowledge, the Fraunhofer IIS enables a context-dependent behavior of the Smart Objects. Our Smart Objects technologies enable:

  • Identification and data storage
  • Sensors and actuators for detecting and controlling the environment
  • Electronic data processing and decision-making
  • Communication and network capability


In Combination  with the extremely energy-efficient, wireless networking technology s-net® of the Fraunhofer IIS, Smart Objects can be operated over several years. With s-net®, high positioning accuracy, bi-directional data communication as well as decentralized decision logic can be realized directly on the Smart Object.

More information on the wireless networking technology s-net® can be found here.

Anwendungen und Projekte für Smart Objects



Smart Objects in production for the digitization of production processes:



Smart Objects in logistics for controlling and monitoring supply chains:



Smart Objects in healthcare for clinical process optimization: