To me the distinction is whether the Internet dialog is prompted by human action or is autonomous.
Where it is human action...a smart TV or a PC going out to the internet to fetch pages etc..download books, do shopping....it is the conventional Internet.
Where it is "machines" making that decision autonomously....such as when billions of electronic motes are distrbuted in paint....and then sun bathe for energy and link up to form a smart skin network...and report back via the internet...all without human intervention, then it is the internet of things.
You may end up trading off low power against redundant circuits to try and build in robustness. And of course those redundant circuits (for voting or whatever) will consume power thereby reducing the low power benefit.
I think significant amount of research work will be done and no doubt that experts are working towards solutions for low power hungry processors for IoT. But the low voltage stuff scares me a bit as at low voltage, noise margin also reduces greatly...a slightly noisy environment could cause a lot a susceptibility issues. Energy scavenging thing interests me a lot better.
Thanks for the correction. I used to think it means anything that can be conneced to the Internet - wired or otherwise, plugged or otherwise. In short, once it has TCIP, it qualifies for IoT as it will have a protocol for net connection. The pacemakers, the dishwashers, etc will be IoT once they are node connections to the web.