All About Internet of Things(IoT) – Future of Technology.June 9, 2018
There’s a lot of noise at the moment about the Internet of Things (or IoT) and its impact on everything from the way we travel and do our shopping to the way manufacturers keep track of inventory. But what is the Internet of Things? How does it work? And is it really that important?
What is IoT?
Internet of Things (IoT) is an ecosystem of connected physical objects that are accessible through the internet. The ‘thing’ in IoT could be a person with a heart monitor or an automobile with built-in-sensors, i.e. objects that have been assigned an IP address and have the ability to collect and transfer data over a network without manual assistance or intervention. The embedded technology in the objects helps them to interact with internal states or the external environment, which in turn affects the decisions taken.
A complete IoT system integrates four distinct components: sensors/devices, connectivity, data processing, and a user interface. Below I will briefly explain each component and what it does.
First, sensors or devices collect data from their environment. This could be as simple as a temperature reading or as complex as a full video feed.
I use “sensors/devices,” because multiple sensors can be bundled together or sensors can be part of a device that does more than just sense things. For example, your phone is a device that has multiple sensors (camera, accelerometer, GPS, etc), but your phone isnot just a sensor.
However, whether it’s a standalone sensor or a full device, in this first step data is being collected from the environment by something.
Next, that data is sent to the cloud , but it needs a way to get there!
The sensors/devices can be connected to the cloud through a variety of methods including: cellular, satellite, WiFi, Bluetooth, low-power wide-area networks (LPWAN), or connecting directly to the internet via Ethernet.
Each option has trade-offs between power consumption, range and bandwidth . Choosing which connectivity option is best comes down to the specific IoT application, but they all accomplish the same task: getting data to the cloud.
3. Data Processing
Once the data gets to the cloud, software performs some kind of processing on it.
This could be very simple, such as checking that the temperature reading is within an acceptable range. Or it could also be very complex, such as using computer vision on video to identify objects (such as intruders in your house).But what happens when the temperature is too high or if there is an intruder in your house? That’s where the user comes in
4. User Interface
Next, the information is made useful to the end-user in some way. This could be via an alert to the user (email, text, notification, etc). For example, a text alert when the temperature is too high in the company’s cold storage.
Also, a user might have an interface that allows them to proactively check in on the system. For example, a user might want to check the video feeds in their house via a phone app or a web browser.
However, it’s not always a one-way street. Depending on the IoT application, the user may also be able to perform an action and affect the system. For example, the user might remotely adjust the temperature in the cold storage via an app on their phone.
And some actions are performed automatically. Rather than waiting for you to adjust the temperature, the system could do it automatically via predefined rules. And rather than just call you to alert you of an intruder, the IoT system could also automatically notify relevant authorities.
IoT device management
A number of challenges can hinder the successful deployment of an IoT system and its connected devices, including security, interoperability, power/processing capabilities, scalability and availability. Many of these can be addressed with IoT device management either by adopting standard protocols or using services offered by a vendor.
Device management helps companies integrate, organize, monitor and remotely manage internet-enabled devices at scale, offering features critical to maintaining the health, connectivity and security of the IoT devices along their entire life cycles. Such features include:
- Device registration
- Device authentication/authorization
- Device configuration
- Device provisioning
- Device monitoring and diagnostics
- Device troubleshooting
Available standardized device management protocols include the Open Mobile Alliance’s Device Management (OMA DM) and Lightweight Machine-to-Machine (OMA LwM2M).
IoT device management services and software are also available from vendors including Amazon, Bosch Software Innovations GmbH, Microsoft, Software AG and Xively.
How can IoT help?
IoT Platform can help organizations reduce cost through improved process efficiency, asset utilization and productivity. With improved tracking of devices/objects using sensors and connectivity, they can benefit from real-time insights and analytics, which would help them make smarter decisions. The growth and convergence of data, processes and things on the internet would make such connections more relevant and important, creating more opportunities for people, businesses and industries.
Future of IoT
There is a lot of scope for IoT in future. The world will have 50 billion connected devices by 2020. IoT is foreseen to touch every industry and people in every domain, optimizing businesses and simplifying people’s lives. IoT mainly focuses on following things:
- Industrial IoT
- Connected Cars
- Smart Security
- Big Data
- Smart Cities
- Data Analysis
- Your mirror will be able to remark if the dress you are wearing is right based on the occasion and the whether.
- Your car when reaching the office will tell your slow computer to start booting so its ready to use by the time you reach your desk. And of-course your car will call the service-center when it needs maintenance.
- Artificial implants such as pacemaker, lenses etc. will notify healthcare providers before the patient discovers the problem.
- And many more..