Internet of Things, What is it?

So let’s talk about some technology today. The topic is “Internet of things.” What it is the ability of a device to connect to Internet. Come to think of it, somehow your refrigerator can connect to your AC, your AC can connect to your CFL, and your CFL can finally be at the touch of your hand. When you signal the AC to decrease temperature and go to sleep mode, Your  CFL automatically switches itself off so as to conserve electricity and save your effort of switching it off manually. 

IoT has evolved from the convergence of wireless technologies, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), micro-services and the Internet. The convergence has helped tear down the silo walls between operational technology (OT) and information technology, allowing unstructured machine generated data to be analyzed for insights that will drive improvements.

Basically when there is a connection between a machine and a machine, a machine and a human , even human and human , it comes under IOT.

According to forbes,” Simply put, nternet of Things is the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other). This includes everything from cellphones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else you can think of.  This also applies to components of machines, for example a jet engine of an airplane or the drill of an oil rig.”

So how does it affects us?  

“Today computers — and, therefore, the Internet — are almost wholly dependent on human beings for information. Nearly all of the roughly 50 petabytes (a petabyte is 1,024 terabytes) of data available on the Internet were first captured and created by human beings by typing, pressing a record button, taking a digital picture or scanning a bar code.

But as we are getting lazy and fatter, we want machines to look after themselves.

So what if we had computers that knew everything there was to know about things — using data they gathered without any help from us — we would be able to track and count everything and greatly reduce waste, loss and cost. We would know when things needed replacing, repairing or recalling and whether they were fresh or past their best.

In here comes Internet Of things, in which machines can actually do that. And the applications are limitless. Smart cities, Water flow calculation, Earthquake estimation,  Traffic Congestion solving and so on. Once machines get to know how to contact each other, they can do virtually everything.

How it works:

Firstly The building block of IOT are :

1.) Sensors & Sensor technology – They will sniff a wide variety of information ranging from Location, Weather/Environment conditions, Grid parameters, Movement on assembly lines, Jet engine maintenance data to Health essentials of a patient

2.) IoT GatewaysIoT Gateways, as the name rightly suggests, are the gateways to internet for all the things/devices that we want to interact with. Gateways help to bridge the internal network of sensor nodes with the external Internet or World Wide Web. They do this by collecting the data from sensor nodes & transmitting it to the internet infrastructure.

3.) Cloud/server infrastructure & Big Data – The data transmitted through gateway is stored & processed securely within the cloud infrastructure using Big Data analytics engine. This processed data is then used to perform intelligent actions that make all our devices ‘Smart Devices’!

4.) End-user Mobile apps – The intuitive mobile apps will help end users to control & monitor their devices (ranging from room thermostat to jet engines & assembly lines) from remote locations. These apps push the important information on your hand-held devices & help to send commands to your Smart Devices!

5.) IPv6 – IP addresses are the backbone to the entire IoT ecosystem. Internet is concerned about IP addresses only & not if you are a human or a toaster. With IPv4 we were running out of IP addresses, but with IPv6 (launched in 2012) we now have 3.4*10^38 IP addresses!

An example that i found on internet is :

Suppose you have to get the temp reading of someplace in your home. What follows is

1. A temperature sensor network installed in the room will be integrated with the gateway. Gateway helps to connect the temperature sensor network (things) to the Internet through Cloud infrastructure.

2. Cloud/server possesses the detailed records about the each and every device connected to it – device id, current status of the device, who has accessed the device last time, how many times the device has been accessed and more.

3. Connection with the cloud is implemented using web services such as RESTful.

4. End-users like interact with Cloud (and in turn devices installed in our homes) through the mobile app. Request will be sent to the cloud with the authentication and device information. Authentication is configured to ensure cyber security.

5. Cloud will identify the device with the help of the device id and will send the corresponding request to the appropriate sensor network using gateways.

6. Then, the temperature sensor will read the current temperature in the room and will send the response back to the cloud.

7. Cloud will identify the particular user who has requested the data and push the requested data to the app. So user will get the current information directly on his screen.

IOT will be here quicker than you think. All you have to do is keep your ears (and your systems) open.



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