Internet of Things is a world where everything around us like phones, TV’s, lights, refrigerators, AC’s, automobiles etc. are monitoring, sensing and interacting among themselves with or without human control. Many consider Internet of Things or IoT as the next technical revolution in the internet.
The internet of things refers to, “a system of interrelation computing devices, mechanical and digital machines that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.” All this means is that with the internet of things or IoT, all of the devices you use on a daily basis are connected. This helps companies understand better ways to interact with you, no matter what device you are on.
Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the most fascinating trends in controlling variety of things or objects intelligently through wired or wireless communication systems.
It enables the things to be connected or controlled anytime, anyplace with anyone or anything using any path or network and any service. The main aim of Internet of Things (IoT) is to make different tasks much easier for user control and monitoring.
With the help of Internet of Things (IoT), home or office automation systems, environmental or biological monitoring, smart grids etc. can be interconnected, allowing them to share the information between them that affect each other’s performance.
IoT consists of things or devices that have unique identities and are connected to the internet through a communication network.
It refers to the network of physical objects that are embedded with electronics, sensors, actuators, software and communication connectivity, in which the whole arrangement enables the exchanging of data, remote sensing and control of various objects or things.
Key Features of IoT
The basic features which enable proper functioning of IOT are active engagement, integration, sensing and analyzing, connectivity and artificial intelligence.
- Connectivity: An essential feature of Internet of things is to establish a proper connection between two devices, through server or cloud, for a proper safe, reliable and bi-directional communication. It doesn’t necessarily requires a major service provider, but can also be possible with cheap and smaller scale service providers.
- Active Engagement: IOT features the most important change in networking from passive engagement among products and service management to a new paradigm for active content, service or product management.
- Artificial Intelligence: The most important feature or rather an achievement of IOT is in making the world around us much smarter. It enhances the intelligence of every device around us through data collection, algorithms and networks. Artificial intelligence enables algorithm to collect data and communication among connected devices for achieving required results.
- Sensing and Analyzing: Above given 3 features of IOT are incomplete without the main feature or component of IOT – Sensing and Analyzing. Without devices which sense the natural parameters and provide required data to devices, it is impossible for real world integration.
- Small Scale Devices: With emerging integration technologies, devices, nowadays, are shrinking more in size, and increasing more in efficiency and power. IOT utilizes these cheap, efficient and powerful small scale devices to ensure more scalability, versatility and precision.
- Sensor Connectivity and Network Layer: This consists of the sensors/readers which are responsible for collecting data from the environment, network to gather and transfer sensor/reader data and actuators to achieve target as per sensor data. The sensor network can be Wi-Fi, Ethernet, XBee, Bluetooth or wired network.
- Gateway and Network Layer: This layer stores bulk of data from sensors, readers, tags, etc. and transfers these data to management service layer, which is its next layer. It is also responsible for various network protocols for different IOT devices. The gateway can be a microcontroller, embedded OS, Radio Communication module or a Signal processor and modular. The network can be Wi-Fi, Ethernet, LAN or WAN.
- Management Service Layer: This layer secures IOT device analysis, information analysis and device management. It consists of operational support service to model, configure and manage IOT devices, Billing Support System to support billing and reporting, and IOT/M2M application service to control and encrypt data, manage business rules and processes, etc. In simple words, this layer enables extraction of necessary information from collected sensor data.
- Application Layer: This layer utilizes collected data for serving required purpose. It includes home automation, healthcare, surveillance, retail, tracking and industrial automation.
The Internet of Things (IoT) can be used for a wide variety of applications including homes, energy systems, agriculture, health, industry, logistics and environment.