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What is Internet of Things? (IoT)

At some point, you undoubtedly heard the phrase “Internet of Things”— or IoT — but you might also scratch your head to find out what it is or what it means.

What is IoT?

The Internet of Things (IoT) defines a network of physical objects—”things “— that are embedded in sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of communicating and sharing data with other devices and systems throughout the Internet.

IoT has effectively changed our everyday lives in recent years to the point that even non-technologically inclined people have started to buy the ease, comfort and useful insights it provides. Internet-connected devices use sensors to gather data and operate on it in some situations. The machines and devices which are linked to IoT will enhance how we live and work. Experts are predicting this number to rise to 10 billion by 2020 and 22 billion by 2025.

Examples of how we use the Internet of Things in our daily lives typically involve:

  • Smart appliances (stoves, refrigerators, washers and dryers, coffee machines and many more)
  • Smart security systems, smart locks, and smart doorbells
  • Smart homes (which control lighting, Ventilation, etc.)
  • Smart assistants (such as Google Mini, Amazon Alexa or Apple’s Siri)
  • Smart energy meters.
  • Fitness trackers, sleep trackers and smart scales.

History of the Internet of Things(IoT):

The entire idea of the connected device itself traces its roots to 1832 when the very first electromagnetic telegraph was invented. It wasn’t full IoT, of course. Nevertheless, it was the first event of devices linked to each other to exchange information.

In 1999, when Kevin Ashton, Co-founder of Auto-ID Labs, used the term “Internet of Things,” to describe the network that could link physical objects to the Internet, that is the first time the world heard this term. The new name introduced the amazing idea of linking RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technologies to the Internet.RFID enables the identification of physical things with unique tags attached to them.

Nevertheless, only then was the concept of sharing data stored in tags through the Internet first started airing. With each passing year, the Internet of Things has been rising since the turn of the century.

  • 1832 – The electromagnetic telegraph was first built.
  • 1990 – John Romky(one of the fathers of TCP/IP protocol) invents a toaster that can be turned on and off via the Internet
  • 1995 – Siemens introduces the first cellular module designed for M2M
  • 1999 – The term “Internet of Things” was used by Kevin Ashton during his work at P&G, which was widely accepted
  • 2000 – LG introduces it’s first Internet refrigerator plans.
  • 2002 – The Ambient Orb developed by David Rose and others in an MIT Media Lab spin-off is released into the wild (and is still on the market) with NY Times Magazine calling it one of the Year’s Ideas.
  • 2004 – This term is mentioned in well-known publications such as The Guardian, Boston Globe, and Scientific American
  • 2005 – The IoT managed to reach another stage when its first report was published by the ITU International Telecommunications Union of the UN.
  • 2006-2008: EU recognition and the First First European IoT Conference
  • 2008 – Internet of Things was born
  • 2011 – Market research company Gartner incorporates Internet of Things technology into its research
  • 2011- Arduino and other hardware platforms had matured

Basic Architecture of IoT

There is no general agreement for all widely recognized IoT architectures. Different researchers have proposed different architectures.
Here we will discuss the basic three-layer architecture. It has been started in the early phases of research in this field.

It consists of three layers:

  1. Perception Layer
  2. Network Layer
  3. Application Layer

 

  1. Perception Layer: It is the physical layer of the architecture. This layer includes sensors to collect information from the surroundings. It detects several physical parameters or identifies other intelligent objects in the environment. For example, the Temperature and Humidity Sensor used to collect the weather-related data of the environment.
  2. Network Layer: The function of the network layer is to connect to other smart things, network devices, and servers. Another function of the network layer is to transfer and process sensor data.
  3. Application Layer: The application layer provides the user with specific application services. It defines different applications that can be used in the Internet of Things, e.g. smart homes, Smart industries, Smart cities, and smart agriculture, etc.

The three-layer architecture defines the basic idea of the Internet of Things, but it is not enough to research IoT. Therefore, there are many more layered architectures that have been introduced.

IoT Applications:

IoT has been running at full pace since 2010 and simply connects everything with anything. We find IoT devices in all areas of our lives.

Top 10 examples of IoT are here:

  1. Smart Homes: Smart home technology, also known as home automation, provides security, comfort, convenience and energy efficiency for consumers by enabling them to control connected devices, often via a home automation app on their smartphone or other networked devices.

 

 

2. Smart agriculture: It helps in automated farming, collects data from the field and then analyzes it in such a way that the farmer can make a precise decision to grow high-quality crops.

 

 

 

 

3. Smart Industries: Smart industry is identical to Industry 4.0 or the industrial transformation of the fourth industrial revolution, to which smart manufacturing actually fits.

 

 

 

4. Smart cities: For cities, smart parking, structural health, noise maps, smart lighting, and smart roads are basic IoT applications.

 

 

 

5. Smart Energy Sector: The power grid architecture changes the usage rules by continuously collecting data and immediately analyzing the distribution of energy. As a result of these IoT applications, both consumers and distributors better understand how resource use can be optimized.

 

 

 

6. Smart Automobiles: Smart cars equipped with multiple sensors that send the engine health, GPS location, Fuel level, etc to the internet for analytics to enhance the comfort and driving experience. Tesla is the best example of this.

 

 

 

7. Smart Healthcare: It is impossible to ignore the importance of the Internet of Things in health care. Portable devices and wearables are one of the main examples of IoT – blood glucose meter, activity monitoring, and smartwatch that remind the owner to take medication. Connected devices can send patient data to the doctor in seconds. Sometimes it is very important to diagnose and take emergency measures.

 

 

8. Smart Retail: Retailers use a lot of RFID technology. Tag tracking allows you to automate in-store inventory, shorten customer pick-up time, and prevent item theft. IoT information can be used to provide personalized customer service, reach out through social networks, and make it easy for visitors to find certain items in the store. Analysis of customer behavior.

 

 

9. Smart supply chain: For a couple of years supply chains have already become smarter. Some of the popular examples are to offer solutions to problems such as tracking goods while on the road or in transit. Factory equipment with integrated sensors communicates data on various parameters such as pressure, temperature, and vibration of the machine with an IoT controlled network.

 

 

10. IoT Data Analytics: In order to determine trends and patterns, companies increasingly use IoT data analytical technology through large and small data analysis. Throughout IoT data analysis systems, organized, non-structured and semi-structured data can be processed to collect significant information.

 

 

End Notes

In this article, I have discussed the basics of the Internet of Things. IoT’s future is more interesting than this, where billions of devices are going to talk to each other and there is going to be less human intervention. As we got the basic idea of IoT’s past, present, and future, we have come to the conclusion that IoT technology is evolving gradually despite increasing cybersecurity obstacles.

The IoT solution is guaranteed to develop in the coming years and change the way we live and work for the better. IoT applications and devices will become more accessible and user-friendly with the latest technologies available in the market.


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