IOT: Internet of Things

Updated: Apr 27

What is IOT?

 

Imagine you're on holiday and you've forgotten to turn off your air conditioning. Now leaving that on could look to build up a hefty electricity bill. So instead of having to cancel your holiday or have someone go over and turn it off for you. What if you could know the status of your AC unit or even better be able to turn it off? Well, this can be achieved through the IoT or the Internet of things.


Until very recently connection to the internet was very limiting to things such as your desktop, phone, or tablet. But now with IoT, you can connect pretty much all devices to the internet and monitor them remotely, whether you're at home or away on holiday.

IoT is shaping the way, I and you are living our lives. IoT is all around us. How many people do you know that has a doorbell with a camera or even have automatic lights controlled to come on soon as you come home. That is all a part of IoT.

So what is IoT exactly?

IoT is a system of interrelated devices that are connected to the internet to transfer and receive data from one to the other. A smart home is probably the best example of IoT. Home devices like the air conditioning, doorbell, thermostats, smoke detectors, water heaters, and security alarms can all be inter-connected to share data with the user over a mobile application. The user can now see a detailed layout of what is going on in their home through the connection to these devices.


Previously the internet was known to only allowed people to connect and interact with each other. But now real-world objects and devices or "THINGS" can sense the surroundings to interact and collaborate. For example: In the morning when you wake up, your Alarm clock goes off the IoT system can open your blinds, turn on the coffee machine and even turn on the water heater before you've even had a chance to process your Alarm waking you up.


Now even though all of this is fascinating, there is a lot that goes on in the background to make all of that happen with seamlessness functioning, from effective communication between your devices to accurate processing of the data received. A lot of components are involved.



IOT Devices

General Devices

Sensing Devices

General devices are the main component of the data hub for the information that is exchanged. They are connected either by wire or wireless connection.


Home appliances are a good example of general devices.

Sensing devices include sensors and actuators that measure the temperature, humidity, light intensity, and other parameters.

The General Devices IoT devices are connected to the network through what are called gateways. The gateways or processing nodes that process the information that is collected provided be the sensing devices by transferring it to the cloud. They could act as both the storage and processing unit, then actions are performed on the data for future learning and inferences. Wired and wireless interfaces like WiFi, Bluetooth, AirDrop, GSM's, and more are used to provide connectivity. To ensure its ubiquity applications need to support a wide range of devices and communication protocols, from tiny sensors capable of sensing and reporting the required factor to powerful back-end servers that are utilized for data analysis and knowledge extraction


How do you know IOT is working?

Let's look at a simple scenario: Dave has worked on perfecting his garden checking it daily to have the most pristine garden in the neighborhood. Well, IoT can help him complete his goals will little effort. Dave has to water his garden every time the moisture in the soils drops. First, he would need to check the moisture levels, then look to water the garden which can be a tedious process. Now he can automate it using IoT, The sensors and actuators places monitor the moisture levels then this information is sent to that IOT gateway with the help of communication protocols like MQTT or HTTP. The Gateway significantly aggregates data and feeds it to the cloud with the help of WiFi LAN. Once the moisture levels drop in Daves soil, the system is immediately triggered and the sprinklers are turned on. Now with the information stored in the cloud a detailed analysis like the time of the day the sprinklers were turned on, the rate at which the moisture in the soil reduces, and more.... can be done. Which then the report could be sent over to Dave on his phone via an app.


Conclusion

With the improved response monitoring and analytical capabilities. IoT is being adopted in almost all industry's and domains, opening doors to endless applications. Today IoT is being used extensively to lessen the burned on the likes of you and me. To name a few IOT has deployed in Smart Homes, Smart wearables such as watches and bracelets, Smart Cars, Smart Farming, Smart Retail, Smart Grids, Smart Cities, and Smart Health care. IoT has such a wide spectrum of applications the future of IoT looks more promising than ever before.

In 2018, there were about 23 Billion Connected Devices which is Well more than double the world's population. And according to the researchers, there is an estimated 80 Billion devices by 2025.

IoT is a vision that is to connect all devices with the power of the internet, Always Learning and Always Growing.

 

Credit:

CatsRus - SafeMoon Educator

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