The word Internet of Things (IoT) is made up of two main parts- Internet which is the backbone of connectivity and Things meaning objects or devices. IoT is a network in which all physical objects like mechanical and digital machines, interrelated computing devices, animals or people are connected to the internet through network devices or routers and exchange data. IoT allows objects to be controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure. IoT allows autonomous control of device. For Example-Switching on or setting the temperature of your AC from a remote location. (In this way another “Thing” is connected to the internet.).
Many applications of IoT’s are available in market in different areas-
1. Home Automation System:
It includes lighting control, gardening, safety and security wherein lights, air conditioning, TVs, computers, camera etc. are capable of communicating with each other and are remotely controlled by a phone, mobile or internet. Installation of smart products provide savings of time, money and energy. For example-
- Smart thermostats –
It helps to control the temperature of your home from anywhere, with just touching your smart phone or tablet.
- Hue bulbs –
The intensity of lights of bulbs can be controlled by your fingertips. The lights get dim at night and dynamically change according to environment. Also, they can also go in blinking mode on intruder detection.
- Smart Refrigerator –
It not only informs about the consumed items like empty bottles in the fridge but also order them online before they finish, etc.
IoT plays a major role in Retail, Manufacturing industry etc.
- Retail –
RFID tags help to ensure items are in stock and are available for customers online and in store. Retail shelving provides digital price labelling of items and notifies merchandizers when the shelves are light.
- Manufacturing –
IoT influences every aspect of manufacturing from production flow monitoring and remote equipment management to condition-based alerts and more. IoT driven product flow management helps optimize material use to eliminate wastage. Also, IoT devices provides the managers with more insights used to make more productive decisions. The data collected is used not only to enhance product but also process quality.
IoT finds its use in utilities market mainly in:
- Utility Gas Management
- Electricity Grid Management
- Water and wastewater Management
4. Medical and Health Care:
IoT finds an extensive applicability in numerous areas in healthcare. It helps in patients getting better treatment and medical facilities to function more competently. IoT in healthcare also enables machine to machine communication, information exchange and interoperability that makes delivery of healthcare effective. IoT can collect, report and analyses the data in real time thus cutting the need to store the raw data.
Real- time monitoring via connected devices can save lives in emergencies like heart failure, diabetes, asthma attacks etc. For Example-
Smart continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) and insulin pens-
CGM is a device that helps to continuously monitor the blood sugar levels for several days, by taking many readings.
Smart insulin pens can record time, amount and type of insulin injected in a dose and can recommend for the right type of insulin to be injected. The devices then interact with a smartphone app which stores long term data and allows patients to calculate their insulin dose.
- Hearing Aid –
IoT based hearing aid enables to listen to several conversations at the same time. It helps to listen to the sound in a noisy environment which is a blessing.
- Connected Inhalers –
Asthma is a disease which is not curable but controllable by using inhalers. A sensor connected inhaler alerts a patient from a triggering factor like air pollen, temperature which can further prevent the attack.
- Connected Contact Lens –
Detection of diabetes and tear glucose level could be possible by connected contact lens. Also change in size of eyeball which is a symptom of glaucoma can be detected by it. Research is being done and there is a scope of development in this field.
- Smart watches for Depression –
Every year lots of people take treatment for depression. These watches detect depression level and suggest what needs to be done in depression. This application asses and monitors patient’s depression level and store data in a cloud which enables psychologist to understand the patient’s problem by monitoring from a distant place.
- Mimo Monitors –
They collect information like baby’s position, their breathing level, body temperature etc. which is further sent on mobile phones. This can help to provide safety measures in a nursery.
IoT also helps aid in treatment of diseases like Cancer, Parkinson’s disease etc.
Electronic toll collection system is most useful example of this.
RFID (Radio Frequency identification system) is an automatic technology and helps computers to identify objects and metadata. Connecting RFID to the internet terminal, readers can identify, track and monitor objects attached automatically in real time, if needed. This uses IoT.
IoT applications in IoT are in
- National Defense –
IoT can transform logistics to production to distribution. The equipment and weapon system also benefit tremendously from IoT. Surveillance system with IoT sensors can enhance intelligence gathering capability. Example-Drones can be considered as the new flying IoT. They track people and deliver goods with full network connectivity capabilities.
- Smart Cities –
IoT examines different factors like population increase, zoning, mapping, water delivery, transportation patterns, food delivery and land use. IoT helps gather more insightful and accurate records and produce more helpful and accurate records which help in city planning and control.
- Water Management –
Water level monitoring to measure dam and flood containment.
- Disaster Management –
IoT and big data can help during unforeseen disasters. For example, IoT sensors can help early detection of forest fires in fire prone areas and thus curb their spreading. IoT also helps in areas prone to flooding by monitoring the water levels and alerting the concerned authorities on increase of water level at an alarming rate.
Scope of IoT:
It is the new revolution. IoT is believed to change the way people communicate, work and live. Starting from home appliances to big industrial machinery, everything will be smart. It is the next generation of technology. By 2020, India’s IoT market is going to reach USD 15 billion as per NASSCOM, s report. Applications can be categorized into Industrial and Consumer segments. The Industrial segment covers industrial and retail automation which leads to development of smart cities.
n the other hand, the consumer segment is driven by personal interest and covers smart lifestyle, home, health and fitness automation. From logistics to IT industry IoT plays a crucial role in the development of these sectors. IoT helps in cutting expenses of manufacturing, administration and selling of goods to improving the productivity of employees. Various risks are also attached to security as IoT enabled devices will store your personal data. The main risks involved with IoT are security and personal privacy, design-based challenges, interoperability etc.
Careers in IoT:
Some of the career options in IoT are-
- Data Analysts –
Role of Data Analyst is to analyse and examine the data obtained from Internet of Things. Sensors, network end devices etc. are key components for collection of IoT data on which data analysis is performed.
- Embedded Programs Engineering –
Embedded Program Engineer can program the electronic components of IoT devices from pcb design and manufacture, firmware engineering, complete product lifecycle management to internet gateway interfacing etc.
- Software program Engineer –
Developing back-end and integrating with middleware, cloud databases are the main roles of software program Engineer.
- IoT Security Specialist –
The main role of the specialist is to prevent hacking of personal information, malfunctioning of devices and providing developing and implementing security measures for the organization.
- Instrumentation Engineer –
Professional should be able to handle Sensors and Actuators for closed loop systems.