Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of interconnected objects, usually called smart devices, through the Internet. The object can be a heart monitor, a remote or an automobile with built-in sensors. That is objects that have been assigned an IP address and have the capability to collect and transfer data over a network. The objects interact with the external environment with the help of embedded technology, which helps them in taking decisions. Since these devices can now represent themselves digitally.
In other words
The globally ruling technology acting as a single key to shrinking this whole universe to a tiny globally connected village, whereas IoT comprises of just two words which precisely depicts its definition.
Internet: Inter connectivity-For global connection + Things: Embedded system devices-sensors, actuators, RFID tags, QR code and so many.
- For sensing the data
- Collecting the data
- Sending the data
Thus, on the whole, the Internet of Things is the technology which enables everything to communicate by themselves over the internet through the devices without the use of computers. Here comes the most essential and prevalent term in IoT called ‘Smart’ which means Automation – the process of decreasing human intervention or involvement thereby increasing the machine intelligence to perform every tasks by itself, which could be done by IoT.
IoT makes an intertwined network of artificial things like physical devices, vehicles, home appliances and even to connect with natural living beings like plants, animals and so on.
Some communication devices in IoT:
- Sensors: Devices which converts physical parameters like temperature, motion etc… into the electrical signals .Smart sensors are the indispensable enablers of IoT.
Imagine a scenario of automated monitoring of a farm such that it will just indicate the current situation of crops like “4 crops need water, Now I’m going to pour it” and then it will satisfy the crop’s need.
This wonder is because of the IoT technology behind it,
- The temperature sensor connected with plant pot detects the low temperature.
- Then it triggers the microprocessor platforms such as Raspberry-Pi, Arduino boards.
- It receives the sensor signals through internet pathways such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth.
- Then it notifies the user and the motion sensor connected to the tap which turns on to pour it.
- Actuators: Devices which is a contrast to sensors. It transforms electrical signals into physical movements. Both sensors and actuators are transducers which converts one form of energy to other. Exchange of datais the most important key factor in IoT. Hence sensors and actuators play a vital role here.
- RFID Tags: Wireless microchips used for automatic unique identification of anything by tagging it over them. You have been seen it in credit cards, automobile ignition keys and so on.
Since interconnection of things is the main goal of IoT, the RFID tags get hand shaken with IoT technology and is used to provide the unique id for the connected “things” in IoT.
These are many communication devices and protocols in IoT.
Everyone really has numerous questions circling in mind about How IoT works? What’s behind IoT? What are all the sources of IoT implementation?
Here we kickstarted few paragraphs on IoT implementation and its working.
Some main reasons to make your project as IoT:
- First reason: (Real-time data) Yes, it’s really important to know this as the first and foremost step to begin.
Let’s Consider an example: If you are going to make an application where there involves a lot of real time analysis and immediate actions to be performed based on that real time data, then you can opt your choice of making your project as IoT.
So what’s that real time data actually means?
Assume that you are running the best hotel full of tastiest foods and your regular customer arriving at 11p.m.(Hotel’s closing time) has ordered his most favorite dish (naan and paneer butter masala). Unfortunately, the paneer stock had got finished. Thus you are in a situation of rapidly getting and preparing the dish to serve your regular customer. This is the real time analysis and tackling the situation in a wise manner.
- Customer at unexpected time and paneer unavailability–>real time unexpected data
- Instant preparation–>real time analysis and situation tackling
Now it seems clear right!
Real-time data is the unexpected or unplanned data which is to be collected, processed and to be delivered instantaneously without any delay.
Example: In Traffic monitoring system, real time data plays a leading role.
- Second reason: (Intelligent action)
If you wish to lessen the human monitoring and you are most fond of automating everything to make your product/service to be a benchmark, then you can make use of IoT technology.
Consider an example:
If you are engaged in a peak tensed work and always entering home at late night. To solve this, Imagine your air conditioning system automatically turns on before you have entered the home and makes you cool after your arrival. Then after hearing the sound of opening your house door, the radio system plays your most favorite song and lifts you to the comfort zone.
The same example suits for the IoT’s technical concept too, consider the smart irrigation system. Assume that it notifies you that “6 crops got the pest attack” (real-time data) so that the action to be performed immediately, hence the fertilizer itself find and spray the crop with the pest attack (automation).
Needs for setting up IoT environment for basic applications
1. Choosing platform for IoT development, which provides a powerful toolkit for IoT development and an end to end management that connects devices, smart sensors and IoT gateways to the cloud.
- AWS IoT: (Amazon Web Services)
- A cloud platform designed for IoT apps with the facility of assuring millions of device connectivity and acts a data sea.
- It supports all SDKs like Embedded C, Python, and Java etc.
- Microsoft Azure IoT:
- Azure cloud platform uses Microsoft Visual studio SDK.
- Collect and analyze real time device data using a preconfigured remote monitoring system.
2. Choosing IoT hardware processor:
- Open-source electronics prototyping platform
- The simplest and the beginner’s choice.
- To create interactive (IoT) electronic applications
- It is the first micro controller based development board
- Easy to program for beginners by Arduino IDE
Set up – procedure:
- It itself has 0.5KB of boot loader that makes the program to be burned into the circuit.
- All we have to play with Arduino is to download the Arduino software and to start the code.
- The Arduino programs are called as sketches
- Basic Arduino language : C/C++
- Cross-platform/Multi platform
- Flexible and easy prototyping
- Provides pre-wiring and free code libraries
- More reliable for hardware applications
(b) Raspberry Pi
- Palm sized computer
- Constructed with the educational goal
- Easy even for non-technical user
- Main storage is by SD card
- Runs on customized Debian Linux called Raspbian OS
- Allows installing all packages such as Node.js, Python and so on.
- It has 4 USB ports (Universal Serial Bus for data transfer) and 40 GPIO pins (General Purpose Input/Output pins) to be connected with many peripheral friends.
- HDMI port High Definition Multimedia Interface (to transmit audio and video signals between an HDMI enabled monitor and receiver) to hook up A/V sources.
Set up – procedure:
- Any one of the bootable operating system is needed to be written on an SD card using apps.
- Then connect display, keyboard, and mouse to the Pi just like that to make it as a normal computer.
- The Pi supports video output which can be hooked to a monitor or even TV using HDMI port that provides the normal computer’s abilities.
- Then the necessary action’s code is done with the help of any specified applications.
- Basic Raspi language: python, scratch
- Multiple tasks at a time like a computer
- Easiest internet connectivity
- Works on GUI (Graphical User Interface) mode because of HDMI port.
- Best suited for server based applications i.e., can be connected via SSH–Secure Shell-to access the Rpi command line remotely and file sharing via FTP–File Transfer Protocol.
- More reliable for software applications.
3. Need to use Bluetooth beacons: embedded within the devices to allow IoT objects to broadcast information to the nearby mobile devices so that it can communicate.
Beacon: It’s a kind of lighthouse that repeatedly transmits a single signal to other devices called as Bluetooth radio transmitter.
Advantages of IoT:
|▪ Communication||▪ Automation||▪ Remote control|
|▪ More information||▪ Better decision||▪ Continuous monitoring|
|▪ Time saving||▪ Money saving||▪ Efficient handling|
Disadvantages of IoT:
- Lagging of standard compatibility
- More opportunities for failure
- Loss of privacy or security
- More dependent on technology
Thus on the whole Setting up the IoT environment includes,
- Identifying the problem and the purpose.
- Identifying the data collection challenges.
- Identifying the cloud platform for data storage.
- Coding into the processor to meet your expected need after data analysis.
- Enhancing the advantages and diminishing the disadvantages of IoT.
Applications of IoT:
Smart City or Smart Home: A smart city or a Smart home both sound like something right out of a science fiction book or a show.
Smart Cities fired up our imagination since the time they were incorporated into the television cartoon the Jetsons. The smart home is supposed to have the following features:-
smart kitchen appliances:– a smart kitchen that would make the house more functional and more appealing to the people buying the house. A few of the features in the smart kitchen include:-
- smart plate:- will be equipped with Wi-Fi, weight sensors, and cameras. The dish will be watching what you eat. If you overload it sends you an alert and it can sync to your personal fitness plan on your mobile.
- Drop:- allows the selection of the dish you wish to cook and with the help of a smart scale, you can put together the recipe for your liking. Further, the recipes Drop suggests involving the use of one bowl most of the time. Meaning, it also ensures less cleaning up after cooking.
- Smart Fridge:- this would involve an Artificial Intelligence built into the fridge, which could communicate with other devices in the smart kitchen or in the smart home. There’s a 29-inch front screen taking notes or inputting the specifics about the fridge contents.
- Smart Cooker:- allows you to adjust your cooking settings like cooking temperature, cook time enabling you to warm up or turn off the device irrespective of where you are – no more burnt breakfast when this comes into the market!!
Learning Thermostat: can learn the home owner’s daily timetable and adjust the temperature accordingly
Smart Lock: key-less lock which can be unlocked by means of an application that runs on your smart-phone.
and many more such devices that can make the life around your home much easier.
A smart-city is an urban system that uses information and communications technology in order to make the infrastructure more interactive make the infrastructure more efficient more importantly, make the infrastructure more accessible that is it is available when we need it A smart city is the need of the hour because of:
- A swiftly increasing metropolitan population
- Quickly diminishing store of natural resources
- Environmental and climatic changes
Now, a smart-city shall contain some of these features:-
smart parking lots- each parking slot shall have an occupancy sensor to sense the presence/absence of a vehicle in that particular slot. A vacant parking space can be chosen by the person wishing to park by simply looking at a mobile application that reflects the status of the parking place smart vehicles smart health, Smart roads, Industrial Automation, Smart retail and many more…
These are just two of the most common applications of the Internet of things.
What exactly is the Internet of things
It refers to providing network connectivity & computing capabilities to everyday sensors and objects, allowing them to exchange and consume data without any human intervention or with minimal human interference.
The Internet of things is, thus, a dynamic global network infrastructure with self-configuring capabilities based on standard and interoperable communication protocols where physical and virtual things have identities, physical attributes and virtual personalities and use intelligent interfaces seamlessly integrated into the information network, often communicate data associated with users and their environment.
The requirements of building an IoT system are as follows: –
Dynamic: IoT system & devices should have the ability to adapt to changes in the operating conditions on the go
Self-Configuring: should allow a large number of devices to work together in order to achieve a certain functionality.
Should work on inter-operable communication protocols in order to facilitate communication between varied devices. Each device in an IoT should have a unique identity that helps in controlling it by means of the Internet Thus, everything that we discussed shall have a sensor built into it (some names reflect it by the word smart attached to them like smart city/smart home).
Smart City and Smart Home are among a few of the revolutionary applications that we can expect out of the Internet of things technology.
Some of the items described above are about to be launched into the market this year by well-known brands. LG is going to launch a new smart fridge ThinQ which can grant us alerts on when the food stored in it is about to go bad by means of virtual stickers and expiry dates. The Government of India has launched a smart city plan in which many of the smart city features mentioned above will be implemented.