Internet of things is a technology of connected smart devices over the internet. Large number of industries use IoT for smart process control, to make tasks easier and secure the environment. Thus it is a very large infrastructure for information communication.
Important services where IoT is used
- Medical and healthcare – The Health care industry uses IoT for health monitoring devices to monitor health parameters of the patient in the hospitals as well as home. It is useful to give quick medical service to patients
- Transportation – Transportation industry used IoT for smart traffic control, fleet management or rented vehicles, automatic vehicle control, logistics, electronic toll gathering, etc.
- Smart homes – IoT is used for remotely accessing home appliances like lighting, heating, TV, AC, etc. Home security can be effectively handled by CCTV cameras, baby monitoring. This helps in energy saving and ease of handling devices.
- Environment monitoring – Weather warning systems for tsunami, earthquakes, wildfires, rain forecasts help save human life. Water, air pollution monitoring, habitat monitoring helps conserve the environment.
- Energy management – Smart power grids are used to improve the utilization and distribution of electricity. Household appliances, industrial appliances monitoring and control can save energy.
- Manufacturing – Manufacturing industry uses automate process control systems, operator tools and service information systems. Safety and security of employees can be improved by fire alarms, CCTV cameras, door access systems.
- Agriculture – Monitoring data on temperature, rainfall, humidity, wind speed, pest infestation, and soil content helps farmers to increase quality and quantity of the produce.
Features of Internet of Things
1. Connectivity – Connectivity establishes a connection between all the things of IoT to IoT platforms like server or cloud. The accessibility, reliability, and network compatibility of all devices on the network play an important role in the IoT solution. The fast messaging between hardware and software/cloud is required for giving quick and secure communication.
2. Sensing – Sensors are the most important part of IoT as it generates the real data which can be analyzed and acted upon. Sensors will detect or measure any changes in the environment to understand the physical world and the people around us.
3. Data Analysis (Intelligence) – After connecting all the relevant things, it comes to real-time analyzing the data collected and using it to make effective business decisions. The analog data is converted to computable format If we process the data using algorithms and intelligence, then it becomes a smart system.
4. Enormous scale – The IoT will keep on increasing enormously as devices will increase. The solutions should be able to scale and handle the large data generated by the devices. The IoT infrastructure should be designed to manage future engagement scale. As the components increase more energy will be needed to run the systems, which will be required to be optimized.
5. Dynamic nature – The state of these devices changes dynamically, for example, connected and/or disconnected as well as the parameters of devices including temperature, location, and speed. The count of things also may change dynamically. There needs to be an active engagement between the devices.
6. Heterogeneity – There will be different types of devices connected through different communication channels with various platforms. The system should be designed considering the compatibility of heterogeneous devices and platforms.
7. Security – Security is a critical characteristic of IoT as all the devices, components are continuously communicating with each other over the internet/ cloud. It is important to secure the endpoints, the networks, and the data that is transferred. This will assure the safety of personal data as well as physical devices. Encryptions, access control is implemented for security reasons.
8. Endpoint notifications – Different types of devices, components and tools are needed to be integrated into one network. There is also a need for endpoint notifications via emails, alerts, actions(denying door access, starting cameras, water sprinklers), or mobile notifications. For this we can integrate mass notification tools or video management tools, to notify an end-user promptly and efficiently.
IoT consists of a large number of sensing devices, computing and analyzing software, and responding endpoint devices. While developing an IoT solution, we have to take the above characteristics into consideration. The solution has to be scalable and secure to give a quick efficient response to the data events sent by the devices. This will help us build environment friendly, safe, smart cities.