The advancement in technology has brought a considerable change worldwide. Many things that were seemed fiction a few years back, now are a reality. Everything around us enjoys advancement in science and technology and provide us with ease. In this scenario, the term internet of things (IOT) seems very reasonable. From the beginning of our day till the last hour of the day or even during our sleep we enjoy the benefits of IoT. The invention of smartphones and several applications has made it a routine matter to control remotely different operation at your home or office using internet services.
What is IOT?
In simple words, we can say that interconnection of all things of the world using the internet is the Internet of Things. If we see in our surroundings, we can observe many devices that have sensors to collect the information and act according to this information. For example, the refrigerators maintain a cooling atmosphere by sensing the internal temperature and make on and off the compressor according to the need. In the same way, the air conditioners since the heat and then make it cool as per your adjustments. It is the basic idea of IOT to connect these devices using the internet where their sensing and learning can be enhanced by the experience of other devices of the same category.
What is the structure of IOT?
Just like any other connectivity based system, IOT architecture also has different layers. At the lower or middle part of IoT systems are the sensors or gadget that become the part of devices and collect the information and are also capable of being connected. Specified protocols are implemented to make them functional and connected. Internet connectivity is used to link up to these gadgets to the devices and the systems. Sensors collect the data and facts that are analyzed and judged for popper actions. The selection for the reporting purpose come in contact with the next layer that can be called the presentation layer.
Here system learning is implemented, and sensors are again contacted further custom information for the best decision making. The software plays a vital role in making the system active and responsive. The software is the soul part of all the systems whether they are IOT or not. All the intelligence and learning of the gadgets and sensor devices are based on good software.
The last layer, i.e. UI (User Interface) that displays the whole layout for the end user and he/she can interact with the system using different buttons and objects provided in the UI layout
How Does It Work?
The primary purpose of the IOT is expanding the use of internet connectivity to such a level where man to machine and machine to machine interaction can be facilitated. Up to now, the idea has practiced in many fields of life successfully. Basically, the whole structure of IOT stands on four components, and each one plays its role to make the system marvelous. These four components are as follows:
- Sensors or devices
- Processing of Data
- User Interface
Let’s discuss all these four components one by one.
Sensors or devices
First of all, we see the devices or sensors that are placed in the things which are using the IOT. These are the primary source for collecting data on a regular basis. These sensors or devices collect data from their surroundings. This data is different for various devices and can be simple or highly complex. Devices may have multiple sensors that collect data and send it as a bundle collectively. For example, the smartphones that we use, do not sense anything but they have embedded sensors such as GPS, accelerometer, camera and many more that collects information from the environment and send it to the manufacturer platform. This data is analyzed, and decisions are made for improving the devices. Data collecting is a fundamental step that is performed by standalone devices or by multiple sensors.
Internet connectivity plays a significant role in the IOT. It connects the devices to the cloud where this collected data is transferred for further manipulation. It can be obtained through various means such as cellular networks, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, WAN (Wide Area Network) and many more connectivity options.
Whatever the means of connection is used, it has its specs and trade-offs regarding power utilization, bandwidth, and range, etc. For the efficient working of the IOT system, it is very significant to choose the right option for Internet connectivity.
Processing of Data
When all the relevant data is collected and transferred to the cloud, here comes the role of software that processes the information effectively and guides the connected machines for appropriate action. This data processing may be simple, and it also could be very complex depending upon the nature and type of data. Sometimes during this process, the user interaction is also required, and most often it happens on some critical or extraordinary situation that comes in front of the collected data.
The user interface is also critical as it is the means to interact with the end user. Different ways can be possible to convey the processing results to the end user such as alarming on smartphones, sending text messages or there may be an application that has a particular user interface for getting information and responding to them. UI can be used for initiating some automatic response to the processed data reports without a human presence there.
Applications of IoT
Although IOT is in its infancy its application in various fields is giving many benefits. It is successfully being used in health care and home control procedures. It is also used in many business fields and the near future it is expected to rule our lives.