The Internet of things is spreading in the world like wildfire; hence you should know what it is so you can be up to date on the recent things in the world. In this guide, we will be talking about what the internet of things is. Do well to read through with understanding.
What is Internet of Things (IoT)?
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the network of physical objects that are engrafted with sensors, software, and other technologies for the sole aim of connecting and trading data with other devices and systems over the internet. These devices range from ordinary household objects to sophisticated industrial tools. With more than 7 billion connected IoT devices today, experts are expecting this number to grow to 10 billion by 2020 and 22 billion by 2025. Oracle has a network of device partners.
How does it work?
Devices and objects with made-in sensors are connected to an Internet of Things platform, which integrates data from the different devices and applies analytics to share the most valuable information with applications built to address specific needs.
These powerful IoT platforms can pinpoint exactly what information is useful and what can safely be ignored. This information can be used to detect patterns, make recommendations, and detect possible problems before they occur.
For example, if I own a car manufacturing business, I might want to know which optional components (leather seats or alloy wheels, for example) are the most popular. Using Internet of Things technology, I can:
- Use sensors to detect which areas in a showroom are the most popular, and where customers linger longest;
- Drill down into the available sales data to identify which components are selling fastest;
- Automatically align sales data with supply, so that popular items don’t go out of stock.
The information picked up by connected devices enables me to make smart decisions about which components to stock up on, based on real-time information, which helps me save time and money.
With the insight provided by advanced analytics comes the power to make processes more efficient. Smart objects and systems mean you can automate certain tasks, particularly when these are repetitive, mundane, time-consuming, or even dangerous. Let’s look at some examples to see what this looks like in real life.
What technologies have made IoT possible?
While the idea of IoT has been in existence for a long time, a collection of recent advances in a number of different technologies has made it practical.
- Access to low-cost, low-power sensor technology. Affordable and reliable sensors are making IoT technology possible for more manufacturers.
- A host of network protocols for the internet has made it easy to connect sensors to the cloud and to other “things” for efficient data transfer.
- Cloud computing platforms. The increase in the availability of cloud platforms enables both businesses and consumers to access the infrastructure they need to scale up without actually having to manage it all.
- Machine learning and analytics. With advances in machine learning and analytics, along with access to varied and vast amounts of data stored in the cloud, businesses can gather insights faster and more easily. The emergence of these allied technologies continues to push the boundaries of IoT and the data produced by IoT also feeds these technologies.
- Conversational artificial intelligence (AI). Advances in neural networks have brought natural-language processing (NLP) to IoT devices (such as digital personal assistants Alexa, Cortana, and Siri) and made them appealing, affordable, and viable for home use.
Why is IoT important?
The internet of things helps people live and work smarter, as well as gain complete control over their lives. In addition to offering smart devices to automate homes, IoT is essential to business. IoT provides businesses with a real-time look into how their systems really work, delivering insights into everything from the performance of machines to supply chain and logistics operations.
IoT enables companies to automate processes and reduce labor costs. It also cuts down on waste and improves service delivery, making it less expensive to manufacture and deliver goods, as well as offering transparency into customer transactions.
As such, IoT is one of the most important technologies of everyday life, and it will continue to pick up steam as more businesses realize the potential of connected devices to keep them competitive.
What are the benefits of IoT to organizations?
The internet of things offers several benefits to organizations. Some benefits are industry-specific, and some are applicable across multiple industries. Some of the common benefits of IoT enable businesses to:
- monitor their overall business processes;
- improve the customer experience (CX);
- save time and money;
- enhance employee productivity;
- integrate and adapt business models;
- make better business decisions; and
- generate more revenue.
IoT encourages companies to rethink the ways they approach their businesses and gives them the tools to improve their business strategies.
Generally, IoT is most abundant in manufacturing, transportation, and utility organizations, making use of sensors and other IoT devices; however, it has also found use cases for organizations within the agriculture, infrastructure, and home automation industries, leading some organizations toward digital transformation.
IoT can benefit farmers in agriculture by making their job easier. Sensors can collect data on rainfall, humidity, temperature, and soil content, as well as other factors, that would help automate farming techniques.
The ability to monitor operations surrounding infrastructure is also a factor that IoT can help with. Sensors, for example, could be used to monitor events or changes within structural buildings, bridges, and other infrastructure. This brings benefits with it, such as cost saving, saved time, quality-of-life workflow changes, and paperless workflow.
A home automation business can utilize IoT to monitor and manipulate mechanical and electrical systems in a building. On a broader scale, smart cities can help citizens reduce waste and energy consumption.
IoT touches every industry, including businesses within healthcare, finance, retail, and manufacturing.
IoT standards and frameworks
There are several emerging IoT standards, including the following:
- IPv6 over Low-Power Wireless Personal Area Networks (6LoWPAN) is an open standard defined by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The 6LoWPAN standard enables any low-power radio to communicate to the internet, including 804.15.4, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and Z-Wave (for home automation).
- ZigBee is a low-power, low-data rate wireless network used mainly in industrial settings. ZigBee is based on the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.15.4 standard. The ZigBee Alliance created Dotdot, the universal language for IoT that enables smart objects to work securely on any network and understand each other.
- LiteOS is a Unix-like operating system (OS) for wireless sensor networks. LiteOS supports smartphones, wearables, intelligent manufacturing applications, smart homes, and the internet of vehicles (IoV). The OS also serves as a smart device development platform.
- OneM2M is a machine-to-machine service layer that can be embedded in software and hardware to connect devices. The global standardization body, OneM2M, was created to develop reusable standards to enable IoT applications across different verticals to communicate.
- Data Distribution Service (DDS) was developed by the Object Management Group (OMG) and is an IoT standard for real-time, scalable, and high-performance M2M communication.
- Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP) is an open-source published standard for asynchronous messaging by wire. AMQP enables encrypted and interoperable messaging between organizations and applications. The protocol is used in client-server messaging and in IoT device management.
- Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP) is a protocol designed by the IETF that specifies how low-power, compute-constrained devices can operate in the internet of things.
- Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) is a protocol for WANs designed to support huge networks, such as smart cities, with millions of low-power devices.
IoT frameworks include the following:
- Amazon Web Services (AWS) IoT is a cloud computing platform for IoT released by Amazon. This framework is designed to enable smart devices to easily connect and securely interact with the AWS cloud and other connected devices.
- Arm Mbed IoT is a platform to develop apps for IoT based on Arm microcontrollers. The goal of the Arm Mbed IoT platform is to provide a scalable, connected, and secure environment for IoT devices by integrating Mbed tools and services.
- Microsoft’s Azure IoT Suite is a platform that consists of a set of services that enables users to interact with and receive data from their IoT devices, as well as perform various operations over data, such as multidimensional analysis, transformation, and aggregation, and visualize those operations in a way that’s suitable for business.
- Google’s Brillo/Weave is a platform for the rapid implementation of IoT applications. The platform consists of two main backbones: Brillo, an Android-based OS for the development of embedded low-power devices, and Weave, an IoT-oriented communication protocol that serves as the communication language between the device and the cloud.
- Calvin is an open-source IoT platform released by Ericsson designed for building and managing distributed applications that enable devices to talk to each other. Calvin includes a development framework for application developers, as well as a runtime environment for handling the running application.
In conclusion, having read through this guide, you can see now how important the internet of things is. More improvements are coming to this technology. So it’s important you continue to educate yourself on the internet of things.