In this article, we will learn about today's most trending word, IoT (Internet of Things). My motive is to explain IoT concepts in simple language so everyone can understand and clear up the confusion about what really IoT means. Let's start now.
What is IoT?
IoT stands for the Internet of Things, which is a network of internet-connected hardware devices that give some insightful information about things such as a car, bike, truck, factory, etc.
What is the Use of IoT?You might have heard the words digital and smart multiple times, such as digital services or smart cities etc. This is the most real-time example of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, who always talks about digital India and smart cities.
So, what means digital? Digital is nothing but the access of services to the individual over the internet in the form of a web application, mobile application, etc., which helps to minimise the presence of humans at a particular facility centre to avail the service and get work done from the location where the person resides with the help of a mobile app or web application. The example of digital payment platforms such as BHIM UPI by prime minister Narendra Modi's Indian government, Phone Pay, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, etc.
A smart city is also a part of a digital service in which citizens can see the temperature and humidity of their cities and it automatically generates alerts to their citizens regarding sudden changes in the environment and to take specific precautions. Citizens can even track the live location of specific bus routes so they can plan accordingly. Streetlight management is another example of smart city service in which streetlights are automatically managed by a digital service which is responsible for turning on or off lights based on surrounding visibility and generates alerts if any light bulb has a problem, so servicemen can fix it immediately.
The scenarios described above are just a few examples of how to facilitate and improve digital and smart services. IoT plays an important role in giving meaning to the services that collect the data and generate meaningful and actionable alerts.
Benefits of IoT
Consider just one of the scenarios which I have explained in the preceding paragraphs. Let’s assume we have implemented smart streetlight management using IoT. The benefits are
- Monitor the network of streetlights at one place using the web application or mobile application
- Turn on or off the lights automatically based on the surrounding visibility such as sunrise and sunset which help to save the huge amount of electricity consummation
- Consider some lights are got off due to some problem then IoT generates the alert with detailed reasoning which help servicemen to fix it immediately without going in person at the site
By considering the preceding few examples, you can imagine how IoT helps to give meaning to these things, which saves time, cost, and effort. The IoT will play a very important role in shaping the future of the world. In the coming few years, we will see the IoT in everything, which will make human life much easier and faster. A typical raw IoT device will look like this:
How IoT works?
To understand how IoT works, understand the following basic terminology of IoT
- IoT Gateway
- Communication Protocol
Any surrounding objects around us which we use in our daily life, such as cars, trucks, or any vehicle, water taps, pumps, machines, houses, factories, or rooms, ac, fans, etc.
The device is the hardware that is installed on the things to get the data.
The sensor is situated on the device to monitor the intended information, such as temperature, speed, humidity, visibility, etc.
- Temperature and humidity sensor
- Pressure sensor
- Visibility sensor
- Magnetometer sensor
- Accelerometer sensor
The network is the means of communication through which device sensors and data collection platforms are connected to each other, such as via Bluetooth, LAN, Wi-Fi, WAN, Internet, etc.
The IoT gateway is the platform or mediator between devices and the cloud or cloud to device communication, which is responsible for collecting the messages from IoT devices and sending messages back to the devices.
The IoT gateway provides the features to collect and process the IoT device's data and upgrade the IoT devices. The following are some examples of commonly used IoT gateways.
- Microsoft Azure IoT
- AWS IoT
- Google IoT Cloud
- Amazon IoT
The communication protocols are the mediums which are responsible for establishing communication between IoT devices and IoT gateways to send and receive messages between them. Examples of the most used protocols are