The Internet of Things (IoT)

Introduction

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. Simply, It is a system that has unique identifiers and an ability to transfer data over a network or communicate with others without need any interaction.

Co-founder of the Auto-ID Center at MIT Kevin Ashton , he mentioned the internet of things first in a presentation he made to Procter & Gamble (P&G) in 1999. He was wanting to bring radio frequency ID (RFID) to the attention of P&G’s senior management, Ashton called his presentation “Internet of Things” to incorporate the cool new way of 1999: the internet.

MIT professor Neil Gershenfeld’s book, When Things Start to Think, also appearing in 1999, didn’t use the exact term but provided a clear vision of where IoT was headed.

The first concept of a network of smart devices, was discussed as early as 1982. It was modified Coke machine at Carnegie Mellon University. By using the web, Programmers or Users could check the status of the machine and determine whether newly loaded drinks were cold or not. 

The IoT evolved from machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, Ex: machines connecting to each other via a network without human interaction and both of are connected to the cloud that can be collecting data and managing it. By taking M2M to the next level, IoT is a sensor network of billions of smart devices that connect people, systems and other applications to collect and share data via a network.

The IoT is also a natural extension of SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition), SCADA is a category of software application program for process control and gathering the data in real time from remote locations to control equipment and conditions. SCADA systems include hardware and software components. The hardware gathers and feeds data into a computer that has SCADA software installed, where it is then processed and presented it in a timely manner.

How IoT works

An IoT ecosystem consists of web which is enabled smart devices that use embedded system, sensors and communication hardware to collect, send and act on data they get from their environments. IoT devices share the data they collect by connecting to an IoT gateway or other edge device where data is either sent to the cloud to be analysed or analysed locally.

The devices do most of the work without human intervention, sometime people can interact with the devices, for illustration to set them up, give them instructions or access the data. The connectivity, networking and communication protocols used with these IoT devices largely depend on the specific applications deployed.

How IoT can effect you

You can agree with me or not, but the internet of things(IoT) helps people live and work smarter as well as they can control everything easily. In addition to offering smart devices to automate homes, whatever IoT is essential to business. IoT provides businesses with a real-time look into how their system of companies 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 employees costs. It also cuts down on waste time 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.

But this could puts you and everyone else at risk: from unknowingly being looker on or having your data compromised to being unable to lock your own home. You could even become part of a botnet that attacks the Internet. Your insecure web-cam – along with millions of others – could be used to attack the power grid of an whole country.

If we want everyone to benefit from the potential of IoT devices, we need to ensure that they are safe and trusted. You can join people around the world and stand up for a safer and more secure connected world. 

Goodness of IoT

The internet of things offers a number of benefits to organizations, enabling them to monitor their whole business processes, improve the customer experience, save time and money, improve employee productivity, integrate and adjust business models, make better business decisions and generate more revenue.

If you want to know more how IoT can be fit in your business feel free to contact a team of Nyereka Tech. IoT encourages companies to rethink the ways they approach their businesses, industries and markets and gives them the tools to improve their business strategies.

But the IoT can also help each person on each side including to give you ability to access information from everywhere in real time and on every IoT devices, control any devices everywhere you are, to save a time and money and automating tasks without your interaction.

Let us allow me to talk about the Badness of IoT:

  • As the number of connected devices increases and more information is shared between devices, the potential that a hacker could steal confidential information also increases,
  • If there is a fault in the system and
  • it is likely that every connected device will become corrupted. 

Application of IoT

The IoT devices can be used to connect vehicles, home automation, wearable technology, connected health, and appliances with remote monitoring capabilities.

The IoT can also used in Medical and Health as Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), (also called the Internet of health things) or Smart Healthcare. It is an application of the IoT for medical and health related purposes, data collection and analysis for research, and monitoring. It is the technology for creating a digitised healthcare system, connecting available medical resources and healthcare services.

There are many IoT applications in farming such as collecting data on temperature, rainfall, humidity, wind speed, pest infestation, and soil content. This data can be used to automate farming techniques, take informed decisions to improve quality and quantity, minimize risk and waste, and reduce effort required to manage crops. For example, farmers can now monitor soil temperature and moisture from afar, and even apply IoT acquired data to precision fertilization programs.

IoT system architecture

While every IoT system is different, the groundwork for each IoT architecture as well as its general data process flow is approximately the same.

First of all, it consists of the Things, which are objects connected to the Internet by means of their embedded sensors and actuators are able to sense the environment around them and gather information that is then passed on to IoT gateways.

The next stage exist of IoT data getting systems and gateways that collect the great mass of unprocessed data, convert it into digital streams, filter and pre-process it so that it is ready for analysis.

The lastly third layer is represented by edge devices responsible for further processing and enhanced analysis of data. This layer is also where visualisation and machine learning technologies may step in. After that, the data is transferred to data centres which can be either cloud-based or installed locally. This is where the data is stored, managed and analysed in depth for actionable insights.

These are the four layers of IoT architecture:

Things, sensors and controllers: As the basis for every IoT system, connected devices are responsible for providing the essence of the Internet of Things which is the data. To pick up physical parameters in the outside world or within the object itself, they need sensors or actuators to get those parameters.

Gateways and data acquisition: Although this layer still functions in close proximity with sensors and actuators on given devices, it is essential to describe it as a separate IoT architecture stage as it is crucial for the processes of data collection, filtering and transfer to edge infrastructure and cloud-based platforms. As intermediaries between the connected things and the cloud and analytic, gateways and data acquisition systems provide the necessary connection point that ties the remaining layers together. Another aspect that the gateways support is security. Because the gateways are responsible for managing the information flow in both directions, with the help of proper encryption and security tools they can prevent IoT cloud data leaks as well as reduce the risk of malicious outside attacks on IoT devices.

Data centre / Cloud platform: If sensors are neurons and the gateway is the backbone of IoT, then the cloud is the brain in the Internet of Things body. Contrary to edge solutions, a data centre or a cloud-based system is designed to store, process and analyse massive volumes of data for deeper insights using powerful data analytics engines and machine learning mechanisms which edge systems would never be able to support. 

Best IoT Projects to Explore you ideas

Let’s see how many readers like to drive their car using a mobile phone or control home appliances from office.

  • Smart Baggage Tracker
  • IoT Based Weather Reporting System
  • IoT Based Wheelchair Fall Detection
  • Touch-Based Home Automation System
  • Smart Anti-theft System
  • Facial Recognition Door with Raspberry P
  • Liquid Level Monitoring System
  • Smart Garage Door
  • IoT Based Alarm Clock
  • IoT Based Air Pollution Monitoring System
  • Night Patrolling Robot
  • Smart Parking System
  • IoT Based Health Monitoring System
  • IoT Based Smart Water Irrigation System
  • IoT Based Traffic Management System
  • IoT Based Baby Monitoring System
  • IoT Based Garbage Monitoring System
  • IoT Based Street Light Monitoring System

Conclusion

As I mention above, IoT is better in our daily life but we need to take care about its security. The next lesson we will be focused on the security of IoT, Sensors/devices can be used to make IoT system and how to build your own IoT devices. To know more information about the above listed projects feel free and contact Nyereka Tech team. Nyereka Tech is ready to help you to improve your business through IoT technology. Leave your comment below if you have any question or suggestion related to this course.

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