INTRODUCTION TO INTERNET OF THINGS ( IOT )

What is IOT? Now days, everybody is familiar with the word Internet. Internet has changed this world in global village because communication is made too easy and inexpensive that you can easily approach to anyone in this world within minutes. But in order to access internet we need some sort of device. It can be a smartphone or laptop or any sort of device which is able to communicate with Internet. One thing we should notice that when we are using internet we don’t face the issue that our data is sent to someone else or we are receiving someone else data or any other issue related to this. Suppose we are using internet for automation purposes we don’t have to worry that we will be controlling someone else’s home from our devices.

Introduction to IoT

So in this article we are going to discuss that what makes our device uniquely discover able over thousands of devices and how sharing of data is possible with specific device and what sort of devices can have internet access. We will discuss the term “Internet of things” or in short IoT and how it is used and what are their applications, what internet of things can do for us and disadvantages / advantages of internet of things.

WHAT IS INTERNET OF THINGS (IoT)?

The term internet of things was first coined by researchers. In simple words, internet of things refer to interconnection of the physical objects or computing devices like smart phones to cover a wide range of emerging technologies like smart cars or transportation systems etc. Internet of things signifies general concept of abilities of network devices to collect and sense data from all over the world and then making it possible to share that data over Internet to utilize that data in several fascinating projects or purposes. So in short we can say that internet of things is a network of devices and these devices include things like vehicles, smartphones and much more that are capable to connect and exchange data with other computers.

So we are going to look at things / devices that play a crucial role in building this internet of things and how these multiple devices are connected together. Moreover we will discuss that after connecting with each other how they communicate and add value to generate data. Although it’s not a general case but we will look into another point of these internet of things and it is about privacy issues and cyber security.

ADDRESSING DEVICES:

The answer to the above question that how our device is uniquely identifies over thousands of devices is IP address or MAC address. IP and MAC addresses are unique and from this address we can access a specific device. One thing should be clear that not all devices are included in IoT connected devices but all IoT connected devices are known as connected devices. So now onwards we will be talking about internet protocol IP and to be more specific IPv6 instead of IPv6. Here question comes that how this IP address is obtained. For instance if we are going to access Facebook we just connect our device to internet and then type URL in any browser and we got access to that site. So where is the role of IP?

So it should be clear that every URL (uniform resource loader) has an IP address and this IP address is get by our network layer of OSI architecture and this IP address is used to send our data and if we have made request to some sort of webpage then our IP address will also be included in our real request message and once that webpage is accessed it will send it to us by inserting our IP address as destination node address and we will receive our requested web page.

POTENTIAL BENEFITS of IOT

Some commonly used systems we came across daily that make use of internet of things are listed below

  • Self-parking
  • Receiving warnings on our smart devices in case of danger
  • Ordering home supplies or groceries
  • Automatic track of our exercise habits
  • Location tracking
  • Fuel saving
  • Safety controls for people working in hazardous environments

CHARACTERISTICS OF IOT

In order to build an infrastructure for internet of things, following considerations should be kept in mind:

  • Intelligence
  • Architecture
  • Complexity
  • Size considerations
  • Space considerations

TECHNOLOGIES THAT ENABLE IOT

It’s a crucial choice to select a network which is used for communication between devices. These networks may be wired or wireless. Networks that are used to communicate between devices can be categorized in 4 ways:

  • Short range wireless
  • Medium range wireless
  • Long range wireless
  • Wired
  1. Short range wireless:
  • Bluetooth
  • Li-Fi (light fidelity)
  • NFC (near field communication)
  • RFID (radio frequency identification)
  • Barcodes and QR codes
  • Zigbee
  • Wi-Fi
  1. Medium range wireless:
  • HaLow
  • LTE advance
  1. Long range wireless:
  • LPWAN (low power wide area networking)
  • VSAT (very small aperture terminal)
  • Long range Wi-Fi connectivity
  1. Wired:
  • Ethernet
  • MoCA (multimedia over coax alliance)
  • PLC (power line communication)

CONTROVERSIES RELATED TO INTERNET OF THINGS

Some of the controversies faced by internet of things (IoT) are given below:

  • Platform fragmentation

Internet of things (IoT) lack technical standards i.e. it constantly suffers from different inconsistent technologies as all devices that form IoT are different from each other in terms of hardware as well as software.

  • Privacy and control

Big data infrastructures like internet of things or data mining are incompatible with privacy. It is difficult to ensure the privacy of each and every device that is involved in building network for internet of things.

  • Data storage:

As it is obvious from term data storage that data received from billions of users’ needs to be stored somewhere.

  • Security:

In order to protect your data from hacking some strict measures should be taken and obviously it comes up with price. The price for enabling and ensuring security of each and every device will be paid in slow performance and speed of network.

  • Confusing terminology:

We cannot say something definite about that company / devices operating in IoT space. It could be anything related to networking, embedded systems or sensor technology. So we are not sure that by using the term internet of things which specific device we are talking about. Are we talking about some sensor technology or any embedded system? So this term can be used for many devices and we are not sure of end systems.

APPLICATIONS OF IOT

The set of applications for internet of things are so extensive that we will divide them into 4 categories

  • Consumer Internet of things: It includes connected devices like phones, laptops, watches, entertainment systems and connected appliances. Some of the applications of consumer internet of things applications are given below
  • Commercial Internet of things: It includes thing like device trackers, inventory controllers and connected medical devices. Some applications related to it are given below.
  • Industrial Internet of things: It covers things like waste water system, electric meters, pipeline monitors, robot manufacturing, flow gauges and many other industrial systems and devices. Some real world applications are mentioned below
  • Infrastructure spaces Internet of things: It includes some advance technologies like smart cities, energy management and many others. Applications that come in this category are listed below.

So let’s mention some of the applications of each category

  1. Consumer applications:
  • Smart homes
  • Elder care
  1. Commercial applications:
  • Medical and health care
  • Transportation
  • Home and building automation
  1. Industrial applications:
  • Manufacturing
  • Agriculture
  1. Infrastructure spaces:
  • Metropolitan scale deployments
  • Energy management
  • Environmental monitoring

So far we have developed an understanding of how IoT is build and what are its potential benefits. IoT continues to grow and it doesn’t stop here. There are some simple things like light bulb and it can be turned off and on with the help of an application and something complex like network of cameras for traffic information i.e. an application which will help us in monitoring traffic and sending information over concerned department in case of traffic jam or accident. In short we can say that the future is of IoT now as almost every device around us can play a role in building IoT. However challenges and hazards are also present that should be addressed in proper way to make people more comfortable with it.

That’s all today. I hope you enjoyed reading this article. In case of any queries or suggestions related to this article can be asked in comment section below. We will try our level best to facilitate you by answering your questions according to our best knowledge

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