IoT - The Internet of Things
by George S. Maximus
Nowadays most of the people are having 3 or 4 devices as Laptop, Smartphone or even Smart TV connected to the Internet. What about 3000 to 4000 thing around you is connected to the internet?
That is not a far way achievement of the IoT industry. So Let’s Know about this Recent Technology and how it might change our lives in the future.
What is exactly the IoT?
It is simply a Network which connects physical devices and objects as cars, machines, home devices or even people with access to the internet to collect and exchange data uses embedded sensors.
A ” Thing ” ( Internet of Things Device ) is any internet-connected device that can be controlled remotely or be monitored, So it could be a car with built-in sensors connected to the internet to monitor the fuel consumption or DNA analysis gadgets. Now imagine the number of things that could be connected to this network that could communicate with each other without human interfering.
How This Technology Works?
Internet of Things System consists of 4 essential parts, The system starts with the ” Thing ” or device giving it a unique identity to communicate with it by embedded sensors while passing through the second stage which is the connectivity with the internet, then we reach the part of the analyzing and processing the data, Finally this software that processing could send the signal needed for actions or to the user itself so that it could be controlled or monitored.
Sensors collect data from the surrounding it could be just temperature or humidity sensor or it could be a set of sensors in one device, so it depends on signals you want to receive from this sensor or device, as an example your smartphone could be a good example for a device with bundle of sensors such as GPS, Camera, and Gyroscope.
Signals and data collected from the sensors and devices sent and uploaded to a suitable platform we call it the IoT Cloud and already there are many Clouds created by companies as ” Azure IoT Hub ” That is one of Microsoft products, also ” Watson Internet of Things ” created by IBM, and ” AWS IoT Core ” which belongs to Amazon .
The connectivity between those sensors and the platform chosen can be implemented with a variety of methods such as Wifi, Cellular, Bluetooth or directly through the internet. We use a platform and a method of connection depending on the application we work on with our IoT System.
3. Analyzing and Processing the Data
The collected data might be simple as receiving a signal from proximity sensor or might be more difficult to analyze as video or image processing mostly data collected is more complex than the traditional data as it highly unstructured and bi-directional so this huge amount of data, if we talk about large-scale projects, need to be organized and analyzed in a good way so when it gets into the cloud a software starts to analyze and process this data to let the business and users have the important insights and achieve the performance needed through the right actions taken.
4- User Interface / Machine Respond
Finally, this data turns into knowledge and information useful to the user by sending this information as text messages, alerts, E-mails, or in a visible way of monitoring the whole system. For example, the user received a fire alert because the temperature sensor gives an overheated temperature signal.
The Application of the IoT System could be of systems that must be controlled automatically that when it gets the fire alert it opens the sprinkler system so it doesn’t need the user to take action first. In this case, it’s a machine to machine communicate system.
In other Applications, we want the User to interact and control the system through adjusting any variables or giving orders to the system to do the right actions.
There are many applications that can benefit from this latest technology. As we have most of the devices around us connected to the internet here we can not limit the uses of this amazing connectivity, In this article, some of the most important applications will be demonstrated.
1. Smart City
Smart huge projects with the help of the Internet of Things amazing technology besides the help of the government can take cities to a new level of improvements in many aspects such as Transportations and Traffic control by introducing intelligent transportation for products by implementing thousands of sensors in trains, planes, and ships to optimize supply chain management from the very tiny details in the vehicle itself that could be the engine performance.
Also, Automotive development applied so that IoT system in cars can prevent more accidents, predict the nearest maintenance required so that safety is much concerned with enhancing the efficiency of these vehicles, In addition to finding the perfect spot for parking in no time. Though having sensors from cars or any means of transportations can lead to easily monitoring and controlling for the traffic issues and faster emergency response time.
2. Smart Healthcare
Many people around the world suffer from poor health this happens usually from no routine health check that can help in early detect the cause of any trouble with your body or any virus detection so by applying IoT systems easily monitoring for the people health can be easily rather than open a can of soda with gadgets or devices integrated with the Internet of Things, with this solution we can reach a better standard of health and with early detection we can easily cure. E-Health services will cover a wide range of many diseases and age-related conditions as connected sensors capture major and minor health issues and send real-time alerts also help patients to remember to take their medicine in time also proper old people or disabilities caretaking.
3. Industrial Internet of Things
The industry has passed through 4 generations through the years. These industrial revolutions start with the first generation which was most concerned about the mechanical systems ” Mechanization “, water power and steam power. Then the second stage was mainly about the assembly lines and mass productions. The third generation is focusing on the automatic control systems and computers to make industrial automation.
Now a new concept has been introduced to the industrial generation it is the fourth and latest one till now ” Industry 4.0 ” it includes cyber-physical systems which is a combination of automation and data exchange with implemented IoT technology.
The industrial Internet of Things is adding new values that transforming the method of manufacturing applying new ways of creating products. It uses the machine to machine communications to improve workers safety, Optimizing the production line with noticeable improvements in the supply chain of the factories, Another benefit is the prediction of machine failure and gives alerts for maintenance in time.
The Internet of Things is actually changing our lives towards improvements in many aspects of life such as being in smart cities, more safety and health care for mankind, and the new concept of “Industry 4.0 ” is a trend now that sends the industrial technology in a totally new generation and also affects the Energy management. All of these developments achieved by the connectivity of things around us in our daily life.