Internet of Things (IoT)

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What is IoT? 

IoT is a giant network with connected devices. The devices gather and share data about how they are used and the environment in which they are operated. Sensors are embedded in every physical device. It can be a mobile phone, electric appliances, vehicles, barcode sensors, traffic lights, and more.

These sensors continue to emit data about the working state of the device. How do they share this vast amount of data? IoT provides a common platform for devices to dump their data and a common language for all the devices to communicate with each other. Data is emitted from various sensors and sent to the IoT platform securely. IoT platform integrates the collected data from various sources. Further, analytics is performed on the data, and valuable information is extracted as per requirement. Finally, the result is shared with other devices for better user experience automation.

The buzz word these days – Internet of Things (IoT) has various definitions floating around but we simply put it as a set of interconnected systems that connects multiple devices/things with each other intelligently, using sensors, actuators, applications and internet. IoT produces an effective and efficient solution for common problems such as energy conservation, waste reduction, transportation, water quality, agriculture, operations, etc.

Evolution of IoT has been gradual with technology stack being built in fragmented fashion but recently it has gained momentum and has caught media attention because technology has evolved, hardware cost has reduced, and the internet population is growing fast.

By 2025, it is estimated that there will be more than 21 billion IoT devices. A quick look back shows where IoT devices are going. Consider: In 2016, there were more than 4.7 billion things connected to the internet, according to IOT Analytics. Fast-forward to 2021? The market will increase to nearly 11.6 billion IoT devices.

Even before there was a World Wide Web, there was an Internet of Things. Tech companies and pundits have been discussing the idea for decades, and the first internet-connected toaster was unveiled at a conference in 1989.

The term “Internet of Things” was coined in the late 1990s by entrepreneur Kevin Ashton. Ashton, who’s one of the founders of the Auto-ID Center at MIT, was part of a team that discovered how to link objects to the Internet through an RFID tag.

The concept evolved as wireless Internet became more pervasive and embedded sensors grew in sophistication.

Did you ever imagine your groceries could be automatically ordered once your refrigerator gets connected to the internet, by sending a signal to your local grocery shop when your groceries are short in supply? Have you ever felt a need to have a sensor attached to your wallet when you misplace it, so that you could know its exact location? Imagine the additional competitive advantage a manufacturing plant could extract if it starts getting real-time information on the health and performance of its machineries. All the above latent needs converge to a single concept called Internet of Things (IoT) which is creating an unprecedented buzz across the world because of the potential it holds to fundamentally alter the way humans live and interact, and as a result reshaping the business world.

Right now, only your PC and smartphone is connected to the internet and what IoT offers is to connect every physical object with the internet. Now, this would lead to a plethora of information and data getting created and thus would need organizations to have the capabilities to seamlessly store, retrieve and analyze this huge data in order to capitalize on the potential benefits that IoT is going to offer in future.

However, everything new and shiny has downsides, and security and privacy are the biggest challenges for IoT. All these devices and systems collect a lot of personal data about people – that smart meter knows when you’re home and what electronics you use when you’re there – and it’s shared with other devices and held in databases by companies. As soon as there’s a financial benefit to hacking smart homes, there will be a cyber criminal working away at it.

How Does This Impact You?

The new rule for the future is going to be, “Anything that can be connected, will be connected.” But why on earth would you want so many connected devices talking to each other? There are many examples for what this might look like or what the potential value might be. Say for example you are on your way to a meeting; your car could have access to your calendar and already know the best route to take. If the traffic is heavy your car might send a text to the other party notifying them that you will be late. What if your alarm clock wakes you up at 6 a.m. and then notifies your coffee maker to start brewing coffee for you? What if your office equipment knew when it was running low on supplies and automatically re-ordered more? What if the wearable device you used in the workplace could tell you when and where you were most active and productive and shared that information with other devices that you used while working?

How Does It Work?

Sophisticated sensors and chips are embedded inside the physical devices that surround us, each transmitting valuable data that let us better understand how these things work together. Here, the question arises: how do we put the information to Work? The answer is a universal IoT platform that brings us diverse information together and provides a common language for the devices and apps to communicate with each other. The process starts with devices that safely communicate with an IoT platform, integrates the data from many devices, and applies analytics to share the most valuable data with applications that address industry-specific needs.

Two major sections of IOT

IoT is a concept that gets this device connected to the internet to give the user service in the form of automation or just sharing information. Imagine your refrigerator reminds you that you are low on supplies and orders for the same online, coming back from the office to have the house’s air conditioning already set to your preference, the dressing mirror hands out quick information on weather, traffic updates and suggests an alternative route. So in short just like you share updates on the internet your devices will be able to do the same and provide more assistance in your day to day activities. It isn’t just limited to your personal use, IoT can significantly help in automation in industries as well. How do these devices interact, gather and analyze data? They are a blend of sensors (for data input), computational units (to process the data), Execution (Devices, through which output will be sent).

IoT can be divided into two major sectors:

Industrial Applications: IoT with the help of various sensors and other data inputs can help in automating a certain amount of processes. They even remotely operate and monitor the range of machinery. With the internet as the medium of communication and an array of sensory inputs, these machines can talk to each other further helping in automation.

Consumer Applications: The consumer sector has seen lots of IoT applications. For example: Kohler has been implementing an array of sensors and Alexa in their home products, essentially changing the way the user interaction. Google Home and Amazon Alexa, Just by your voice, you can command them to an array of stuff like playing your favorite track, placing orders on eCommerce sites, make to-do lists, reminders, provide general information and much more. Uber, is another application wherein with the help of a voice assistant you can book a cab and confirm the completion of the same.

So the coming future will see more of these applications essentially changing the way we interact with these devices or brands from business POV.

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.
  • Connectivity. 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.

How is IoT Changing the World?

IoT is reinventing every industry by its ability to enable device-to-device communication; it provides automated support and communication between devices.

  • No more traffic jams: Sensors in the car connect with the environment, the information is processed, and a message is sent back to the car, letting drivers and people know which way to go to avoid traffic.
  • Saving Lives: Doctors have better access to more information, allowing for better and faster diagnosis and few errors.
  • Smart Cities: Sensors are placed all over the city, and because of IoT technology; thus, there is more space and better maintenance.
  • Greener Homes: Homes nowadays are equipped with automated devices that are intelligent enough to make decisions and maintain themselves, such as: The thermostat knows when to increase or decrease temperature. The water needed by the house is easily maintained. Optimal lighting is also maintained by the system. The appliances that are not in power are shut down automatically, thus saving energy and money.
  • Pay with your Clothes: Clothes are made with conductive threads and are embedded with a microchip tied to your identity. It allows you to get offers, pay, know when to recycle, unlock your phone, get recommendations, and more.

Different organizations that are transforming with IoT in Real World

1. Smart Homes

Smart Homes are generally in vogue among these applications. The vision of a shrewd home is to control home machines including lights, water stream from taps home security and wellbeing.

House proprietors gain admittance to control and screen these activities from their savvy gadgets (cell phones, tablets, workstations). Envision a circumstance that you neglected to kill a water tap, you are as of now out of your home. You can simply kill from your telephone.

Digital Homes permit you to deal with all your home gadgets from one spot. One can likewise utilize a surveillance camera under the IoT office to stay away from robberies and burglary.

2. Healthcare Solutions

IoT in Healthcare has opened new entryways of chance for clinical masters and patients. The innovation empowers specialists to get continuous access to persistent clinical information, store them on cloud, and offer with others. It likewise chop down the holding up time, assists with checking for the accessibility of equipment and gear, and disentangles the procedure to distinguish constant ailments and take the correct activities to alleviate the hazard.

3. Smart city

Smart City or “City of the Future” is an idea that arranges innovation as answerable for offering upgrades in urban framework to make urban focuses increasingly effective, less expensive and better to live in.

The idea of “Smart City” addresses arranging and open organization through the mechanization of administrations in an imaginative and supportable manner. The divisions that have been creating shrewd urban communities incorporate taxpayer supported organizations, transport and traffic the executives, vitality, medicinal services, water, inventive urban horticulture, and waste administration

4. Connected Car

Connected Car innovation is a huge and a broad system of different sensors, radio wires, implanted programming, and advances that aid correspondence to explore in our mind boggling world. It has the duty of settling on choices with consistency, exactness, and speed. It additionally must be solid. These prerequisites will turn out to be significantly progressively basic when people surrender totally the control of the guiding haggle to the self-ruling or robotized vehicles that are as a rule effectively tried on our interstates at this moment.

5. Smart Farming

Smart Farming is a frequently disregarded IoT application. In any case, in light of the fact that the quantity of cultivating tasks is generally remote and the huge number of domesticated animals that ranchers take a shot at, all of this can be checked by the Internet of Things and can likewise upset the manner in which ranchers work. Be that as it may, this thought is yet to arrive at an enormous scope consideration. In any case, it despite everything stays to be one of the IoT applications that ought not be belittled. Savvy cultivating can possibly turn into a significant application field specifically in the agrarian item sending out nations.

6. Wearables

You would have a reasonable thought of the wearable gadgets that are a piece of the IoT technology and we are certain you own a couple of items too. Google’s celebrated Glass venture got retired yet that hasn’t shut the probabilities of what the innovation brings to the table. From Fitness belts to brilliant watches, anything you’re wearing that is associated with the web is a piece of IoT. Through sensors once more, these gadgets convey information to give you generally exact

7. Smart Retail

Retailers have begun receiving IoT arrangements and utilizing IoT installed frameworks over various applications that improve store activities, for example, expanding buys, lessening robbery, empowering stock administration, and upgrading the shopper’s shopping experience. Through IoT physical retailers can go up against online challengers all the more unequivocally. They can recapture their lost piece of the overall industry and draw in purchasers into the store, along these lines making it simpler for them to purchase more while setting aside cash.

But why do we need to learn IOT??

  1. It provides better scope for future data scientists
  2. It provides promising career opportunities
  3. You also get real-time metrics ,actual data and header connectivity across industries.

What are the hardware’s used in IOT?

IOT devices hardware can be divided into the two categories

General devices:

   a They do the embedded processing and connectivity for the platforms they are connected either by wired network or wireless interfaces.

   b They are the main component for data collection and information processing

Sensing devices:

Apart from sensors, Actuators are another important device in IOT that performs similar functions with different capabilities

  • they work as interface between sensors and machines and collect various information like humidity and light intensity
  • his information is computed using the edge layer which typically assists between the cloud and the sensor
  • They are the layers that store the intermittent transfer of information

Second most crucial aspect of IOT is Device Management Platforms or DMPs

  • DMP’s are the platforms through which this assets interact with a software layer through network gateways
  • DMPs come with various functionalities which include firmware upgrades security patching and reporting of metrics
  • They also help develop alert mechanisms for industrial equipment with more open source OS like Arduino.

What will be the future of IOT?

1. Cybercriminals will continue to use IoT devices to facilitate DDoS attacks

In 2016, the world was introduced to the first “Internet of Things” malware — a strain of malicious software that can infect connected devices such as DVRs, security cameras, and more. The Mirai malware accessed the devices using default password and usernames.

What happened next? The malware turned the affected devices into a botnet to facilitate a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, which aims to overwhelm websites with internet traffic. The attack ended up flooding one of the largest website hosting companies in the world, bringing a variety of major, well-known websites and services to a halt for hours.

This particular strain of malware is called “open source,” which means the code is available for anyone to modify.

2. More cities will become “smart”

Consumers won’t be the only ones using IoT devices. Cities and companies will increasingly adopt smart technologies to save time and money.

That means cities will be able to automate, remotely manage, and collect data through things like visitor kiosks, video camera surveillance systems, bike rental stations, and taxis.

3. Artificial intelligence will continue to become a bigger thing

Smart home hubs, thermostats, lighting systems, and even coffee makers collect data on your habits and patterns of usage. When you set up voice-controlled devices, you allow them to record what you say to them and store those recordings in the cloud. In most cases, the data is collected to help facilitate what is called machine learning.

Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence that helps computers “learn” without someone having to program them. The computers are programmed in a way that focuses on data that they receive. This new data can then help the machine “learn” what your preferences are and adjust itself accordingly. For instance, when a video website suggests a movie you might like, it’s likely learned your preferences based on your past choices.

4. Routers will continue to become more secure and smarter

Because most consumer IoT devices reside in the home and can’t have security software installed on them, they can be vulnerable to attacks. Why? A lot of manufacturers work to get their IoT products to market quickly, so security may be an afterthought. This is where the home router plays a very important role. The router is essentially the entry point of the internet into your home.

While many of your connected devices cannot be protected, the router has the ability to provide protection at the entry point. A conventional router provides some security, such as password protection, firewalls, and the ability to configure them to only allow certain devices on your network.

Router makers will likely continue to seek new ways to boost security.

5. 5G Networks will continue to fuel IoT growth

Major wireless carriers will continue to roll out 5G networks in 2019. 5G — fifth-generation cellular wireless — promises greater speed and the ability connect more smart devices at the same time.

Faster networks mean the data accumulated by your smart devices will be gathered, analyzed and managed to a higher degree. That will fuel innovation at companies that make IoT devices and boost consumer demand for new products.

6. 5G’s arrival will also open the door to new privacy and security concerns

In time, more 5G IoT devices will connect directly to the 5G network than via a Wi-Fi router. This trend will make those devices more vulnerable to direct attack, according to a recent Symantec blog post.

For home users, it will become more difficult to monitor all IoT devices, because they will bypass a central router.

On a broader scale, the increased reliance on cloud-based storage will give attackers new targets to attempt to breach.

7. Security and privacy concerns will drive legislation and regulatory activity

The increase in IoT devices is just one reason security and privacy concerns are rising.

In mid-2018, the European Union implemented the General Data Protection Regulation. GDPR has led to similar security and privacy initiatives in several nations around the world. In the United States, California recently passed a tougher privacy law.

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