Internet of Things (IoT) | What is it with key example uses? 

What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

Related: Internet of Everything (IoE) | Why Should You Care?

At first, the colonists were upset because they didn’t have representatives that they elected to Parliament. Thus, they felt their rights were being violated when tax laws were passed. And they didn’t have elected representatives that could speak about and vote on these proposed laws.

With that in mind, you can read and learn more about virtual representation in detail. But, before that; let’s learn more about the Internet of Things (IoT), how it works, and where it’s commonly used. Particularly, in today’s real-world of cloud computing.

The Internet of Things (IoT), is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines. As well as, objects, animals, or people that are provided with unique identifiers (in short UIDs). And the ability to transfer data over a network.

They do so without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. In other words, when it comes to the Internet of Things, a thing can be just anything. For instance, a person with a heart monitor implant or a farm animal with a biochip transponder.

Equally important, an automobile that has built-in sensors to alert the driver when tire pressure is low. As well as, any other natural or man-made object that can be assigned an Internet Protocol (in short IP) address and is able to transfer data over a network.

Some of its examples include:
  • ATMs: The internet of things is certainly not a new concept – because money dispensers actually went online back in 1974.
  • The Web: Of course the internet itself is the number one example of the internet of things: with the World Wide Web making its debut in 1991.
  • Smart Meters: With the ability to communicate with the grid and use electricity and other utilities at cheaper, optimum times, smart meters made their debut in 2000.
  • Digital Locks: A recent development in the world of the internet of things is digital locks that allow you to unlock doors remotely using a smartphone.
  • Smart Codes: Indeed they are also used by businesses to quickly change key codes and restrict access.
  • Smart Buildings: In some brand new buildings, occupants and owners can manage and maintain comfort, operations, and energy wirelessly.

Standing for Machine to Machine, M2M is often used interchangeably with IoT. However, in reality, IoT is a broader idea: it covers applications, protocols, and domains and refers to automation in nearly all areas.

How does the Internet of Things (IoT) work?

An Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem consists of web-enabled smart devices that use embedded systems. Such as processors, sensors, and communication hardware, to collect, send, and act on data they acquire from their environments.

IoT devices share the sensor data they collect by connecting to an IoT gateway or other edge device where data is either sent to the cloud to be analyzed or analyzed locally. Sometimes, these devices communicate with other related devices and act on the information they get from one another.

Notably, the devices do most of the work without human intervention, although people can interact with the devices — for instance, to set them up, give them instructions or access the data.

The connectivity, networking, and communication protocols used with these web-enabled devices largely depend on the specific IoT applications deployed. IoT can also make use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to aid in making data collecting processes easier and more dynamic.

IoT Standards Include:

  • IPv6 over Low-Power Wireless Personal Area Networks (6LoWPAN) is an open standard defined by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The 6LoWPAN standard enables any low-power radio to communicate to the internet, including 804.15.4, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and Z-Wave (for home automation).
  • ZigBee is a low-power, low-data rate wireless network used mainly in industrial settings. ZigBee is based on the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.15.4 standard. The ZigBee Alliance created Dotdot, the universal language for IoT that enables smart objects to work securely on any network and understand each other.
  • LiteOS is a Unix-like operating system (OS) for wireless sensor networks. LiteOS supports smartphones, wearables, intelligent manufacturing applications, smart homes, and the internet of vehicles (IoV). The OS also serves as a smart device development platform.
  • OneM2M is a machine-to-machine service layer that connects devices if embedded in software and hardware. The global standardization body, OneM2M, was created to develop reusable standards to enable IoT applications across different verticals to communicate.
  • Data Distribution Service (DDS) was developed by the Object Management Group (OMG) and is an IoT standard for real-time, scalable, and high-performance M2M communication.
  • Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP) is an open-source published standard for asynchronous messaging by wire. AMQP enables encrypted and interoperable messaging between organizations and applications. The protocol is used in client-server messaging and in IoT device management.
  • Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP) is a protocol designed by the IETF that specifies how low-power, compute-constrained devices can operate in the internet of things.
  • Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) is a protocol for WANs designed to support huge networks, such as smart cities, with millions of low-power devices.

IoT Frameworks Include:

As an example, Amazon Web Services (AWS Marketplace) IoT is a cloud computing platform for IoT released by Amazon. This framework is designed to enable smart devices to easily connect. As well as securely interact with the AWS cloud and other connected devices.

Arm Mbed IoT is a platform to develop apps for IoT based on Arm microcontrollers. The goal of the Arm Mbed IoT platform is to provide a scalable, connected, and secure environment for IoT devices. More so, by integrating Mbed tools and services.

Microsoft Azure is yet another great IoT Suite. It’s a platform that consists of a set of services. Like enabling users to interact with and receive data from their IoT devices.  As well as perform various operations over data.

Some of these operations include:
  • multidimensional analysis,
  • transformation, and aggregation

And then, it visualizes those operations in a way that’s suitable for business. Google Brillo, aka Google Weave, is also another great platform for the rapid implementation of IoT applications. The platform consists of two main backbones:— Brillo and Weave.

Brillo is an Android-based OS for the development of embedded low-power devices. Whilst, Weave is an IoT-oriented communication protocol — it serves as the communication language between the device and the cloud. Calvin is an open-source IoT platform — released by Ericsson — designed for building and managing distributed applications.

It enables devices to talk to each other. In addition, it includes a development framework for application developers. As well as a runtime environment for handling the running application.

Why Is IoT Important?

The internet of things helps people live and work smarter, as well as gain complete control over their lives. In addition to offering smart devices to automate homes, IoT is essential to business. IoT provides businesses with a real-time look into how their systems really work.

They do so while delivering insights into everything from the performance of machines to supply chain and logistics operations. It enables companies to automate processes and reduce labor costs. Not to mention, it also cuts down on waste and improves service delivery.

Related: Data Management | Systems, Challenges & Best Practices

By doing so, it makes it less expensive to manufacture and deliver goods. As well as offering transparency into customer transactions. IoT is one of the most important technologies of everyday life that’s still picking up steam.

More so, as more businesses realize the potential of connected devices to keep them competitive. The internet of things offers several benefits to organizations. Some benefits are industry-specific, and others multi industries.

IoT enables businesses to:
  • monitor their overall business processes;
  • improve the customer experience (CX);
  • save time and money;
  • enhance employee productivity;
  • integrate and adapt business models;
  • make better business decisions; and
  • generate more revenue.

What’s more, IoT encourages companies to rethink the ways they approach their businesses and gives them the tools to improve their business strategies.

Generally, IoT is most abundant in manufacturing, transportation, and utility organizations, making use of sensors and other IoT devices. However, it has also found use cases for organizations within the agriculture, infrastructure, and home automation industries.

Related: Online Privacy | 6 Tools to Protect Your Internet Information

Whilst, leading some organizations toward digital transformation. IoT can benefit farmers in agriculture by making their job easier. Whereby, sensors can collect data on rainfall, humidity, temperature, and soil content. As well as other factors, that would help automate farming techniques.

The ability to monitor operations surrounding infrastructure is also a factor that IoT can help with. Sensors, for example, can monitor events or changes within structural buildings, bridges, and other infrastructure. This brings benefits with it, such as cost-saving, saved time, quality-of-life workflow changes, and paperless workflow.

A home automation business can utilize IoT to monitor and manipulate mechanical and electrical systems in a building. On a broader scale, smart cities can help citizens reduce waste and energy consumption. In nutshell, it touches every industry, including businesses within healthcare, finance, retail, and manufacturing.

Example Uses of the Internet of Things (IoT)

As you can see, there’s plenty of jargon related to the internet. But, one that has broken into the mainstream as potentially one of the most important terms for the way we live and communicate in the future is the IoT.

In short, the Internet of Things is a term used to describe the linking of everyday objects with the internet. Joined together using technology. And with the goal being to allow people to seamlessly pick up knowledge on the move.

Meaning, there’s no need to sit at a computer or even to talk with another human. One of the most famous early examples of the Internet of Things being put into practice is wearable technology such as Google Glass in that case.

However, it is much more than that as it can extend to your workplace, your home, your car, and more. With the emergence of new technology arrives various complications. For example, many manufacturers have jumped on the bandwagon at the same time.

Learn More: What Is Google Brillo? & How Does It Work?

And they are releasing smart devices that can connect to the internet with the idea of receiving and sending data. Yet, all of these devices will ultimately require a common platform, software, or language. So that they can work together and recognize each other.

Among the early adopters of the idea has been Apple. It has developed a framework called HomeKit. The main aim of HomeKit is to simplify the ideas behind the Internet of Things with home automation. It offers a common language for use with a host of smart devices.

This then brings us full circle to the idea of the futuristic Google Brillo OS. Brillo provides these low-powered devices with the ability to communicate with nearby devices. It is hoped that the software may eventually be used on everything. From refrigerators to smaller devices.

Consumer & Enterprise IoT Applications

There are numerous real-world applications of the internet of things, ranging from consumer IoT and enterprise IoT to manufacturing and industrial IoT (IIoT). IoT applications span numerous verticals, including automotive, telecom, and energy. In the consumer segment, for example, you’ll find smart homes.

With smart thermostats, smart appliances, and connected heating. As well as lighting and electronic devices controlled remotely via computers and smartphones. Wearable devices with sensors and software can collect and analyze user data, sending messages to other technologies about the users with the aim of making users’ lives easier and more comfortable.

The use of wearable devices also provides public safety. For example, improving first responders’ response times during emergencies by providing optimized routes to a location or by tracking construction workers’ or firefighters’ vital signs at life-threatening sites.

RelatedWhat Is Metaverse? The Next Cloud Technology Outlook

In healthcare, IoT offers many benefits. Including the ability to closely monitor patients using an analysis of the generated data. Hospitals often use IoT systems to complete tasks such as inventory management for both pharmaceuticals and medical instruments.

Smart buildings can, for instance, reduce energy costs using sensors that detect how many occupants are in a room. The temperature can adjust automatically — for example, turning the air conditioner on if sensors detect a conference room is full or turning the heat down if everyone in the office has gone home.

In agriculture, IoT-based smart farming systems can help monitor, for instance, light, temperature, humidity, and soil moisture of crop fields using connected sensors. IoT is also instrumental in automating irrigation systems.

In a smart city, IoT sensors and deployments, such as smart streetlights and smart meters, can help alleviate traffic, conserve energy, monitor and address environmental concerns, and improve sanitation.

The Key Futuristic Examples 

Of course, we have only scratched the surface of what the internet of things is capable of at this point. It seems that for the future the possibilities for connectivity are endless. There are other early futuristic concepts under discussion.

They include:
  • Mind Control: New technology is under research to amazingly give us the chance to control machinery simply by using our minds. It may seem futuristic but the internet of things is already giving us the ability to collect data about the human body, so perhaps this is the next logical step. It has the potential to save lives and change the way we interact forever.
  • Robots: The idea of robots that can work together and learn from each other seems like something from a science fiction movie: but it really could happen with the connectivity that the internet of things provides. The idea is that robots could solve problems and increase their efficiency by working within a team.

Of course, with the new developments comes increased competition: with several companies competing to develop a software platform that will host all of the vertical applications of the Internet of Things. Whether there can be a dominant player in the market, much like we see the Facebook social networking power.

However, what is clear is that the idea behind the internet of things has already made rapid progress and continues to do. It has a chance to change the world much in the way the internet did: and perhaps even more so.

What Are IoT Security & Privacy Issues Concerns?

Technically, the Internet of Things (IoT) connects billions of devices to the internet. Not forgetting, it involves the use of billions of data points, all of which need good security. Due to its expanded attack surface, IoT security and IoT privacy are cited as major concerns.

In 2016, one of the most notorious recent IoT attacks was Mirai, a botnet that infiltrated domain name server provider Dyn. And, as a result, it took down many websites for an extended period of time in one of the biggest distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks ever seen.

Attackers gained access to the network by exploiting poorly secured IoT devices. The main reason? Simply, because of the close connections of IoT devices. Thus, all a hacker has to do is exploit one vulnerability to manipulate all the data, rendering it unusable.

Likewise, manufacturers that don’t update their devices regularly — or at all — leave them vulnerable to cybercriminals. Additionally, connected devices often ask users to input their personal information, including names, ages, addresses, phone numbers, and even social media accounts — information that’s invaluable to hackers.

Hackers aren’t the only threat to the internet of things; privacy is another major concern for IoT users. For instance, companies that make and distribute consumer IoT devices could use those devices to obtain and sell users’ personal data. Beyond leaking personal data, IoT poses a risk to critical infrastructure, including electricity, transportation, and financial services.

Takeaway,

Basically, IoT has evolved from the convergence of wireless technologies, microelectromechanical systems (MEMSes), microservices, and the internet. The convergence has helped tear down the silos between operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT).

Although Ashton’s was the first mention of the internet of things, the idea of connected devices has been around since the 1970s, under the monikers embedded internet and pervasive computing. IoT evolved from M2M communication, i.e., machines connecting to each other through a network without human interaction.

M2M refers to connecting a device to the cloud, managing it, and collecting data. 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. As its foundation, M2M offers the connectivity that enables IoT.

Learn More: What is M2M technology, and how does it affect our daily lives?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is also a natural extension of supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA). SCADA is a category of software application programs for process control. Whereby, the gathering of data in real-time from remote locations to control equipment and conditions.

Basically, the SCADA systems include hardware and software components. The hardware gathers and feeds data into a computer that has SCADA software installed. By all means, the evolution of SCADA is such that late-generation SCADA systems developed into first-generation IoT systems.

The concept of the IoT ecosystem, however, didn’t really come into its own until the middle of 2010. This is when, in part, China said it would make IoT a strategic priority in its five-year plan. That’s all for now.

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