Introduction to IoT
While IoT is gradually advancing and becoming an important part of tech world, there is also other class of people who have little to no knowledge of this streaming technology. Today, we will bridge that gap just as IoT does. Confused? Well, don’t be.
To make it simple, lets first split each word and dive into it:
Internet is all about WWW, a network that is globally used which is both build and used by human beings.
Thing, on other hand, is any object or substance which is dormant in nature.
Hence, Internet of Things (IoT) is a bridge between living (i.e internet) and non-living (i.e things)
Say, if we want to communicate with each other, we may use a network like facebook or twitter, where one of us sends friend request to the other and there on conversation begins, or make a phone call or even better- just meet in person to hit the conversation.
But, if a machine wants to communicate with other machine, it of course cannot talk as easily as we humans can do. And that is where medium like IoT comes into picture.
What is IoT?
“Machines built to run machines.”
Today, when the world has advanced drastically, revolving around data and cloud computing, IoT is an emerging technology which is the world of sensors or chips. IoT is a platform where a machine commands other machine to perform certain tasks ranging from simple to hybrid functions.
It is finding a route to connect numerous applications, devices and technologies in a single, coherent network. It is a vision where each thing that we see (or cannot see) with our naked eyes will be embedded with smart sensors to make our life easy, safe and even luxurious.
For example, a car would send an automatic text message to both hospital and family member with location when the driver meets with an accident. Reaching hospital, the patient wouldn’t have to wait to fill up a form, his personal details would be fetched from the chip attached to his car. This little improvisation would save a lot of hassle and a life.
Lets look at another example where a customer orders a product from an online portal, and say, a chip is attached to the packed product which would automatically track its location and regularly update the customer regarding its arrival. This would help both customer and vendor to maintain security constraints and cordial relations. All these wouldn’t have been possible without the powerful use of Internet of Things.
Hence, IoT helps to bring each machine to a basic, general platform where a common language is build for machines to communicate.
Every little thing has a story. IoT helps machine to describe its own story. It is a platform that brings components of various devices to common bridge of communication.
Why IoT will be powerful?
Twenty-five years back, you wouldn’t have imagined a machine that would give money- today we have ATM machines; no watchman would have thought that a door can open all by itself- today we have automatic doors; no traffic police officer would have seen in his wildest dreams that a car can be run without a driver- today Google have successfully built driver-less cars. All these has been possible with the powerful use of Internet of Things.
Earlier, manpower was affordable while technology was expensive. Gradually came a stage where both human and technical resources were at par. Both were almost equally expensive. But lately, tables have turned altogether. Technology is becoming cheaper day-by-day. And in the upcoming years, to reduce the cost of human resources, technology will have to cumbersome for the same.
Also, seeing from a network perspective, the information that we search on internet travels numerous servers and networks in the background to serve us the correct data in the minimal amount of time. And the cost of transferring this data cannot be neglected.
It is next to impossible for the single human brain to acquire, process and analyze such a huge amount data without any device or system. IoT can be a great platform to reduce cost and enhance the efficiency of such resources.
As cellular devices are becoming smart and easily accessible, according to a survey, nearly 75 Billion devices will be connected to each other by 2020 and its market value will grow to around nineteen dollar trillion. Yes, you read that right! Internet will soon have benchmarking solutions in the field of medical, security, household, transportation, education and others.
In the fast pacing world, life without devices seems impossible and in the world of devices, life without connectivity is irresistible. IoT is surely going to be an integral part of these vicious circle.
How Iot Works
IoT – How?
Time isn’t far when your coffee maker will know your mood swings better than your loved one.
Iot is an amalgamation of devices that are connected with each other. Devices acquire, process and transfer the data from their surroundings with the help of sensors, controllers and other hardware components.
These connected devices have the potential to generate a vast amount of data and traffic which can be used to provide real-time information. You can monitor the workplace and home remotely. Industries can be blessed to improve productivity and reduce cost and waste. Sensor can make the city smart to avoid congestion and help during accidents or any natural calamity.
- Sensors are an integral part of any IoT application. They are the gripping point from where innovations begin.
- Without network like internet, this isn’t possible. Therefore, it plays a crucial role in the IoT framework.
- Controller is the middle man between sensor and internet. It acquires data and commands the machine or device to function accordingly.
Controller can be of numerous types. Earlier, 90% of controller were built in C language and C++. But with time, they got diversified and now, hybrid technology is available which is both real time and lightweight. Thus, gap between developer and controller to make the hardware is bridged.
Cellular technology is one of the most widely used tech which is both general purpose and easily available. According to a survey, in 2001, 58% cities were covered by 2G which has increased to 95% with the help of cellular community.Today devices like Pi are available which is a credit card sized device, efficient to perform many desktop-like functions.
Computing has improved rigorously and is easily accessible today. Processing power is getting better day-by-day. A decade back, the processing power that NASA didn’t have is now available in your smart phone.
Real time analytics, too, has advanced a ton. Fetching records from DOS based system took minutes to hours back then which has now reduced to milliseconds.
When will you use Iot?
Haven’t you dreamed of smart homes where your chores are performed automatically? Imagine how it would feel if the light switches on as soon as you enter the house, you can schedule the meetings just by talking about it to a device and the other party is notified.
I’m sure you would have watched stuff like that in science fiction movies. But all this isn’t fiction anymore. Its turning into reality. Internet of Things has been around for quite some time but its real need has emerged now when world peace, security and weather conditions are at the highest stack.
It has become mandatory that we come with a way to cope up with increasing population, pollution, health issues and security attacks. IoT is a blanket of billions of sensors. It is a field where each object, every little thing will be embedded with sensors and chips.
The right time is now,
- when data on internet is becoming tremendously huge while data segregation and analysis is not humanly possible.
- when the environment is at a critical stage and we need to prevent damage which soon will become irreversible and a hostile planet for the sake of human survival.
- when technology is widely growing and getting cheaper and more accessible than never before.
After figuring how IoT works, you can imagine numerous applications. IoT can also be used for smart farming where livestock and farming activities can be monitored. This can bring revolution in the field of farming and yielding crops. IoT can be found from home and building automation to smart cities to smart farming to wearable to smart health solutions.
Top IoT Trends for 2017
Here’s list of some top notch areas where IoT will have powerful impact:
- Startup Innovations
It’s the peek time where technocrats have realized the potential of IoT and are also pushing their ideas into reality. Though idea is only the first step, they will have to make the devices that are cost effective to garner success.
- Big Data
To fully utilize the impact of IoT, Big Data needs to be used efficiently. As information is an integral part of IoT, data continuously needs to be transferred between the devices. Smart cities, smart homes, smart cars or any other smart device produces enormous amount of data. Data quality matters more than data quantity. It requires some methodology to fetch, process and analyze this data. Thus, to maximize the advantage of IoT, Big Data must be considered a fundamental part.
- Personalized Tech
The hype around smart phones and wearable is predicted to be at par while other personalized devices are being innovated. The scope is expected to go beyond health and wellness where smart phones will have an incorporated health sensor. This revolution is taking place even at smart homes and not only at hospitals and health centers.
- Connected Retails
Daily chores such as shopping, parking, etc will soon be transformed by IoT driven retails. It will offer customers exactly what they need, thus increasing user experience. This will also unveil new scopes for advertisements. This will surely have a revolutionary impact on how consumer behaves.
With comfort, comes challenges. Over the time, IoT has been facing security issues globally. It seems that 2017 will be a year where security will get stronger. Security constraints are growing stronger with strategies to fight cybercrime and loopholes.
IoT and Industrial Automation
As Internet of Things (IoT) is expanding, automation industry is too, fortunate enough to be able to walk hand-in-hand with it. New range of solutions are available to both improve and increase the productivity. Industrial IoT uses Industrial grade sensors, PLC, Big data, Web services, Internet protocols and Cloud computing to achieve the necessary results.
These flood of new opportunities is overwhelming and inspires one to try them all. But it is important to sort the options to keep focus on automation goals. One of the important impact in this industry is the use of touch screens and cloud storage for huge amount of data. Commercial IoT devices now have powerful platform to drive long-term business models and revenue streams.
The glimpse of future industrial automation has began to be seen. Energy monitoring and management systems are wide spread across many industries. The clear benefits of the technology are now visible . Some of the benefits are:
- Being able to operate machines at their utmost efficiency.
- Efficient usage of power and energy
- Forecasting failure of the machine.
- Live calculation of costing in each process and being able to decide on the prices of the material.
- Power to monitor factory on a handheld mobile device.
By 2020, there will be nearly 7 connected devices per person on the internet. But the challenge consumers will face is deciding the optimal and stable application that can add value to the current devices.
IoT In Healthcare
What if you didn’t have to watch white walls of the hospitals when you met with an accident? What if you didn’t have to inhale the ‘medicine smell’ of the hospital while you were sick? It is fascinating, I know. Yet, this is how technology and medical science is moving hand in hand.
IoT is rapidly developing in health sector. The new tech can monitor patients from their homes, reducing the urgency to rush to the clinic or hospital by sending the tracked data directly to the doctor. In next ten years, 50% of medical care is estimated to get virtual. From medical perspective, real time data would allow faster and rational decision making. While talking from technology perspective, more than any other sector, health care is forecasted to shed 40% of the global economic impact.
- You can have your home connected with health monitoring device for extended care after discharge
- You can get a wearable, wireless medical device for aged family members
- You can have your home medical monitoring device integrated with cellular connectivity for real time records
- You can use medical apps in your smart phone to keep in touch with the doctor
- Your doctor would know beforehand when you are going to have a heart attack.
The good side:
- Efficient care
- Convenient access
- Reduced re-admissions
- Extended care while traveling
- Improved communication between patient and doctor
As they say, prevention is better than cure. With IoT this saying will have its real existence.
In-car telemetry solutions
What if your car knows your driving habits better than you? What if it is clever enough to track location and automatically sends an alert to your family and hospital when your car crashes?
All these is possible with the use of In-Car Telemetry which is a vehicle-based system that incorporates data logging, satellite positioning, and data communication to a back-office application. When FM is layered with vehicle telemetry, its fetched data can provide a range of solutions depending on the customers’ requirements. It can provide cost-efficient, fast and reliable on-road solutions.
But to use this, we need global access to cellular connectivity without incurring roaming charges as you can drive your car literally anywhere, in any city and country. It is important to know what the car can tell you. Since ages, it has been tracking fuel consumption and also notifying about the same. Telemeters can now remotely extract and display the data in a well-formatted manner with consistent connectivity at any location, from any system.
Benefits of the technology “In-car”:
- Track the drivers driving habits.
- Check the amount of fuel in your car so that it never run out of fuel again.
- Being able to monitor all vitals of your car such as- tyre pressure, engine health, battery health, oil quality, Air filter remaining life automatically.
- Send all the engine data to your preferred garage and let them diagnose the car remotely.
- Call for help in distress.
- Imagine your garage giving you a call for service because you have only 200kms left to get the free service.
- Get a notification every time your kid over-speeds your precious car or goes out of the city.
Open Innovations & IoT Applications
Internet of Things (IoT) has inspired various powerful application concepts, yet only few of them have been put into implementation. This issue is because of huge scope of protocols and standards, scattered amidst the industry, which hinders the communication and thus delays the IoT development.
Earlier, IoT businesses worked individually, trying to serve their own purposes; even businesses within the same horizon, worked within their individual group with their own comfort level of protocols. Lack of collaborative platform created a gap between technological exchange.
This gap can be mended only by inclining towards open innovative platform. Growth can be flourished only when developers collaborate with other field experts and thus share and progress collectively. Experts from different fields like transportation, energy, petrochemical, management, hardware, etc will have to share their hands-on knowledge and experience with each other and emerge stronger together. This will give life to many buried ideas and give rise to IoT revolution.
Open innovation will also provide a pool of technology platforms, hardware and software components allowing experts to quickly assemble the resources needed for creative designs and functions. And the good news is that these resources are unified standard based and not industry specific which assures developers that their applications will never get out of scope or trend.
Earlier developers had to hard learn programming languages like C, Java, SQL. But now, cross platform and open-source tools like Node-RED allows developers to build applications with simple drag and drop visuals. Also exchanging knowledge has simplified drastically with the open-source code sharing tools like GitHub, IntelDeveloper Zone, etc. As such, cross-protocol techs replace the old solutions, it instigates new energy of innovations.
Fleet driven by IoT
IoT has a pretty straightforward role in fleet management. Sensors and devices are embedded in the vehicles. Data are then captured and analyzed which may trigger alerts and notifications. It is mostly used to track:
Ad-on, third party sensors are attached to the vehicle along with traditional GPS technology to not only track physical location but also monitor driving habits.
The fleet manager always wants to target on increasing the efficiency while cutting the cost. And one of the most crucial factor here is the efficiency of fuel. It is important to know how the behavior of driver affects fuel efficiency. Events like how long the trucks are idling, how fast the vehicles are going on average on top of the actual consumption data, how quickly they are being accelerated and decelerated. Depending on the model of the truck, fuel efficiency can be tracked by both retrofitted and embedded sensors.
When monitored parts are close to failure or are in need of a tune up, signals can be sent from the sensors embedded to the vehicle. Sensors can be used to monitor tire’s pressure level, allowing the driver to inform about the wear out before its too late.
In late 2013, there were around 11 million fleet management connected devices which is forecasted to increase to 60 million. Connected fleet has many benefits. Connected ships accelerates productivity and efficiency. It gets a hold on increasing environmental disturbance.
They also help improve the operational efficiency. According to stats, there is:
- 15% increase in vehicle efficiency
- 15% reduction in material waste and cost
- 25% reduction in accidents and injuries
- 50% increase in labor productivity
- 68% reduction in vehicles travelling to site
Smart fleet management helps reduce environmental impact to a great extent. It can reduce fuel consumption, emissions and also minimize carbon footprint layers. If used efficiently, it can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 75% and reduce fuel consumption by 26%.