An Introduction to Internet of Things

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Introduction to Internet of Things

We know that Internet is used to send information quickly between computers around the world. It has millions of smaller domestic, academic, business, and government networks and websites, which together carry many different kinds of information and services. Now a day the Buzzword “Internet of Things” is Booming. For every new technology poised to reinvent the way we work, interact, and live, there seem to be many more incremental and successful improvements. So Internet of Things is again a incremental technology. This article gives Introduction to Internet of Things.

Contents:
1. What is Internet of Thing?
2. How Internet of Thing Works?
3. What is Motivation Behind Internet of Thing?
4. Why Internet of Things is an Useful Technology?
5. Companies and Research Groups Working on Internet of Thing

1. What is Internet of Thing (IoT) ?   [ Back ]

In simple words, “Internet of Things” can be defined as – A Giant Network of “things”  to exchange information for providing services for the benefit of human race.

A “thing”, in the Internet of Things, can be an item in a retail shop with a microchip tag attached, heart monitoring gadget implanted on person, bio-chip transponder attached to farm animal, built-in sensors on car to alert the driver when tire pressure is low, a mobile, tablet, laptop, smart home device, person or any other object that can be assigned an IP address and can sense environment and communicate/exchange information on Internet with others.

Introduction to Internet of Things
Figure-1: Things are Connected via Internet of Things

The definition of IoT can be further expanded as: The Internet of Things is the network of physical objects (things) that contain embedded electronics, software and sensors with Internet connectivity to sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment and to exchange information with the connected devices, manufacturer, and/or operator for providing services for the benefit of human kind.

With the advent of Artificial Intelligence, now a days, “things” are smart, like smart surveillance camera, smart watch, smart virtual assistant, smart home gadgets, etc. So, IoT can be referred to as a network of smart objects / things interacting with each other, to provide services in a better way to humanity. The relationship will be between people-things, people-people and things-things.

2. How Internet of Things Works? [ Back ]

Applications of Internet of Things are gradually emerging. Here we present few application scenarios, which shows how Internet of Things does works.

Scenario-1: Health Scenario

mobile-healthcareHospitalised patients whose physiological status requires close attention can be constantly monitored using IoT-driven monitoring. This type of solution  employs sensors to collect comprehensive physiological information and uses gateways and  the cloud to analyse and store the information and then send the analysed data wireless to caregivers for further analysis and review. It replaces the process of having a health professional come by at regular intervals to check the patient’s vital signs, instead providing a continuous automated flow of information.


Almost everyone is very much conscious about their health and many  are using smart health gadgets which are gradually increasing in market. These devices senses health related data (heart-beat, blood pressure, etc.) automatically and wireless sends it to person’s mobile or person’s family doctor for early detection of symptoms / disease and / or to know status of their health.

Scenario-2: Smart Home

Internet of Things
Figure-2: Smart Home Devices Connected Wirelessely.

Grandma had opened the bedroom windows to get fresh air, but forgot to close them. The Home monitoring service detects a significant decrease of the home temperature and recognises that the window is open (and a low temperature outside). To save energy, the system uses the ubiquitous home interface to locate and inform grandma and to advice her to close the window.

Scenario-3: Shopping Mall

While shopping in a mall, entering the doors, scanners will identify the tags on person’s clothing or other means of identification. The items introduce themselves to persons “Hello sir/mam…. I am so an so … today available at cheaper rate then earlier time….you generally buy me every time you visit here….”.

retail-iotShopping mall staff is automatically informed to put new items when number of items at a location is below pre-set threshold. The inventory of retail shop gets automatically updated as and when people buy items and automatically places purchase order at required intervals. When paying for the goods, the microchip of the credit card will automatically communicate with checkout reader.

3. What is Motivation Behind Internet of Things? [ Back ]

Internet is becoming more and more widely available. Cost of connecting is decreasing. More devices are being created with Wi-Fi capabilities and sensors built into them. Technology cost is going down. Thus smart-phone, smart gadgets, and devices are increasing very rapidly. Heavyweight companies are in a race of developing Internet of Things devices. Intel is one of the Technology giant to manufacture  component for IoT devices.

As per Gartner report, over 26 billion things will be connected by 2020. The actual number of connected things may be over 100 billion even.That means a large number of connected devices talking to each other. All of these are favourable factors for creating a perfect platform for the IoT. Thus in summary, advances in Internet technology and reduction in cost supporting technologies (for implementing of network of things) while achieving portability, smartness, and drastic performance improvement led to development of concept and technology like Internet of Things.

4. Why Internet of Things is an Useful Technology? [ Back ]

Currently IoT is emerging as a technology, which is boon for mankind. It is improving the quality of life and enhancing day to day operations in number of fields. Because of its success and great usefulness it is being gradually capturing market.

  • Some of the reason why IoT is an useful technology :
  • It enhances accessibility and usability of objects for better services to human kind
  • It enables dynamic control of industry and daily-to-day life
  • It improves the resource utilisation ratio
  • Better relationship between human and nature can be established
  • Forming an intellectual entity by integrating human, society and physical systems
  • It facilitates flexible configuration of devices and equipment.
  • It empowers universal transport and inter-networking
  • And many more reasons…..!

5. Companies and Research Groups Working on IoT [ Back]

  • Intel, IBM, Microsoft, SAP, GOOGLE, AMBIENT,
  • Metro Group, Siemens, Sun, Cisco, etc.
  • MIT Auto-ID Lab and  EPC Global
  • Stanford University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Cambridge University
  • EPFL & ETH Zurich
  • Information and Communication Systems Research Group
  • Chemnitz University of Technology
  • VSR Group

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_of_Things.
  2. Andrea Zanella, et al., Internet of Things for Smart Cities, IEEE Internet Of Things Journal, Vol. 1, No. 1, February, 2014.
  3. Group RFID of the ETP EPOSS, Internet of Things in 2012 – A roadmap for the future, May 2008.
  4. Thomas Frey, Empowering “Things” for Our Internet of Things, World Future Society, September 30, 2012 http://www.wfs.org/blogs/thomas-frey/empowering-%E2%80%9Cthings%E2%80%9D-for-our-internet-things.
  5. Amardeo C. Sarma & João Girão, Identities in the Future Internet of Things, May 2009.
  6. Pasquale Puzio, Internet of Things and its Applications,  2010 from http://www.slideshare.net/PasqualePuzio/internet-of-things-and-its-applications.
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Dr R M Makwana
Dr. Makwana is Ph.D. in Computer Engineering, specialized in Artificial Intelligence from Sardar Patel University, Anand, Gujarat, India. Accelerated career growth from lecturer to professor in short span, having teaching experience of more than 13 years. He is TechSavvy with Research interest in Artificial Intelligence, Image Processing, Computer Vision, and Internet of Things. Actively supporting research community by providing service as a member of technical program committees of national and international conferences and workshops, as well as by reviewing journal and conference papers.

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