We all have heard of internet; we know it and we use it. INTERNET, is inter connectivity, and enables the global connection. It has sort of connected the people together, we have this facility to contact someone far away using the internet. On a broad scale it is something that connected only people back then, so it could be considered as Internet of People. But if someone thinks of connecting our daily routine devices together; like AC, TV, refrigerator, fan, lights, etc. then what would that be called? It is INTERNET OF THINGS. Taking everyday things and connecting them to internet without human intervention is Internet of Things or IOT.
Concept of internet of things was proposed by Kevin Ashton in 1999 during his work at Procter&Gamble, for optimization and automation of supply chain system. The focus was to draw the senior’s attention to the technology called RFID. That’s when came into application. The term
It is the interconnection between the devices, enabling them to communicate and collect data from each other through a common IOT platform. The devices are Smart devices i.e. these are embedded with electronics, software, sensors and many more; this is known as pervasive computing or ubiquitous computing (enabling computing in any device).
Let us look at an example, there is an agricultural land and a crop, say wheat, has been grown in the field, here a sensor is fitted in to suspect the moisture level of the soil. At an instant, the moisture level of the soil drops and the sensor detects it. After the detection a signal is sent to the water sprinkler and it gets activated to water the crops as required. Meanwhile a notification regarding the situation is also sent to the owner on his/her gadget. Thus, here is a Smart system to facilitate the owner and run the processes smoothly in time. The discussed smart system is set up by using the technology called Internet Of Things.
The sensors in devices sense the parameters in real time and sends the data to a common platform called IOT platform. Then the data there, is being processed and some useful information is retrieved from that data. Later the information is sent to other devices that are connected through a network.
Let’s discuss about the above example of an agricultural field, the sensor in the field was constantly sensing the moisture level and sending all the data in real time. At the instant when moisture level dropped the data is sent in the same way but now the data in the cloud (IOT platform), is being processed and fetches out an information that the moisture level has dropped and the crops needs to be watered. Then a signal is sent to the actuator that has been fitted in the sprinkler. As the actuator receives the message it turns on the sprinkler and the crops are watered. Meanwhile the owner is also notified about it as the message is sent from the IOT platform.
The different devices are connected under some communication protocols via wire or wireless network through an internet cloud depending upon the range, cost, power usage, etc. And that’s how the devices are able to share and collect data from each other using different communication protocols and technologies.
1) Sensors- These are the devices that sense the physical parameters like motion, temperature, humidity, etc and converts it into data. These are usually embedded with microprocessors which processes and sends the data further.
2) Actuators- These devices transforms the energy into motion. They work as a response to sensors, as above in sprinkler. As soon as the information gets in, these make it happen.
The devices connect to each other by some communication protocols and technologies like wifi, radio frequencies, Bluetooth, zigbee or RFID. Accordingly the right one is used.
RFID Tags- All the devices are to be identified as we humans do, we are all identified by our names. Similarly, the devices are also provided by a unique IP address. A microchip is present for the automatic identification of each device. This helps in communication between devices. It lets the platform know that from where the data is gathered and where the information has to be sent. Although, the IP addresses will not be used to identify devices in future because of the constantly increasing number of devices in IOT, since we have limited IP addresses.
Then data is being collected and then processed by different data manipulation techniques. The data is aggregated, extracted, manipulated and a useful information is retrieved out of it. As in above case, the information was retrieved that the moisture level is low and the crops needs to be watered, out of the different data that was aggregated.
The information then is sent to the user to its final destination as a alert, notification, message, etc. or it is reacted as a motion so as to get the task done as we saw in the case of sprinkler where the actuator turns the energy into motion and the crops are watered.
and in many more sectors and industries.
Dr. Anju Singh
School of Advanced Computing