Internet of things or Internet of “every” thing also known as Internet of “Intelligent” Objects can be referred as network of objects which can communicate with each other. They can be in sensor, electronics, or software which is used to gather, exchange, analyze the data between various devices which is further used for management, planning, and decision making. It enables direct connection between physical devices and computer based systems. It can also be considered as the era of internet i.e. where the connection between the devices or objects will be more than the between human beings. Its concept is such anything that can be connected, will be connected with intelligence fed into it.
Figure 1 Internet of Things (IoT)
This is due to continuous increase in the technology. When compared to years back when there was not much use of technology; communication between people was more but now due to increase in technology human beings are getting more connected with the devices. This is what the concept behind internet of things. It explains that internet is not only used for communicating over computer devices but it can also be used to communicate with the devices.
It can also be referred as a state where things or objects can sense the environment and communicate with each other by sending the data with the help of the Internet. Many organizations such as Cisco, GE, etc. are using IoT now days for developing their applications.
This concept was introduced by a member of Radio Frequency Identification Development (RFID) in 1999. Its importance is continuously increasing due the growth of cloud computing, mobile technology and data analytics.
Iot will greatly impact a human’s life. Consider the world where as per your alarm coffee maker will start preparing the coffee, Heater will start accordingly to heat the water for the bath. Car will automatically track the road having heavy traffic and will indicate you about it. Your grocery in kitchen will automatically know its running low and will re-order more automatically from nearest grocery store. This is what Internet of Things technology is all about.
It includes various technologies in it which are wireless sensor networks, RFID enabled tracking, embedded systems, internet connected wear-able, devices having Bluetooth facility to connect to internet, mobile for sensing purpose and so on.
It is difficult to formulate standard architecture for this technology due to wide variation of devices, network configurations and so on. So let’s consider reference architecture. Requirements for reference architecture are based on form-factors and power available with the IoT devices. It also depends on how the devices are manufactured and used. Basic requirements for the design of architecture can be summarized in Figure 2:
Figure 2 Basic Requirements
Internet of Things Architecture can be categorized in three components in Figure 3:
Figure 3 Components
There are some basic technology through which IoT is made of is available in Figure 4:
Figure 4 Basic Technologies
It uses electromagnetic fields to transfer the data which can be used for tracking and identifying the objects. It basically refers to small electronic devices consisting of a chip and antenna for transmission of data. This chip is capable of transferring huge amount of data. These devices work same as bar code scanner. It provides unique identity to every object. These devices are being scanned to get the information about the identifying object. Advantage of these devices is that they don’t need precise scanning as which is requires in for bar code.
Figure 5 IoT Reference Architecture
Now a days, devices are made up of low power circuit and support wireless communications. This technology enables them to be available at low cost, efficient, low power miniature device which can be used for sensing purpose. It enables to create the devices made up of large no of intelligent sensors which are used for sensing, data gathering and analysis in various environments. Sensor data are shared between various nodes and then stored to a centralized network for analysis.
Components through which WSN is made up of are: Wireless Sensor Network Hardware, Communication Stack, Middleware, Secure data aggregation etc.
Success of IoT depends on the ability to identify the devices. This will enable us to uniquely connect no. of devices and control them using internet. For this it is required that every device has an unique address. Features of unique address are Uniqueness, Persistence, Reliability, etc.
Internet of things is a technology to connect no. of devices. To handle such large no. of devices a platform is required which is reliable, agile, elastic, easy to use and so on. Such platform is provided by cloud. Cloud computing provides the support for IoT. It is an architecture that provides various technology capabilities such as affordable storage, multi tenancy, on demand services, quality of service, pay per use and so on. It provides three types of services which are Infrastructure as a Service(IaaS), Platform as a Service(PaaS), and Software as a Service(SaaS). Infrastructure as a service provides a platform to use the hardware which can be provided to the user as cloud resource. Platform as a service provides the platform to access the IoT data and to develop custom applications. Software as a service provides the platform for the users to run applications.
It is one of the important concept for IoT application. This helps to user to interact with the environment. With the continuous growth in touch screen technologies use of smart phones and tablets are very useful. It helps the lay man to understand and visualize the technology. With the help of these more useful and meaningful information can be extracted/analysed and depicted through visualization. This improves the decision making capability. This ensures both understanding and visualization of the data as per the user need.
It can be useful in various day to day scenarios as given in Figure 6:
Figure 6 Usage of IoT
Like every technology there are some challenges with IoT also which creates barriers for much small organization to adopt it due to budget issues, security, risk and so on. Some of the challenged with Iot can be summarized as:
- Security: IoT connects many devices together. Such devices may be less expensive which don’t have been tested for malwares and bugs and some may be expensive which are made secured with every malwares. So in such situation security assurance cannot be given. Moreover there is many layers of networks, communication between various devices at the same time can increase the risk factor with this technology.
- Complexity, confusion and Integration issues: As IoT connects various networks which are based on different protocols, different APT’s; so its integration and testing will be very difficult. There are no standards available which creates confusion for the integration.
- Privacy: As there is no compliance available for medical and living applications issues with privacy and trust increases. Multiple users will be accessing same network then the data security and privacy may get hindered. And data accuracy is also not reliable.