IoT is known as data gathering, data analysis and action/task/computation with the help of network of various objects like computer, smartphone, hardware(sensors, controllers, converter), network.

Wikipedia describes The Internet of Things (IoT) as the network of physical objects—devices, vehicles, buildings and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity— that enables these objects to collect and exchange data. The Internet of Things allows objects to be sensed and controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems.

Importance of IoT

Today, we have lots of technologies available. We have computers, smartphones, internet (network), various hardware devices like sensors, controllers, converters, meters. But currently all these are used on individual level. But if one can imagine using all of these together, then the outcome is very powerful which is nothing but IoT. Most of these factors can be automated which would result in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit with less work and time.

Currently, people know about internet(network) very well, but it is used only at a 30-40% potential. People don’t know about its power in various applications which can be used in day-to-day life. IoT will increase internet usage with the help of various devices for easiness in user’s life.

Why IoT is different from present powerful technologies?

Currently, whatever technologies are available requires users to perform tasks for which output will get generated or depending upon data, users have to take action. So users are mostly doing the robotic work. 

But by using IoT, users have to do settings/priorities once and then all dependent tasks will get executed automatically using combination of software, hardware and network.

Use cases of IoT

IoT can be used in various fields like connected education, connected medical/health, connected constructions, connected automobiles, electronic appliances, retail market, Oilfield maintenance, connected  asset management, government, connected various farms etc. 

Let’s look at few examples/applications

  • Microwave Oven – By monitoring an oven using different sensors, data gets collected and analysed. Data like the time an oven uses to cook certain food, which mode of cooking is mostly used, which type of food is mostly cooked, how much energy consumption can be collected. This data can be used by Manufacturer to improve product quality and efficiency.
  • Automobiles – Currently sensors are available in vehicles. Using these, user can get automatic control on their vehicles and can improve vehicle life. e.g. Sensors will sense any failure in vehicle and report these to manufacturer, vehicle service centres, garage. Due to this most service centres will be available to solve vehicle problems. Manufacturers will easily get information about product failure and will easily analyse the area of improvement in product.

Vehicle servicing system can also be automated using IoT.

Vehicle petrol refill scheduling can be done, which can help petrol pumps to maintain petrol quota. e.g. when user is driving the vehicle, sensor will sense petrol level. Whenever petrol level comes below required level, SMS gets generated and send to nearest petrol pump so that petrol pump owner can know that this vehicle will come for ‘n’ ltr petrol. So here IoT(combination of petrol level sensor, network(GPS), smartphone(SMB)) can manage petrol consumption process.

  • User finance – if there is IoT using smartphone and debit/credit card, then user will get his/her expense report automatically whenever he/she swipes card. Using expense report, data analysis can be like taxable/non-taxable expenses, what can be the limit in current month, where to invest money
  • Water consumption – Government can get actual usage data about water consumption using IoT and can decide area wise water supply limit.
  • Medical/health – IoT will generate user’s health related data and depending on data IoT will suggest user about food to improve his/her health
  • Home automation/Connected home – Different electronic equipments/appliances can be automated using IoT. e.g. TV, light, fans, AC, fridge, washing machine. Security can also be achieved using IoT.

Why IoT is popular/will become popular?

  • It is easy to adopt and easy to integrate with user
  • It is automated system, hence no/very less need of user operation
  • Lots of technologies are already available. Lots of software APIs are available. Lots of hardware devices like sensors, controllers, converters are available. So there is no need to investigate any new thing. User has to just combined all these things to create application

Application  software is one time activity where properties of different devices has to be list down/define and these properties has to be used in application.

Application hardware contains devices like sensors, controllers, converters which can be achieved in very low price if mass production is done.

Network connectivity (via any media interfacing like WiFi, wired, bluetooth, IR) is provided in almost all devices. So it is easy to share data among different devices and software.

  • It will improve efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit with less work and time.

Devices popular/used in IoT

  • Different types of sensors, controllers, converters
  • Processors. Cost effective, efficient and easy to use processors like mini pc, Intel compute stick, Raspberry pi, Banana Pi, Beagle board
  • Smartphone

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Contributed by: Swati Jogale| Calsoft inc