The Internet of things (IoT) is the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity which enables these objects to connect and exchange data. Each thing is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system but is able to inter-operate within the existing Internet infrastructure. The Internet of Things (IoT) has not been around for very long. However, there have been visions of machines communicating with one another since the early 1800s. Machines have been providing direct communications since the telegraph (the first landline) was developed in the 1830s and 1840s. Described as “wireless telegraphy,” the first radio voice transmission took place on June 3, 1900, providing another necessary component for developing the Internet of Things. Many great minds predicted a “wireless” network that would allow for the processing and sharing of information across the globe.
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Experts estimate that the IoT will consist of about 30 billion objects by 2020. It is also estimated that the global market value of IoT will reach $7.1 trillion by 2020. As of 2016, the vision of the Internet of things has evolved due to a convergence of multiple technologies, including ubiquitous wireless communication, real-time analytics, machine learning, commodity sensors, and embedded systems.This means that the traditional fields of embedded systems, wireless sensor networks, control systems, automation (including home and building automation), and others all contribute to enabling the Internet of things.
But the actual term “Internet of Things” was coined by Kevin Ashton in 1999 during his work at Procter & Gamble. Ashton who was working in supply chain optimization, wanted to attract senior management’s attention to a new exciting technology called radio frequency identification(RFID). Kevin Ashton, co-founder of MIT’s Auto-ID Center, is
credited by most sources with coining the phrase “Internet of Things.”
Also interesting is the fact that Ashton’s idea of IoT focused on using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to connect devices together. That was similar to but significantly different from today’s IoT, which relies primarily on IP networking to let devices exchange a broad range of information. RFID tagging allows much more limited functionality. One of the first examples of an Internet of Things is from the early 1980s, and was a Coca Cola machine, located at the Carnegie Melon University. Local programmers would connect by Internet to the refrigerated appliance, and check to see if there was a drink available, and if it was cold, before making the trip. Simply stated, the Internet of Things consists of any device with an on/off switch connected to the Internet. This includes almost anything you can think of, ranging from cellphones to building maintenance to the jet engine of an airplane. Medical devices, such as a heart monitor implant or a biochip transponder in a farm animal, can transfer data over a network and are members the IoT. If it has an off/on switch, then it can, theoretically, be part of the system. The IoT consists of a gigantic network of internet connected “things” and devices.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a system that transmits the data of an object or a person using radio waves for identifying or tracking the object or person. It is done by first attaching a tag, known as the RFID tag, to the object or person. This tag will then be read by the reader to determine its identification information. It is often seen that RFID is a prerequisite of Internet of Things. This is because the Internet of Things is a network of objects connected together and if all everyday objects in the world are to be connected, we would definitely need a simple and cost effective system to do it. RFID is the solution to this problem. RFID tags are very simple and small enough such that it can be attached to everyday devices without being noticed. In terms of cost effectiveness, passive tags are said to cost starting from only US$0.05 each. This means that it is very cheap and is possible to be attached to huge amounts of everyday objects. Other than that, as said in the previous paragraph, there is a type of RFID tag known as a passive tag which does not require any batteries to function and gets its power supply from the radio energy transmitted by the reader. RFID tags can be integrated with sensors to send not only identification data but also valuable information.
Connecting Devices in New Ways
In truth, the IoT provides a nearly endless supply of opportunities to interconnect our devices and equipment. In terms of creativity, this field is wide open, with an infinite number of ways to “interconnect the devices.”
Device-to-device communication represents two or more devices that directly connect and communicate between one another. This model is commonly used in home automation systems to transfer small data packets of information between devices at a relatively low data rate. This could be light bulbs, thermostats, and door locks sending small amounts of information to each other.
Device-to-cloud communication involves an IoT device connecting directly to an Internet cloud service like an application service provider to exchange data and control message traffic. It often uses traditional wired Ethernet or Wi-Fi connections, but can also use cellular technology. A use case for cellular-based Device-to-Cloud would be a smart tag that tracks your dog while you’re not around, which would need wide-area cellular communication because you wouldn’t know where the dog might be.
In the Device-to-Gateway model, IoT devices basically connect to an intermediary device to access a cloud service. This model often involves application software operating on a local gateway device (like a smartphone or a “hub”) that acts as an intermediary between an IoT device and a cloud service. This might be a fitness device that connects to the cloud through a smartphone app like Nike+
4. Backend Data Sharing
Back-End Data-Sharing essentially extends the single device-to-cloud communication model so that IoT devices and sensor data can be accessed by authorized third parties. Under this model, users can export and analyze smart object data from a cloud service in combination with data from other sources, and send it to other services for aggregation and analysis Tschofenig said the app Map My Fitness is a good example of this.