If we talk about internet, technology, network demand, applications then we will definitely come to a point in our discussion i.e. IoT. As technology is growing, the demand for internet application development is also growing and IoT plays a vital role in developing such applications.
IoT stands for Internet of Things. It is an Internet technology connecting devices, machines and tools to the internet by means of wireless technologies. Over 9 billions 'things' connected to the internet as of now and also 'things' connected to the internet are expected to rise beyond 20 billion in near future.
IoT is influencing our lifestyle from the way we react to the way we behave. From the Air conditioners that you can control from your smartphones to the smart cars providing the shortest routes or your smart watches which is tracking your daily routine.
What is IoT?
IoT is known as Internet of Things which means things and connected to each other and communicating with each other via an internet mostly on wireless communication.
We can define it as
The Internet of things is the network of devices such as vehicles, and home appliances that contain electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and connectivity which allows these things to connect, interact and exchange data.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of physical things embedded with sensors, software, electronics and connectivity to allow it to perform better by exchanging information with other connected devices, the operator or the manufacturer.
How does it work?
IoT is a giant network of connected devices. These devices collects and shares the data about how they are used and the environment in which they are operated. This all is done using sensors and actuators.
A Sensor is a type of device that detects and responds to some specific type of input from the physical environment. The specific input can be light, heat, motion, moisture, pressure and many others and an output is generally a signal that is convertible into human readable display at the sensor location or transmitted electronically over a network for reading or further processing. (from techtarget.com)
An Actuator is a component of a machine that is responsible for moving and controlling a mechanism or system, for example by opening a valve. An actuator needs a control signal and a source of energy. A control signal is usually a low signal and may be electric voltage or current, pneumatic or hydraulic pressure, or even human power. Its main energy source may be an electric current, hydraulic fluid pressure, or pneumatic pressure. When it receives a control signal, an actuator responds by converting the signal's energy into mechanical motion. (from Wikipedia)
These sensors continuously emits data about working state of the devices but the important question is how do they share this huge amount of data and how do they put this data to our benefits,and the answer is-
IoT provides a common platform for all these devices to dump their data and a common language for all the devices to communicate with each other. Data is emitted form various sensors to IoT platforms securely. IoT platform integrates the collected data from various sources further and new various tasks are performed on the data and valuable information is extracted as per the requirement. Finally, the result is shared with other devices for better user experience as these devices can perform the specified tasks with the help of actuators here.
Automaton and Improving efficiency-
There are endless opportunities and possibilities with IoT. IoT based objects or devices observes and understands the situation and performs the required task without human intervention. Let's have a look at the scenario where IoT is doing wonders. In Air conditioner manufacturing industry, both the manufacturing machine and the belt is having sensors attached to it. They continuously sends data regarding the machine's health and the production specifies to the manufacturer to identify the issues beforehand.
Also a bar-code is attached to each product before leaving the belt, it contains the product code, manufacturer details, professional instructions, etc. The manufacturer uses this data to identify the product which is distributed and track the retailers and ventures. Hence the manufacturer can make the product running out of stock, available. On the other side, each retailer has a bar-code reader which tracks the products coming from different manufacturers, manage inventory, check special instructions and many more.
Also the compressors of Air-conditioners has an embedded sensor that senses data recording its health and temperature. This data is analysed continuously allowing customer care to contact you for repair work in time.
This is just one in a million scenarios as we have smart appliances, smart cars, smart homes, smart cities where IoT is redefining our lifestyle. It is transforming the we interact with the technologies. It also enables unification of technologies such as low power embedded systems, cloud computing, big-data, machine learning and networking.
As is expected that ubiquity will exist everywhere in near future where humans will become a minority as generators and receivers of traffic but most of the traffic will contain devices and all kinds if 'things' thereby creating a much wider and more complex Internet of Things.