What Is IoT and How does it work?
From the way we behave and react to different developments, the Internet of Things, or IoT, is directly influencing our lifestyle and changing the world we live in, from the way we make purchases to how we drive. Just like Internet revolutionised the way we communicate and work together, IoT takes this connectivity to a higher level by seamlessly connecting multiple devices at one time to the internet. This facilitates interaction between machine to machine and man to machine.
IoT is actually a giant network of inter-connected devices, which continuously gather and share data on their usage. This is done using sensors which are embedded in every physical device, such as mobile phone, electrical appliance, barcode sensor, traffic lights and almost everything you interact with in your daily life. These sensors continuously emit data about the working state of the devices and IoT provides them a common platform to store this data and gives all the devices a common language to seamlessly communicate with each other. IoT brings this diverse information together and provides a common language for the devices and apps to communicate with each other. With IoT, you can control air-conditioners with your smart phones and track your daily activities with your smart watch.
The process begins with the devices securely communicating with an IoT platform This platform integrates the data from multiple devices and applies analytics to share the most valuable data with applications that address industry specific needs. To share a simple example, after taking a long road trip, the car driver notices that the “check engine” light has come on. The driver knows that the car needs to be looked up by a mechanic but is not sure if it’s something minor or something that needs immediate attention. The sensor that triggered the “check engine” light monitors the pressure in the brake liner. This sensor is one of the many monitoring processes throughout the car which are constantly communicating with each other. A component in the called the diagnostic bus, gathers the data from all these sensors and passes it to a gateway in the car. The gateway integrates and sorts the data from the sensors. The most relevant diagnostic information is then transmitted to the car manufacturer’s platform. Using the data obtained from the car, the platform informs the driver that the brakes needs servicing and offers her directions to the nearest certified mechanic, and also a discount coupon for the service. Likewise, the manufacturer continuously monitors such data from thousands of cars and utilises it for improving the design and manufacturing processes. IoT empowers the manufacturer with streamlined inventory management for the dealer, better and safer cars for the manufacturer and being back on the road faster for the driver.
Gartner predicts that by 2020, there will be over 20 billion connected things. The increase in connected devices in the year 2019 shows that we are getting closer to the forecast. As the opportunities in the IoT sector continues to rise, business are taking a quantum leap to get on the action by developing unique devices, emerging software or platform solutions.