“The ultimate goal of IoT is to automate your digital lifestyle and propel your business.”- Dr.Mazlan Abbas -CEO, REDtone IoT

In my first article of this article series, I explained about the History of IoT. In this article, I'm going to explain the concept and progress.

IoT is everything we met in our everyday life. It is that much hugely broad concept. From the smartphone to the smart city, everything is IoT connected. Basically it provides a platform to connect devices, allows us to give commands, and control the devices. It may seem like a simple process. But when we look deep inside, it is a vast process. So I pick a set of main points and explain the concept.

The features of IoT can be summarized into 3 main procedures.

  1. Connect:- Here devices are connected to the IoT platforms through the internet. Then the user can send commands and instructions to the devices through the internet which are connected to the IoT platforms.
  2. Analyze:- Here the real-time data and commands that are transmitted through the internet are to be analyzed.
  3. Integrate:- Here different models, APIs and platforms are integrated together.

When we consider IoT architectures, there is no specific universal idea about IoT architecture. The user requirements, the purpose of the IoT project, and such kinds of stuff impact on it. Some of the basic IoT architectures are 3 layer architecture, 4 layers architecture, 5 layer architecture, etc. Here I pick 4 layer architecture to explain further.

  1. Application layer:- This can be considered as the interface that connects IoT devices and the network. All the IoT devices are placed on the application layer.
  2. Data Processing layer:- In this layer, check the authentication of the data before sending it to the network layer. Basically protect data privacy and security.
  3. Networking layer:- Here the main task is data transmission from devices through sensors.
  4. Sensors and Actuators layer:- Sensors and actuators are embedded in this layer and here occurs the functions of the relevant sensors.

In a nutshell, the entire process in the IoT architecture is, sensors embedded to the devices gather information, transmit and store in the platform. Then the stored data is to be processed here and check the issues. After that, the processed data pass to the AI and finally sends data back to the sensors embedded in the devices.

Cloud computing and IoT can be considered as modern technologies that help each other to process well by providing platforms. When we consider the operation of IoT we can see that the data is the major thing. Cloud computing provides infrastructures, databases, and storage to store data, process data, and analyze data. Moreover, cloud computing maintains the security of the data. Authentication and encryption protocols verify the users’ accessing the data and IoT devices. As well due to the cloud service, data storage requirements are not limited. Companies can store data without being worried about data loss. Also, companies only have to pay as per they consumed. Afterall cloud services maintain constant communication between smart devices (or users) and IoT devices. Likewise, cloud computing plays a main role in IoT technology.

As per the researches performed so far the best 10 IoT projects are,

  1. Nest Smart Thermostat
  2. Philips Hue Smart Bulbs
  3. August Smart Lock
  4. WeMo Switch Smart Plug
  5. Petnet Smart Pet Feeder
  6. VitalConnect Vital Patch
  7. Automatic Car Tracking Adapter
  8. Oceanit Laboratories Smart Cement
  9. Libelium Smart Parking
  10. Canary Smart Security System

Today, IoT is expanding its power all over the world. We all use IoT connected devices in our daily life. As I mentioned in my first article, the development of the IoT occurred after 2010. In the past 10 years, IoT technology has been developed at a considerable level and effected much to human society. Let’s see why

1)Human effort can be minimized:-

Let’s consider a smart home. If the user lives in an IoT connected smart home he can automate the basic stuff and minimize effort. A basic example to understand this is when he returns home from office he can switch on the air conditioner and change the temperature in the room. As well he can switch on the hot water shower which is connected to his smartphone. Likewise, he can create a suitable environment in his home at the time he reaches. Now you see how IoT does minimize human effort and helps us to make our lives much easier.

2)Save time

Just think, if all the devices we use are connected to a single platform and provides us the ability to use them whenever we want, how much time we can save.

3)Improvements in safety and security

A very simple and familiar example is face recognition and fingerprint recognition in our system. Such biometrics authentications offer us better security.

4)Improvement in health care

Due to the IoT technology, we can measure our sugar level, the heartbeat at any time, and anywhere only using our smartphone or smartwatch.

5)Resource utilization

We can consume machines and devices effectively more than ever.

This is the end of the article. I hope this will be useful for you to gain a basic comprehension of IoT technology, its function, and the reasons why we need it. In the next article, I hope to discuss the applications of IoT in different industries.

Thank you!

Undergraduate-Faculty of Information Technology | University of Moratuwa | Sri Lanka