The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the most rapid and fascinating advances in information and communications technology (ICT).
Despite the fact that networking technologies have proliferated over the last 20 years, until recently they were mostly used to link together conventional end-user devices like mainframes, desktop and laptop computers, and, more recently, smartphones and tablets.
In recent years, a significantly wider variety of devices have been connected to the network. Vehicles, home appliances, medical equipment, energy meters and controllers, street lights, traffic lights, smart TVs, and virtual assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Home have all been included.
Industry experts predict that by 2020 there will be more than 25 billion of these devices linked to the network, up from an estimated eight billion at now.
New use cases for network technologies have been made possible by the growing deployment of these devices. According to some estimates, the IoT might bring in up to US$13 trillion by 2025.
Table of Contents
What is Internet of Things (IoT)?
The internet of things (IoT) is a network of specialized devices, or “things,” that are deployed and used to collect and exchange actual data over the internet or other networks. These are a few examples of this technology in use:
- After surgery, cardiac patients have a heart sensor implanted, which sends diagnostic data about each patient’s heart to a watching doctor.
- Sensors are used in homes for security and management chores including lighting and appliance control. Smartphone applications are used for status reporting and control.
- In order to target irrigation where crops are most in need of it, farmers employ moisture sensors all across their fields.
- Cattle on the ranch may be identified and located using location sensors that ranchers attach to each head of cattle.
- Industrial facilities utilize sensors to control employee mobility around the building and keep an eye out for the presence of hazardous products or unsafe working conditions.
- Cities use a variety of sensors to track traffic and road conditions, and they use a dynamic traffic control system to route and optimize traffic based on the situation.
Important IoT concepts
- A concentration on actual data IoT devices generate data that often represents one or more physical circumstances in the actual world, as opposed to a business that frequently works with papers, PowerPoints, photos, videos, spreadsheets, and many other types of static digital information. IoT devices may provide a company control over what is occurring in addition to helping it understand what is happening.
- The critical role of promptness in real-time operation. IoT devices must supply data immediately for collecting and processing, unlike ordinary data, like a note paper, which might linger for days or months without being utilized. For IoT contexts, this makes associated variables like network capacity and connection very crucial.
- The actual outcome of the data. The wider project or business goal that drives IoT implementation is often used to describe IoT initiatives. IoT data often forms a component of a control loop with a clear cause-and-effect goal. For instance, if a sensor detects that a homeowner’s front door is unlocked, the homeowner may lock the door remotely by using an actuator — an IoT device built to convert control signals received from the network into physical actions.
However, IoT may help achieve far bigger and further-reaching commercial objectives. Unfathomably large amounts of raw data can be generated by millions of Internet of Things sensors, far more than can be processed and used by people.
Big data efforts like machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) projects increasingly center on huge IoT projects. To train AI systems based on the real-world data gathered from large sensor arrays, the data collected from extensive IoT device deployments may be processed and evaluated.
These back-end analysis might use a lot of storage space and processing resources. Centralized data centers, open clouds, or a number of edge computing sites near to data collection sites may all be used for computing.
How does Internet of Things works?
IoT isn’t just one specific product, piece of software, or piece of technology. IoT is a collection of hardware, networks, processing power, and software layers. The IoT devices themselves are generally where one begins to understand IoT lingo.
Things. Every IoT object or smart sensor is a little computer with a network connection, an embedded CPU, firmware, and a tiny amount of memory. The gadget gathers certain physical data and transmits it via an IP network like the internet.
It could also incorporate amplifiers, filters, and converters, depending on how the sensor operates. IoT devices run on batteries and connect to wireless networks using unique IP addresses. IoT devices may be set up either individually or collectively.
Connections. IoT devices must send and collect the data they acquire. The wide network and a connection between the network and back-end processing are both components of the second layer of the Internet of Things.
Typically, the network is an IP-based system like an Ethernet LAN or the open internet. Each IoT device is assigned a distinct IP address and identity. Using a wireless network interface, like Wi-Fi, or a cellular network, like 4G or 5G, the object transmits its data to the network.
Data packets are marked with the destination IP address where the data is to be routed and delivered, just like with any other network device. This kind of network data exchange is the same as the typical network data exchange that occurs between regular computers.
This raw sensor data often ends up at a middle interface, such an IoT hub or IoT gateway. IoT data is often subjected to early preprocessing operations, such normalization and filtering, by the IoT gateway, which typically serves to gather and compile the raw sensor data.
Back end. To gain deeper insights, such as revealing business opportunities or advancing machine learning, analysis of the enormous volume of real-time data generated by an IoT sensor fleet and gathered at the IoT gateway is required.
The IoT gateway uses the internet to transmit sensor data that has been cleaned and secured to a back end for processing and analysis. Extensive computer clusters, such as Hadoop clusters, are used to conduct analyses.
This back end might be found in a colocation facility, a corporate data center, or a computer infrastructure designed for the public cloud. The data is modeled, processed, stored, and analyzed there.
Architectural levels of an IoT system
Business and IT workers may find it easier to grasp IoT technology if the sensor, connection, and back-end layers are discussed, but such conversation also necessitates taking IoT architecture into account.
Although an IoT architectural plan’s breadth and specifics might vary significantly depending on the IoT endeavor, it’s crucial for leaders to take into account how IoT will interact with the existing IT infrastructure.
Four significant architectural issues exist
Infrastructure. IoT devices, the network, and the processing power needed to process the data are all included in the physical layer. The kinds, numbers, locations, power, network interface, and setup and administration tools of sensors are often discussed in relation to infrastructure.
To guarantee that networks can support the needs of IoT devices, bandwidth and latency considerations are made.
On the back end, computing performs the analysis, and businesses may need to build substantial new computer resources to handle increased processing or leverage on-demand resources, like the cloud, to do so.
IoT protocols and standards, such as Bluetooth, GSM, 4G or 5G, Wi-Fi, Zigbee, and Low-Power Wireless Personal Area Network, are carefully taken into account during infrastructure talks.
Security. The information generated by the internet of things may be private and sensitive. Such data transmission via open networks exposes hardware and data to surveillance, theft, and hacking.
When developing an IoT project, organizations must take the utmost precautions to protect IoT devices and data both in transit and at rest. A typical strategy for IoT data security is encryption.
To stop hacking and harmful modifications to device setups, more security must be added to IoT devices. Security comprises both modern security technologies like firewalls and intrusion detection and prevention systems as well as conventional security instruments.
Integration. Integration is the process of making everything function together effortlessly, guaranteeing that the IoT-related tools, infrastructure, and devices will be able to communicate with the organization’s current systems and applications, such as systems management and ERP.
A well-considered selection of IoT technologies and platforms, such Apache Kafka or OpenRemote, as well as rigorous planning, proof-of-principle testing, and other requirements are needed for proper integration.
Analytics and reporting. Understanding how IoT data will be evaluated and utilized in great detail is necessary at the very top of an IoT architecture.
This layer, known as the application layer, often consists of modeling and training tools for AI and ML, analytical tools, and visualization or rendering tools. Such tools may be purchased from outside vendors or utilized with cloud service providers where data is processed and stored.
The 5 main types of IoT (Types of Internet of Things)
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of networked computer devices, machines, objects, animals, and people that can share data with other devices and systems through the Internet, so if you work in the connectivity sector, it probably sounds quite simple to you.
Again, if you work in the connection sector, reading this term undoubtedly made you think of things like weather sensors, Bluetooth beacons for monitoring shipments, linked TVs and other OTT gadgets, virtual assistants, smart thermostats, unattended retail kiosks, smart shopping carts, etc.
The preceding description of IoT, however, may appear a little arcane if you are inexperienced with this field. And it’s true that there are many use cases being deployed across every significant business, making it difficult at first to grasp the idea.
In fact, if the fundamentals of IoT don’t throw you off, the ramifications inevitably will.
But the Internet of Things is based on a straightforward question: What would happen if object A and thing B could “communicate”? Just fill in the gaps, kind of like in Mad Libs.
What would happen if your house and automobile could “communicate”? What would happen if pacemakers and physicians could “communicate”? If farmers could “connect” with their crops, what would happen?
These inquiries may sound esoteric, and the idea that farmers may communicate with their crops is likely to evoke visions of woo-woo spiritualists conjuring the atmans of their cornfields from patchouli-scented barns.
Nevertheless, agronomists may converse with their crops in a way thanks to environmental sensors. These sensors are able to offer real-time feedback to assist increase agricultural yields since they continuously monitor the climate, soil, and plant conditions. No patchouli is required!
Despite the humor, it’s important to think about the ramifications of these queries. What WOULD occur if object A and thing b could “communicate”? If houses and automobiles could communicate, how much money might families save on utilities?
How many lives could be spared if medical professionals had access to real-time data on patients’ vital signs? The mind flutters.
And take into account that by 2025, there may be more than 75 billion IoT devices in use globally. Therefore, the Internet of Things is not a passing trend; it will persist.
Additionally, the opportunities for technical advancement, economic expansion, and human prosperity are limitless.
In light of this, we thought we’d take a minute to introduce you to the five categories of IoT. We’ll discuss:
- What exactly is CIoT (Consumer Internet of Things)?
- What does the commercial internet of things mean?
- What is IIoT, or the Industrial Internet of Things?
- What is Internet of Things Infrastructure?
- The Internet of Military Things (IoMT) is what, exactly?
The Five IoT Types
1. CIoT (Consumer Internet of Things)
IoT used for consumer products and devices is known as consumer IoT (CIoT). Smartphones, wearables, smart assistants, home appliances, etc. are typical CIoT items.
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and ZigBee are often used in CIoT systems to provide communication. These technologies provide short-range communication that is ideal for installation in more intimate spaces like homes and businesses.
2. Commercial Internet of Things
Commercial IoT goes a little farther by bringing the advantages of IoT to bigger venues, while CIoT often focuses on enhancing personal and domestic situations. Consider: retail outlets, hotels, office buildings, shopping malls, and entertainment venues.
The monitoring of environmental conditions, controlling access to corporate premises, and reducing utility and consumption costs in hotels and other major venues are just a few examples of the many use cases for business IoT.
The goal of many Commercial IoT solutions is to enhance consumer and company circumstances.
3. IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things)
The IoT industry’s industrial IoT (IIoT) division may be the most active. Its emphasis is on enhancing current industrial systems to make them more effective and productive.
IIoT installations are often related to sectors including healthcare, agriculture, automotive, and logistics and are generally found in large-scale factories and industrial facilities.
Most people are likely familiar with the Industrial Internet as an example of IIoT.
4. IoT for infrastructure
The creation of smart infrastructures that use IoT technologies to improve efficiency, cost savings, maintenance, etc., is a focus of infrastructure IoT.
Infrastructural elements in both urban and rural areas, such as bridges, railroad lines, and on- and offshore wind farms, may be monitored and controlled in this fashion.
Technically speaking, IIoT is a subset of infrastructure IoT. But because of its importance, it’s often viewed as a distinct entity.
5. Internet of Military Things (IoMT)
The Internet of Military Things (IoMT), sometimes known as Battlefield IoT, the Internet of Battlefield Things, or simply IoBT, is the last category of IoT.
IoMT is exactly what it sounds like: the application of IoT to military settings and operational contexts. Its main objectives are to improve situational awareness, risk assessment, and reaction times.
IoMT applications are often used to link vehicles like as ships, aircraft, tanks, troops, drones, and even forward operating bases. Additionally, IoMT generates data that may be used to enhance military procedures, systems, tools, and tactics.
IoT business concepts and services
Setting up many IoT devices might be difficult, but digesting the data to derive practical business analytics can present its own challenges.
The IoT ecosystem is growing to provide additional support for IoT deployment and enable new business models as the IoT sector develops.
Simply getting IoT to function is one of the major problems. Security issues can arise, and processing demands may be high, adding to the business’s complexity.
These issues are being addressed by IoT manufacturers via the development of an increasing number of SaaS platforms that are intended to streamline IoT adoption and do away with many of the substantial expenditures traditionally required for gateways, edge computing, and other IoT-specific components.
IoT SaaS bridges the gap between the corporate and the IoT device industry. Many of the crucial components that an organization would otherwise have to offer are handled by SaaS.
The SaaS product, for instance, often takes care of routine infrastructure chores like data security and reporting. But the SaaS service often comes with extra support for ML and most of the high-level processing and computing, such analytics.
This frees up the corporate data center from having to deal with this IoT load, allowing the company to concentrate on receiving and utilizing the analytics that arise.
IoT SaaS options have comparable characteristics, therefore pay close attention to the price to choose the provider most suited to your organization’s demands in terms of IoT device count, data volume, and analytical requirements.
Altair SmartWorks, EMnify, Google Cloud IoT Core, IBM Watson IoT Platform, Microsoft Azure IoT Hub, and Oracle IoT are examples of common IoT SaaS providers.
IoT is altering more than simply how organizations run. It is opening up a number of new business models that allow businesses to profit from IoT initiatives and goods. IoT may support at least four different business models successfully:
- Salable data. It is simple to commercialize the unprocessed data collected by IoT devices. For instance, health insurance providers looking to modify rates depending on customers’ physical activities may be interested in the information acquired by a personal fitness tracker.
- Business to consumer and business to business. IoT is all about gathering and analyzing data, and these analyses may be used to determine and maximize brand loyalty or to increase sales depending on organizational requirements or consumer behaviors detected by IoT devices.
- IoT platforms. IoT may provide data and analytics that can serve as the basis for platforms that provide AI services, like Amazon’s Alexa. These platforms are always learning and developing, and for a charge, third-party companies may integrate the services they provide.
- Pay-per-use. IoT technology make it simple to run businesses like bike or scooter rentals, where the equipment can be discovered by users using appropriate applications and located by GPS, then accessible, used, and paid for automatically. IoT data may be used to improve corporate processes by analyzing use and maintenance trends.
Advantages of IoT for companies
1. Reduced operational expenses
With the ability to provide real-time data, an IoT device fleet may help organizations streamline their operations and save operational expenses.
Devices may proactively notify personnel of their state so that maintenance may be scheduled before it affects productivity. To increase operational effectiveness and contribute to cost savings, they may be incorporated into bigger systems.
For instance, HVAC systems may be tracked, monitored, and controlled by smart building systems to track building utilization and adapt them to benefit from reduced time-of-use expenses, which results in cost savings.
2. Enhanced output and workplace security
IoT devices may manage, monitor, and notify employees of changes in workflows or productivity, assisting them in making more informed employment choices.
Ford is using specialist IoT technologies and body monitoring sensor technology to safeguard employees from overexertion and to improve their performance.
The information is used by engineers and ergonomists to improve each workstation, allowing for more effective mobility and assisting employees in avoiding accidents. Ford has been able to cut the incidence of assembly line injuries by 70% thanks to this creative use of IoT.
3. Improved client experiences
IoT tools make it easier than ever for organizations to track, monitor, unearth, and analyze client data. Businesses are able to anticipate changes or patterns in consumer behavior.
By tailoring it based on prior experiences, advanced IoT technologies may improve the client experience.
Consider tailored discounts provided via a mobile app on clients’ smart devices as they visit a shop or company, or location tracking on shipment trucks. IoT devices may assist companies in collecting, transmitting, and analyzing the
personal data they already have on consumers. This can help organizations develop better customer experiences that engage clients on a deeper level and boost client loyalty.
4. Extra business information
IoT devices assist businesses in collecting data to discover insights about their operations both internally and outside. Retail establishments rebuild their storefronts depending on current traffic patterns using beacon technology and other IoT devices.
In order to optimize the usage of people and trucks, logistics companies may coordinate delivery locations and timetables using internet-connected IoT devices.
Businesses that employ IoT to accelerate organizational modernization speed up their return on investment (ROI) for new goods and services.
Because more actionable data from the devices is freely available, they will be able to offer value to the organization quicker and more effectively.
Disadvantages of Internet of Things for businesses
1. Security and privacy
IoT devices are evolving and becoming more widely used, making it difficult to keep the data they collect and send secure.
Despite being a top priority, IoT devices aren’t always incorporated in the plan despite cybersecurity. Devices need to be secured against physical tampering, network-based assaults, software attacks on the internet, and hardware attacks.
Another issue is data privacy, particularly given that IoT devices are being employed in increasingly delicate sectors like healthcare and banking.
Global information privacy regulations are also becoming effective, so protecting data is not only prudent from a commercial standpoint but is also mandated by law.
With a big fleet of devices, integrating encryption and security procedures might be challenging.
Some firms could employ subpar platforms since they’re inexpensive instead of investing the time, effort, and money to implement it across all devices. A single breach is all it takes for a company to learn a hard lesson.
2. Technical difficulty
Although it may seem like Internet of Things (IoT) devices are doing simple tasks, like counting swipes at a safe door, they really entail a lot of intricate technology.
Additionally, if they are supplying crucial data to another workflow or system, they may have a detrimental impact on all of its associated processes.
Miscounting the number of swipes at the entrance is not a significant concern, but it may be disastrous if another equipment mixes up temperature information with entry swipe information. And fixing the issue isn’t always simple.
Deploying IoT devices may have a steep learning curve. Prior to purchase them, it is important to have a plan for how and why to use them. In this manner, you may support them and be certain that they are operating as intended.
3. Dependency on connectivity and electricity
For many gadgets to operate successfully, the internet and constant electricity are required. Both the equipment and everything attached to it cease to function when either one fails.
IoT devices are so ingrained in today’s organizations that when one goes down, everything may come to a screeching stop.
Because outages will occur at some point, businesses must understand how outages will effect their equipment and prepare ahead of time.
Making sure staff members are aware of what to do in case of a device failure as well as troubleshooting and incident management procedures will assist to ease this.
IoT protocols and standards are still up for debate, therefore devices made by various manufacturers may not be compatible with current hardware. It may be challenging to install effectively since each one may need various hardware connections and setups.
For any necessary customization, the company must understand network requirements. Planning for additional time during device deployments is also necessary to manage any potential troubleshooting issues or associated duties.
5. Increased expenses (time and money)
IoT device deployment often requires a significant time and financial commitment. There are several devices that must be acquired and setup, as well as staff members who must install them, others who must integrate them into the network, and calls for assistance to the vendor.
Businesses may swiftly recoup their investment if they are all going to one place. Expect the cost to increase enormously if the company is dispersing them.
Summary of IoT’s advantages and disadvantages
Businesses today may benefit from IoT devices, but only if they understand what they’re entering into. These are but a few of the perks and drawbacks.
Businesses will have a better understanding of what they need and how IoT devices may assist with a little forethought.
What is the future of IoT’s?
Because the technology and its applications are still in their infancy and have much room for expansion, the future of IoT may be difficult to predict. But there are certain basic predictions that can be made.
There will be an increase in IoT devices. A combination of technologies, including 5G connectivity, and countless new business use cases emerging across key industries, such as healthcare and manufacturing, will drive the addition of billions of additional IoT devices to the internet over the next few years.
These industries include manufacturing and healthcare.
In the next years, IoT security should also be reevaluated and strengthened, from the design of the first device through the choice and implementation of business practices.
Stronger security protections will be activated by default on future devices. IoT designs with thorough logging and active remediation will be supported by current security solutions like intrusion detection and prevention.
IoT device management software will also place a greater emphasis on security audits and automatically fix IoT device security flaws.
Additionally, certain IoT and AI components are coming together to create a hybrid technology known as AIoT that combines IoT’s data-gathering skills with AI’s computation and decision-making abilities.
A platform with increased learning capabilities and more human-machine interaction potential may be made possible by AIoT.
Finally, as IoT (Internet of Things) data volumes increase, organizations will have more options to earn money. Initiatives in ML and AI will be increasingly driven by this data across a variety of sectors, including research, transportation, finance, and retail.
I hope, you have got a clear idea about what is Internet of Things with types, advantages and disadvantages. It’s time to share your experience and opinion about this trending technology in the comment section bellow.