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:Uploaded on Wednesday 19th OCT 2016

A brief Introduction to Internet of Things – IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the hot topics trending in the industry but we know that it’s not a new concept for most of our readers. In this module we are focusing on the Basic introduction regarding IoT. We will cover more and in elaborate the concepts of IoT in upcoming sections and modules which will include the discussion on the project ideas which presumed to be useful for our readers including the engineering and technology students and hobbyists.

Introduction - Internet of Things (IoT)

We may have heard the term IoT a lot of times and probably might have read stories about smart home automation, Smart cities, e-ticketing systems etc. In these areas the concept of IoT is used pretty much to our surprise.

Even though there is no agreed-upon definition as such for the IoT, but it has been agreed upon that “The concept of Internet of Things can be defined as best coordination between multiple devices which are used and interfaced with one-another ”.

For instance consider the case of Smart Home Automation, We can have test for determining whether something is part of the IoT or not with this instance: Does one vendor's product works well when interfaced with another's? Does a door lock by one company communicate with a light switch manufactured by some other company? Does a Sensor from one Vendor gives appreciable results when interfaced with the some other vendors processor? Etc.

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To explain we assume the best case scenario here: As we approach the front door of the house, a remote control built into the key we press will unlock the door. What next after the door unlock? Answer would be the door's wireless radio messages the network, which prompts the hall light bulbs to turn on automatically. Inside the Hall and Bedrooms the automatic switching on-off of the lights happen depending on the presence of the people. We can term everything is acting in sync, which brings us the elegant definition of IoT as Internet of Things is the best coordination between multiple inter connected devices."
Do we have any worst case scenario here? For our surprise Yes. When a true coordination between multiple devices never comes to pass then the IoT devices fail to interact with each other. Hence it becomes necessary to procure proper equipment’s from best known Vendors while designing an IoT System. Hence it is necessary for designer to know about the products available from different vendors and their user friendliness along with their basic technicalities. In upcoming modules we will cover these topics to provide sufficient information for our Readers to make them able to choose the best.

What is an Internet of Things (IoT) based System?

We come across lot of embedded devices. An IoT describes an Embedded system where items or devices in the physical world and sensors within itself or attached to these items are connected to the Internet via wireless connectivity and wired Internet connections. The sensors used can use various types of local area connections such as RFID, NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Xbee and Zigbee. Sensors used can also have wide area connectivity such as GSM, GPRS, 3G, and LTE but usually devices which have connectivity in free ISM band are preferred the most.

The Internet of Things can connect both inanimate and living objects. In nascent stages deployments of Internet of Things networks began with connecting only industrial equipment. Today the scenario has changed and IoT has expanded to connect everything from industrial equipment to everyday objects. We can quote the types of items ranging from gas turbines to automobiles to utility meters. List can also include living organisms such as plants, farm animals and people. For example, In GowShalas (Cow care homes run by NGOs) the Cow tracking Project uses data collected from radio positioning tags to monitor cows for their infections and illness and track behavior in the herd.

In the modern world, the Wearable computing and digital health devices are examples of how people are connected in the Internet of Things landscape. For a broader scope we can expand the definition of IoT to the Internet of Everything (IoE), which includes people, places, objects and things.

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