Network of physical objects, connected devices, collect and transfer data, wireless network without human intervention. In a nutshell, that’s what we mean by IOT or Internet of Things. In simple words, the Internet of Things, a system of interrelated computing devices, refers to the rapidly growing network of connected objects that are ready to collect and exchange data in real time using embedded sensors ranging from smart cities to automated cars to smart stethoscopes and dog collars, the globe is becoming more interconnected to each other day by day. The word ‘thing’, within the context of the Internet of things (IoT) refers to an entity or simply an object that features a unique identity of its own, an embedded system and is able to share data over a network.
How does IOT work?
The working of IoT varies according to its ecosystem or what we know as architecture. However, the key concepts of their working are somewhat similar as the entire working process of IoT initially starts with the device themselves, that can be our smartphones, electronic appliances, or digital watches. They securely communicate with the IoT platform and these platforms further collect and analyze the data from all multiple devices and platforms and transfer the most valuable data with applications to devices.
Characteristics of IOT
Just understanding the theoretical definition and working of IOT won’t really work for us. Let us try to grasp some knowledge about some crucial IoT characteristics:
- First comes connectivity. This doesn’t need a deeper amount of explanation as we all are familiar with the term. It is quite important to establish a proper connection between all the levels of IOT devices and its automation platform starting from the server, cables, sensors and cloud too. Good connectivity provides a high speed communication between the devices and the cloud.
- Next comes analyzing the things. Once we have completed connecting all the essential devices, now comes real-time analyzing of our collected data and using them effectively to build business model solutions. Once we gather a good insight of our system , we can then call it a smart system.
- Now comes the most vital role of communication between the devices that get connected to each other so that they can communicate data and this data is often analyzed. Communication can occur over short distances or over an extended range or a very long range. Examples include LAN or MAN network over Wi-fi connectivity.
- The fifth characteristic is Intelligence. The aspect of intelligence is to make things smart through the use of IOT devices. For instance, if we have an automatic ice-cream parlour whose strawberry flavour is going to end, then the machine automatically informs us about the unavailability and again asks us to order the flavour from the remaining ones.
- Next comes action, i.e., the consequence of intelligence. This is normally a manual action where IOT provides more improved ways to manage and monitor remote business operations. The action is normally based upon debates regarding phenomena and automation.
- The last comes ecosystem. In simple words, we can define IOT as an ecosystem that connects and transfers data embedded with softwares, sensors present within the same network that integrate over the network and cloud computing.
Real-time applications of IOT
The applications of IoT technologies are increasing day by day because it turns to be adjustable to almost any technology that’s capable of providing relevant information about its own operation, about the performance of an activity and even about the environmental conditions that we’d like to watch and control at a distance. Nowadays, almost all business companies from different sectors or domains are adopting this technology to improve, simplify, automate, progress and control various processes. Now, we will learn a few of the surprising practical applications of the IoT.
- Airbiquity is a software engineering company which runs on the principle of connected cars provides its overconnected users updates and data management services over-the-air (OTA). These users are benefited in a way that their family or friends are automatically and immediately notified in case a crash or collision occurs. Till date, its use is only restricted to Washington and some of its nearby areas.
- Dash, the customer service app discovered by Mikolaj Dash is a free, user-friendly app for iOS and Android that receives data from a spread of sensors to keep us updated about our vehicle’s current status and prepare us for any immediate or future maintenance required. The company’s app features a parental control operation that helps parents or caretakers permit and urge them with email alerts if a young driver exceeds set thresholds or tries to bypass them. This app is widely used in New York.
- Raima Database Manager, the world’s fastest and embedded database manager for IOT and Edge devices with new geospatial capabilities and Restful API. It requires real-time response and enables intelligent decisions to be made at the device level within microseconds reaction time. It has decreased the time to market, meets market demand for cybersecurity, supports all types of hardware and software combination.
- Zubie, an easy to install and use android app offers real-time GPS fleet tracking while monitoring vehicle health, driver performance and optimizing business in one single and manageable platform. Often it happens that the trend makes the driver have the habit of speed driving, braking hard, drinking and driving and even accelerating rapidly, then that information is often traced by this application. It will help to avoid dreadful accidents for the drives and thus benefits by increasing fuel efficiency further. Since these apps are in initial stages of their use, so it is used in Minnesota.
- Queue Hop, the coolest innovative inventory tracking and theft prevention IoT implemented app. Smart tags get attached to the things on sale unclip automatically only after the payment is done. The system accelerates the checkout process by offering mobile self-service capabilities and allows business owners to manage their inventory using real time analysis. As a result, this technology has the potential of disrupting the entire shopping process, hence allowing business owners to reallocate resources for better efficiency and improved customer service.
- Josh came into existence with the idea that our home should inspire and delight us by providing voice-controlled home automation with the use of many devices. Imagine a situation, the TV volume increases suddenly and at that very moment a crucial call comes in and you can’t find the remote? Don’t worry. This is where Josh comes into play where we can turn down the volume using our watch, phone, tablet or computer.
- Eyelock, the most advanced indoor iris-based identity is an authentication technology on the market today. It is fast, accurate and touchless being a suite of IoT products serving the business, financial, automotive, hospitality, mobile and healthcare sectors for both indoor and outdoor security. It creates solutions that can be directly embedded in OEM products, simply redefining security.
Drawbacks of IOT
Three of the most concerns that at times make IOT dangerous to use are the breach of privacy, over-reliance on technology, and finally the loss of jobs. When anything is placed on the internet, the issue of privacy will always be there. No doubt, there are security measures which are taken into consideration to guard information, but there’s always been the chances of hackers breaking into the system and stealing the information. Privacy issues also arise in the question of who will control the IOT? If there’s just one company, that would potentially cause a monopoly hurting consumers and other companies. Another complaint against IoT is we are over-relied on technology. As time has progressed, the current generation has grown up with the readily availability of the web and technology generally. But as we all know, no system is strong and fault-free. And finally, the most dangerous aspect is that the connecting of more and more devices to the web will end in the loss of jobs which will have a devastating impact on the utilization prospects of less-educated workers.
Are you confused like me thinking whether IOT is a part of Data Science or does IOT have algorithms the way we study about Machine Learning Algorithms? The doubt is very true. The current trend has turned IoT in such a way that it has become one of the forerunners in data generation and this is exactly why Data Science will be required in IoT in the upcoming years.
Apart from IOT, if you study the common machine learning algorithms which includes Linear regression, Logistic regression, Decision tree, KNN algorithm, Naive Bayes classifier and a lot many to include in the list, then you would definitely love reading more blogs on this domain.
Guest author, Ram Tavva, Senior Data Scientist and Alumnus of IIM- C (Indian Institute of Management – Kolkata) with over 25 years of professional experience Specialized in Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning.