The term Internet of Things generally refers to scenarios where network connectivity and computing capability extends to objects, sensors and everyday items not normally considered computers, allowing these devices to generate, exchange and consume data with minimal human intervention.
The term “Internet of Things” (IOT) was first used in 1999 by British technology pioneer Kevin Ashton to describe a system in which objects in the physical world could be connected to the Internet by sensors. Ashton coined the term to illustrate the power of connecting Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tags used in corporate supply chains to the Internet in order to count and track goods without the need for human intervention. Today, the Internet of Things has become a popular term for describing scenarios in which Internet connectivity and computing capability extend to a variety of objects, devices, sensors, and everyday items.
IOT − Main Features:
The most important features of IOT are:
- AI – IOT essentially makes virtually anything “smart”, meaning it enhances every aspect of life with the power of data collection, artificial intelligence algorithms, and networks. This can mean something as simple as enhancing your refrigerator and cabinets to detect when milk and your favorite cereal run low, and to then place an order with your preferred grocer.
- Connectivity – New enabling technologies for networking, and specifically IOT networking, mean networks are no longer exclusively tied to major providers. Networks can exist on a much smaller and cheaper scale while still being practical. IOT creates these small networks between its system devices.
- Sensors – IOT loses its distinction without sensors. They act as defining instruments which transform IOT from a standard passive network of devices into an active system capable of real-world integration.
- Small Devices – Devices, as predicted, have become smaller, cheaper, and more powerful over time. IOT exploits purpose-built small devices to deliver its precision, scalability and versatility.
Advantages of IOT:
The advantages of IOT span across every area of lifestyle and business.
- Improved Customer Engagement – Current analytics suffer from blind-spots and significant flaws in accuracy and as noted, engagement remains passive. IOT completely transforms this to achieve richer and more effective engagement with audiences.
- Technology Optimization – The same technologies and data which improve the customer experience also improve device use, and aid in more potent improvements to technology. IOT unlocks a world of critical functional and field data.
- Reduced Waste – IOT makes areas of improvement clear. Current analytics give us superficial insight, but IOT provides real-world information leading to more effective management of resources.
- Enhanced Data Collection – Modern data collection suffers from its limitations and its design for passive use. IOT breaks it out of those spaces, and places it exactly where humans really want to go to analyze our world. It allows an accurate picture of everything.
Disadvantages of IOT:
- Security: While security considerations are not new in the context of information technology, the attributes of many IOT implementations present new and unique security challenges. Addressing these challenges and ensuring security in IOT products and services must be a fundamental priority. The interconnected nature of IOT devices means that every poorly secured device that is connected online potentially affects the security and resilience of the Internet globally.
- Privacy: The full potential of the Internet of Things depends on strategies that respect individual privacy choices across a broad spectrum of expectations. The data streams and user specificity afforded by IOT devices can unlock incredible and unique value to IOT users, but concerns about privacy and potential harms might hold back full adoption of the Internet of Things.
- Standards: A fragmented environment of proprietary IOT technical implementations will inhibit value for users and industry. While full interoperability across products and services is not always feasible or necessary, purchasers may be hesitant to buy IOT products and services if there is integration inflexibility, high ownership complexity, and concern over vendor lock-in.
Internet of Things Communications Models
- Device-to-Device Communications: The device-to-device communication model represents two or more devices that directly connect and communicate between one another, rather than through an intermediary application server. These devices communicate over many types of networks, including IP networks or the Internet. Often, however these devices use protocols like Bluetooth, Z-Wave or Zig Bee to establish direct device-to-device communications.
- Device-to-Cloud Communications: In a device-to-cloud communication model, the IOT device connects directly to an Internet cloud service like an application service provider to exchange data and control message traffic. This approach frequently takes advantage of existing communications mechanisms like traditional wired Ethernet or WiFi connections to establish a connection between the device and the IP network, which ultimately connects to the cloud service.
- Device-to-Gateway Model: In the device-to-gateway model, or more typically, the device-to-application-layer gateway (ALG) model, the IOT device connects through an ALG service as a conduit to reach a cloud service. In simpler terms, this means that there is application software operating on a local gateway device, which acts as an intermediary between the device and the cloud service and provides security and other functionality such as data or protocol translation.
- Back-End Data-Sharing Model:The back-end data-sharing model refers to a communication architecture that enables users to export and analyze smart object data from a cloud service in combination with data from other sources.