IoT or Internet of Things is a huge ecosystem of interconnected networks which is expanding daily from the last two decades. They are edge devices and sensors, which can be used in office, buildings, vehicles, security systems, actuators, etc.
Internet of Things can also be referred to as the Internet of Everything (IoE) as all the devices are connected with each other or to the internet. Every device in the network, will collect the data, process it and then transmit.
Scope of IoT
With billions of such
devices being connected to the internet, the scope of IoT is beyond
Many people have dreamt of a house like Stark Tower, where you walk in as Ironman, and Jarvis handles all your daily jobs with the help of your command. While Ironman’s suit might be a distant reality, Jarvis is already here. (Only Marvel Fans would relate to this excerpt)
With the help of the internet and all the connected devices, Jarvis is not far as various automation systems are already available in the market.
How automation can be
Is the world ready for
the automation yet?
Ready or not, automation has started ruling the market. IoT devices are available almost in everyday life like home, office, medical, education, security, etc. Their demand is increasing day by day. For example,
What would you do if
you want to buy something?
You will ask your digital
assistant (Google, Alexa, Cortana, etc) to search it for you. After this,
Google will show you some results. You will be wondering how the searches are
related to your previous searches. It is because your device learns the pattern
behind your expenditure. Every IoT device keeps on learning new things every
How IoT works?
Sensors or gadgets help in gathering exact information from the environment. The majority of this gathered information can have different degrees of complexities running from a basic temperature checking sensor to a home automation system.
Every device keeps
collecting data based on their surroundings with the help of sensors
embedded in them. After the collection, the data is transferred through the
gateway for analyzing.
A gadget can have numerous sensors that can package together to accomplish something other than sense things. For instance, our telephone is a gadget that has different sensors, for example, GPS, accelerometer, camera, however, our telephone does not just detect things.
The most important step is to pick and gather information
from the environment.
After the collection of data is done, the data is transferred to the cloud for further analyzing or the device itself analyzes the data. To transfer the data, one needs a gateway for connecting to the cloud. The data can be transferred to the cloud through various channels like Wifi, Bluetooth, cellular networks, satellite networks, etc. The transferred data is then analyzed for further processing.
collected data is then analyzed in the cloud and operations are performed
on it. This data is processed further for user interaction.
When the information is gathered and it gets to the cloud,
the software starts processing the obtained information.
This can range from something extremely simple like watching the temperature on devices such as AC or warmers is inside a satisfactory range. And very difficult, for example, recognizing objects, (for example, interlopers in your home) utilizing PC vision on record. There might be chances where we need some user interaction also.
The data processing is done in the cloud as soon as the data reaches the cloud. Even the smallest data like the temperature of the room and complex data like the movement of celestial objects are processed in the cloud.
Most of the devices
are now fully automated which can be handled without the intervention of any
user. But, still, there are some devices which need human intervention to
operate with ease.
For example, if you
are using a smart refrigerator then you have to set the temperature for the
first time and then it will adjust itself automatically.
Another example is of
air conditioner, where it will adjust the temperature according to the
conditions. But, if there are 5 persons in the room then each will have
different preferences. So, some intervention is required. Here, the user
interface comes into the picture.
The user interface
helps the user to control whatever is happening in the devices. The interface
is a platform to connect with the devices. You should have a hang of what is
happening in your IoT devices. Otherwise, the automation can backfire also.
For example, when you
forget to turn off your AC, then it would still be a waste of electricity even
if it keeps on adjusting its temperature.
A client at times may have an interface through which they can effectively monitor their IoT framework. For instance, a client has a camera introduced at his home, he can check all the video recordings through a web server.
To communicate with
the cloud or within the network, the devices require some medium.
IoT protocols provide
devices a medium to communicate securely with each other and with the cloud.
These protocols vary depending on the range, power, and the requirement. IoT
devices are connected to the internet via IP(Internet Protocol). For data
transfer, HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) is used.
For transfer of data
locally, Bluetooth and RFID protocols are used whereas, for long-distance WiFi
protocol is used.
Who doesn’t know about
this protocol? From the time it came into existence, Bluetooth has disrupted
the entire market.
Bluetooth is one of
the most widely used wireless protocols for short-range communication. This IoT
protocol is perfect for short-range, low power, low cost and secure
communication between the devices.
ease of control and is preferable for small data transfers between the devices.
Bluetooth is a 2.4GHz
short-range private area network. It is used in everyday devices like Speakers,
headphones, and smartphones.
Bluetooth Low Energy
(BLE)(4.0) is a low energy version of Bluetooth which is ideal for IoT
devices. It requires low power for operating as compared to Bluetooth. By
consuming less power, it will allow us to save cost.
Due to these features,
BLE is also marketed as Bluetooth Smart. This version of Bluetooth enables us
to connect to smart-watches and other smart devices. It is ideal for
transferring small data in a local network.
Bluetooth 5.0 is the
latest Bluetooth version available in the market.
Zigbee is a 2.4GHz
mesh personal area network. Zigbee is a low data rate technology which is a
requirement in IoT devices these days. It provides a low cost and low energy
solution as compared to other high rate devices.
Zigbee is used in the
devices which supports low data transfer. It is used in controlling mesh
network like smart street lights, electric meters, wireless
thermostats which require low power consumption. Its major application is
in home automation technology.
Zigbee is more like a B2B service than a B2C service. It is more useful to industrialists than to customers. A real-life application of Zigbee is Spikebot.
Wireless Fidelity or
WiFi is the most widespread network protocol. It is a local area network used
for connecting a broad network of computers. It has longer range as compared to
Bluetooth, Zigbee, and other protocols.
WiFi is having a high
rate data transfer along with the capacity of handling large data. Its range is
approx. 50m and it operates on two frequencies: 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Its cost
depends upon the type of frequency and speed you choose to operate upon.
WiFi is present
everywhere from mobile phones to AC, lights to the washing machine.
LoRaWAN (Long Range
Wide Area Network)
As its name suggests,
LoRaWAN is a low power, long-ranged WAN. LoRaWAN is used to detect low
power signals from long distances. It was designed to connect millions of smart
devices having low power and batteries. This protocol is mainly used in smart
The frequency of
LoRaWAN differs for every network. The data rates also differ from a range of
0.3 to 50 kbps. And the range also differs from few km to around 20kms.
application of LoRaWAN is traffic monitoring and controlling of street lights
in the city. LoRaWAN protocol can be used to control the intensity and time of
Queue Telemetry Transport)
MQTT is a machine to
machine(M2M) communication protocol. The basic task of MQTT is to collect
data from various electronic devices present around and remote monitoring.
MQTT was designed as a
lightweight publish/subscribe protocol where a simple code is used to operate
multiple small devices.
MQTT protocol has
three main components. They are:
The task of the
publisher is to collect data and transmit it to the subscriber with the help of
The broker is
responsible for security. The broker checks the authorization of both,
subscriber and publisher by performing handshaking process.
MQTT runs on the TCP
protocol for supplying a simple and reliable source of data.
MQTT is used for IoT
devices which has low memory consumption like fire sensors, car sensors, etc.
Message Queuing Protocol )
AMQP is a TCP layer,
open-source protocol. It is message-oriented and is designed for a middleware
environment that provides routing and queuing. It is responsible for making a point
to point connection while sending messages securely between
industries. It is portable, efficient and secure.
AMQP protocol is fast
and it guarantees delivery with acknowledgment of received messages. It works
well in multi-client environments and provides a means for authorizing tasks
and making server handle more requests.
AMQP has three
components for exchanging the messages. They are:
In the Exchange part,
the message is received from primary sources and is routed to the Message
The Message Queue
stores the message until the message is processed by the client app
states the relationship between the Exchange component and Message Queue
component. All these components help us in creating a relation between two
The practical application of AMQP is Loan providing company, where the reminder for premium must reach the user. Whenever the server sends the message, AMQP ensures that the message reaches the user.
Z-Wave is a wireless
communication protocol. It was found as a cost-effective alternative to
Zigbee. Z-Wave protocol uses low range radio waves for communication. It
is mainly used in the Home Automation system.
It offers low power
connectivity than WiFi and longer range than Bluetooth.
Z-Wave is a mesh
network with two-way communication. Having a mesh network is very
beneficial. Each device which gets added into the network strengthens it
by acting as repeaters.
Every device on a WiFi
network needs to be connected with the router. Whereas, in Z-Wave every device
is connected to the central hub with Z-Wave protocol and the hub is connected
to the internet. Every device present in the network are interlinked with each
other and not to the internet.
Z-Wave operates on the
800-900MHz radio frequency range, unlike Zigbee which operates on 2.4 GHz. The
lower frequency serves as an advantage to Z-Wave as it doesn’t have to face
interference as that of Zigbee.
Every Home Automation
system is nowadays using the Z-Wave protocol to control multiple devices
without any hassle.
RFID or Radio
Frequency Identification is a method of automatic identification and data
capture (AIDC). It works on wireless technology and uses electromagnetic fields
to identify objects.
An RFID system is made
up of two things: RFID tag and RFID reader. To read the tag on the object
doesn’t need to be in the line of sight. Every RFID tag has a unique serial
There are two types of
tag used in RFID. Passive and Battery powered(Active). The passive tag draws
power from the reader and the active tag has its transmitter and a small
source (battery) connected to it. The range of the tags depends upon the type
application of RFID technology is to check stock or prices in an inventory.
IoT is a huge topic
which cannot be explained in a day. But, we have tried our bit to explain it in
an easy way. Stay tuned for further information as we explore the field of IoT.