Internet of things (IoT)

Inter of Things (IoT) is the new buzz word in technology world. Every is talking about it so what is special about it? How can “things” be using internet? How it is different than older inter/intera device communications?
Let’s explore it in little more details. Earlier, devices used to be physically connected together to act in synchronization with each other. One device used to send other dependent device some signals to start them working on some inputs provided by other devices. Simple example is electronic weather station which can be connected to some other controllers to take an action as per weather data monitored by it. If soil moisture decrease than expected limit, it sends the signal to irrigation controller to start the irrigation system and can also signal later to stop it automatically.

IoT makes this communication happen over internet. Devices connected to internet can communicate with each other as per requirements of the system. These connected “things” send and receive data through the network relating to a variety of physical characteristics – temperature, moisture level, pulse rate, light level, velocity or revolutions per minute – as well as more complex data such as maintenance requirements, sounds, and static or moving images.
Home devices can be connected to internet and can be controlled by mobile phones over internet.  There are many automation systems already available in market which can be connected to your home appliances like air conditioners, microwave and lighting system which can let you control all these devices over internet.
Security devices like cctv camera’s and alert systems can be monitored or configured over internet too.

The starting point for Internet of Things applications are the things themselves. These edge devices typically have no screen (although that’s not always the case), a
low-power processor, some sort of embedded operating system and a way of communicating (usually wirelessly) using one or more communication protocols. The things may connect directly to the Internet, to neighboring things or to an Internet gateway device – typically a plastic box with blinking lights.

The next tier of the system, an ingestion tier, is software and infrastructure that runs in a corporate data center or in the cloud and receives and organizes the streams of data coming from the things. Software running in the ingestion tier is usually also responsible for managing things and updating their firmware when necessary.

After this comes the analytics tier; this takes the organized data and processes it. Finally, there’s the end-user tier, the application that the end user actually sees and interacts with. This may be an enterprise application, a Web app or, perhaps, a mobile app.

If you’re looking to build an Internet of Things application, the last two tiers are the ones you’re most likely to have to work on, according to Frank Gillett, a principal analyst at Forrester. “As a developer, you’re unlikely to have the tools for dealing with the edge devices or gateways, or capabilities suitable for the ingestion tier anyway.”

That’s why it usually makes more sense to build an application on top of a ready-made “Internet of Things platform,” Gillett adds. These platforms usually include an ingestion tier that carries out time-series archiving for incoming data, as well as an analytics tier, thin provisioning, activation and management capabilities, a real-time message bus, and an API to allow communication between the platform and applications built on top of it.

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