The internet of things is quite popular nowadays. Many people are familiar with technology and its role in improving the lives of human beings. However, people still do not know much about what makes up the internet of things. Read this post to get the complete picture of the internet of things ecosystem.
Hardware in Device
The “things” in IoT refer to devices. They act as the intermediary between the digital and real world. The chief principle of an IoT device is to gather data. This data is collected with the help of a sensor. If you don’t have enough data on your device, you can utilize a basic sensor. However, industrial applications require an extensive list of sensors. Similarly, there is an actuator which is used to physically trigger an action.
To understand an IoT device, you have to go through multiple factors like size, reliability, lifespan, and most importantly, cost. For instance, a small device like a smartwatch is good to go with a System on a Chip (SoC). Similarly, more complex and bigger solutions require the use of programmable circuits like Arduino or Raspberry Pi. However, if you aim is to install IoT at a manufacturing plant, then you are looking at gigantic solutions like PXI.
Software in Device
While a smart device uses sensors to interact with the real world, it requires an OS that is similar to a robot. The addition of software and hardware elevates a device to a “smart device.” The software establishes communication with other devices (it is called the internet of things for a reason) and other components of the ecosystem like the Cloud. The software enables you to perform real-time business intelligence on the data collected by your hardware (sensors).
The right development of the software in your device is extremely critical. The better the code, the more features you can create from your IoT ecosystem. Bear in mind that adding the hardware part is tricky and costly in the IoT. Therefore, instead of focusing on your hardware, you should work hard on the software of your devices. Afterward, you can fit it into any piece of hardware. The software is classified into two sections.
- Edge OS
It deals with your operating system. For instance, the type of I/O functionality you will require in the future. Similarly, you have to create a number of OS-level settings so your application layer runs easily.
- Edge Applications
It is the application layer of the software. The application layer is the real deal to customize the processing. For instance, if you have installed an IoT device in a manufacturing plant, then you can use the software to look for a rapid increase or decrease in temperature. When the device senses a huge difference, it can instantly notify the authorities and enable the plant’s system to react in time.
In the internet of things ecosystem, communication refers to the networking of your device. How is your device going to establish a connection with the outer digital world? Likewise, it also includes the protocols which have to be used. For example, your business may operate on LAN. To ensure that your devices only “talk” with other connected devices, you have to create a tailored network design for your sensors.
Today, smart buildings use BACnet protocol with their systems. If you plan to use your device for home automation purposes, then you can make sure that it runs on the BACnet protocol. Even if your objective is to use it for a different purpose, it may prove helpful in the future to establish a connection between your device and others.
Likewise, you have to plan the connection of your sensors with the Cloud. In some cases, you may want to keep the data private in certain sensors.
The bidirectional exchange of data between an IoT network and protocol is carried out by a gateway. The job of a gateway is similar to a translator; it glues the entire ecosystem as it can take data from a sensor and forward it to any other component of the ecosystem.
Gateways can also be used to perform specific operations. For instance, an IoT provider can use a gateway to trigger an action on the sensor’s accumulated information. When gateways complete their set of routines, they transfer information to other parts of the ecosystem.
Gateways are especially useful to add security in a solution. Encryption techniques can be used with gateways to hide data. Therefore, it can serve as a vital shield to stop a cyber attack, especially the ones targeted at IoT like botnets.
The Cloud Platform is perhaps the most important of all the components. Cloud enthusiasts will particularly find it familiar to their “software-as-a-service” model. Your platform is linked to the following segments.
Remember how we talked earlier how sensors collect data? Sensors stream that data to the Cloud. While creating your IoT solution, you will be well aware of your data requirements like the total amount of data you will process in a day, week, month, or year! Here, data management is necessary to address scalability concerns.
Analytics include processing the data, identify patterns, forecasting, and using ML algorithms. The use of analytics helps smart devices in creating meaningful information out of a cluster of disorganized data.
APIs can be introduced on the device or at the Cloud level. With APIs, you can link different stakeholders in your IoT ecosystems, such as your clients and partners, to allow for seamless communication.
This is the easiest path for non-IT folks. It is the end-user of the ecosystem. This is where the client engages in an interaction with the IoT ecosystem. The application in your wearable smartwatch is an example.
As long as your smart device consists of a display, your client is bound to have an application to interact. This assists in getting access to smart devices from any place and at any time.