Internet of Things (IoT) Introduction


The Internet of Things (IoT) is the networking of different networks together that connect physical devices that are embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data. Simply put, it is the things that are connected to the Internet. Wikipedia says: “The IoT allows objects to be sensed and/or controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit”.

There are computer boards out there now that you can purchase for a modest amount of money that have many hardware features already built-in. You will need to program these devices to suit your product needs. One such product is the DragonBoard 410c that you can buy from companies. One such company is Arrow Electronics.

Qualcomm Developer Network is a community of coders, makers and thought-leaders that work together to share ideas for software and hardware tools to create device in the Internet of Things and other emerging technologies. Qualcomm’s range of development devices are powered by Snapdragon™ processors.

Wikipedia says: “Snapdragon is a suite of system on a chip (SoC) semiconductor products designed and marketed by Qualcomm for mobile devices. The Snapdragon central processing unit (CPU) uses the ARM RISC instruction set, and a single SoC may include multiple CPU cores, a graphics processing unit (GPU), a wireless modem, and other software and hardware to support a smartphone’s global positioning system (GPS), camera, gesture recognition and video. Snapdragon semiconductors are embedded in devices of various systems, including Google Android mobile and Windows Phone devices. They are also used for netbooks, in cars, wearable devices and other devices.”

RISC stands for reduced instruction set computer. A RISC computer is a computer based on a processor or processors designed to perform a limited set of operations extremely quickly.

Examples

The IoT is a network of connected objects that are able to collect and exchange data using embedded sensors. They are used in cars, themostats, lights, refridgerators, sound systems and audio speakers, door locks and other types of locks. Other examples include HVAC (heating and air conditioning) pet or zoo animal feeding and watering machines, irrigation systems and sprinkler systems, fire detection equipment and energy use monitoring.

To illustrate what you can do with a device that you plug in to a power outlet at home you could look at what Belkin has to offer. From your mobile phone app you can turn on and off the outlet. You can monitor how much electricity that outlet is using. If you had your entire electrical panel in your home or office set up as an IoT device you could monitor and manage electricity in your home. Did you forget to turn off the coffee pot before you left home? Open up the app on your phone and shut off the outlet the coffee pot is using.

Iot Applications

Below are listed some types of Iot uses/applications.

  • Smart Home
  • Smart Building
  • Wearables
  • Smart Cities
  • Smart Grid
  • Industrial Internet
  • Connected Car
  • Connected Health

For a video on how we might simplify our lives at home and at work, have a look at this one on YouTube called Life Simplified with Connected Devices.

Social Internet of Things (SIoT)

In an article on the IEEE website, the author Antonio Iera says: “The main objective is giving social-like capabilities to the objects in the Internet of Things and design conceptual (and software) platforms, which can be exploited to easily develop and implement complex applications that require direct interactions among objects.” So it sounds like objects will be connected to each other, not just to people. These objects will be running complex applications that sit on top of these new platforms that make “decisions” based on certain conditions (from sensors) that affect other objects in the IoT, and affect people listening to (being alerted by) the IoT as they respond to these “decisions”.

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