Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical devices like vehicles, home appliances etc. embedded with electronics, software, sensors and actuators having connectivity for these “Things”  to connect  each other and exchange data.

The ‘Thing” in IoT can be any object that has an IP address and has the ability to collect and transfer data over a network without manual assistance. The embedded technology in these objects help them to interact internally and externally.

When devices can represent themselves digitally, they can be controlled from anywhere. The connectivity helps us to capture more data from many places, ensuring more ways of increasing efficiency as well as improving IoT security. IoT is a transformational force that can help companies to improve performance through IoT analytics and security to deliver better results. Businesses in the utilities, insurance, manufacturing, transportation, infrastructure, retail sectors, oil & gas etc. can reap the benefits of IoT by helping them to take more informed decisions. IoT platforms can help organizations to reduce cost through improved process efficiency, asset utilization and productivity. The growth and convergence of data processes and “things” on the Internet would make such connections more relevant, creating more opportunities for people, business and industries.

The applications of IoT can be found in all areas of life. IoT helps to make cities smart by   monitoring and allocation of parking spaces.  Other applications of IoT in smart cities include monitoring of vibrations as well as material conditions of buildings, bridges or historical monuments for identifying their structural conditions. Sound monitoring in real time, measurement of the energy radiated by cell stations or WiFi routers is another application. Monitoring of vehicles and pedestrian levels help to optimize driving and walking routes.Intelligent and weather adaptive lighting in street lights is another application of IoT. Waste managementby detection of rubbish levels in containers to optimize the trash collection routes, Intelligent highways with warning messages and diversions according to climate conditions or unexpected events like accidents is another potential application of IoT.

IoT helps to make environment smart by early forest fire detection, air pollution control by monitoring emissions of factories, vehicles etc. on real time basis.  Monitoring of snow level, soil moisture, vibrations, earth density etc. helps to forecast dangerous patterns in land conditions for preventing landslides and avalanche.  Distributed control in specific places of tremors helps for early detection of earthquake.

IoT helps in remote real time monitoring ofpotable water, chemicals in rivers, swimming pool, pollution levels in the sea, water leakages, river floods etc. and take suitable actions. IoT helpsin energy consumption, monitoring and management like monitoring of water, oil and gas levels in storage tanks and dams as well as optimization of performance in solar energy plants. Security & emergenciesteam can get IoT support for access control to restricted areas and detection of people in unauthorized areas.

Retail business can use IoTfor monitoring of storage conditions along the supply chain and product tracking for traceability,payment processing in public transport, gyms, theme parks, etc. This also helps in getting advices in the point of sale according to customer habits, preferences, presence of allergic components or expiry dates,control of rotation of products in shelves and warehouses to automate restocking processes. IoT in logisticsis applied formonitoring of vibrations, container openings or cold chain maintenance,search of individual items in big surfaces like warehouses, warning emission on containers, storing inflammable goods close to others containing explosive material,control of routes followed for delicate goods like medical drugs, jewels or dangerous merchandises.

IoT helps industrial controlby machine auto-diagnosis, assets control,monitoring of toxic gas or oxygen levels inside factories to ensure safety,control of temperature inside industrial or medical fridges having sensitive merchandise,monitoring of ozone levels,asset location by using ZigBee and RFID/NFC tags.  For vehicle auto-diagnosis, information collection can be done for real time alarms to emergencies or provide advice to drivers.

In agriculture, IoThelps for monitoring soil moisture, control micro-climate conditions to maximize the production as well as quality of fruits and vegetables.Selective irrigation using IoT in dry zones help to reduce the water required.  IoT helps to study weather conditions in fields to forecast rain, drought, snow or wind changes.IoT have application inHydroponicsto control the exact conditions of plants grown in water to get the highest efficiency crops.

IoT helps in animal farming by control of growing conditions of the offspring to ensure its survival and health. Trackingthe location and identification of animals grazing in open pastures is another application of IoT.

 In home automation, IoT helps for energy and water supply consumption monitoring to obtain advice on how to save cost and resources., switching on and off remotely appliances to avoid accidents and save energy,detection of windows and doors openings and violations to prevent intruders.

The components of an IoT system consists of sensors, network, single board computers, micro controllers, software and actuators.  One of the best books available on IoT is the one authored by Dr. Jeeva Jose. This book explains different types of sensors, actuators and network protocols. Raspberry Pi and its programming using Python is well explained.  Programming with Arduino board is also explained in detail. A reader who has basic knowledge about sensors, networking and actuators will find this book effective for learning Internet of Things.    

Created By : Mukul Seth

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