The Internet of Things is the first step into the future that we have already taken. The idea behind this phenomenon lies in the fact that all smart devices are connected to a single control server. There is no need to write complex programs for every single hardware solution. All of this is controlled by one centralized “brain”.
Development of the industrial automation systems was the prototype of the Internet of Things. Some engineers consider IoT to be a purely marketing term, into which they repackage well-known technologies. The modern Internet of Things has simply accelerated the speed of transferring and processing information in existing business processes.
In the terminology of the Internet of Things, there is a concept that can raise a lot of questions for an unprepared person. This concept is “a thing.” We mean an object that is equipped with sensors and mechanisms that perform a specific job. Any technology that surrounds us can be brought to this standard: TVs, refrigerators, microwave ovens, robotic vacuum cleaners, outdoor and home lighting … The list is endless.
This is the gateway through which things communicate with the main server. The information received from the sensors goes to the server, where things are processed and the necessary commands are transmitted back. In order not to clutter one channel with signals from all existing things, gateways are needed.
This is a gateway that is not located at your home or on a server, but an intermediate point on the Internet that deals with data routing. It optimizes information and transfers it to the right place.
Stream data processor.
Validates incoming information and sends it to either the data lake or control applications. He is responsible for the integrity of the transmitted information and ensures its safety so that nothing is lost.
This is the storage in which all the information passing through the streaming data processor is stored. It is an extremely important element since when processing big data, it is from here that information is taken for analysis and subsequent use of its results.
Big data storage.
Its structure resembles a data lake. But here the information is already stored in a structured form for the analyzer to conveniently work with it. Context data also goes here. These include the location of the sensors or the model of the device on which they are installed.
A very important stage in the processing of incoming information from things. Analytics often provide information in the form of infographics, diagrams, and diagrams. In other words, all analytics comes in a form that a person can easily analyze. This stage is extremely important because it allows you to find ineffective bundles of hardware solutions and software code. It improves the performance of many devices and increases their practical value. Also, based on analytics, you can develop new solutions that will be devoid of the already known drawbacks.
Machine learning and models for building it.
Machine learning is essential for creating better and more efficient programs for managing certain things. The processing involves the information collected in the big data warehouse.
In their work, they are guided by instructions obtained from rules of conduct or the results of machine learning. The difference between them lies solely in the fact that in one case, the development of control applications is based on instructions written by programmers, and in the second, based on instructions generated by artificial intelligence analyzing big data.
Control applications can send commands with the following content:
- Automatic windows close and open depending on the weather forecast;
- With a signal from humidity sensors, watering in greenhouses can be automatically switched on;
- Sensors monitor the state of the equipment at the enterprise. Subsequently, the transmitted data is analyzed for compliance with possible emergencies. If a match is found, a signal is sent to engineers about the possibility of their occurrence.
But while control applications look very promising, you need to leave control to users. This is necessary for situations where control applications cannot work out the most efficient algorithm of actions. In this case, a person should be able to independently configure the operation of the device. In the future, the settings can be turned into data, which will be sent to the data lake with subsequent analytics.
These are software solutions that are controlled directly by users. They can connect to devices to control them both over the local area network (home or car), and through the Internet. In this case, both devices must be connected to the control network. Also, these applications can be connected to the Internet of Things to send data to the server.
One of the main obstacles to the development of the Internet of Things is the lack of uniform standards. It makes it difficult to connect wireless networks of objects into a single network (IDC calls this state “the Internet of the whole”).
It is not known which protocol will ultimately win, and each manufacturer is promoting its own. Some are energy efficient, others are stable, and still, others are safer. The ideal technology should combine all three features. But it has not yet been created.
The factories use long-established industrial Ethernet technologies. From the point of view of energy efficiency, LPWAN technology is the most promising. A pair of batteries is enough for such sensors – the farmer can bury them in the field and receive information about the soil temperature for years.
The security issue undermines the credibility of the Internet of Things. There are concerns that hackers may steal data from IoT systems or sabotage production facilities. There were several such scandals in 2015. LG has admitted that its smart TVs share data with third parties. In the United States, a hacker hacked into a baby monitor and talked to a child at night.
So the participants in the IoT market will have to learn how to protect their systems.