How IoT works?

In recent years, the term IoT is getting popular among communities. The terminology will change the way we interact with our surroundings. So, IoT is a network of things. It has inbuilt sensors, connectivity, software and electronics to collect, connect and share data. We will explain what is the internet of things (IoT).

Google Internet of things (IoT) platform
Google Internet of things (IoT) platform

Furthermore, the above definition is a scientific one. However, in common man’s terms, anything which connects to the internet and has the ability to share data of itself and surrounding can broadly be included in IoT.

Internet of things (IOT) in brief

Traditionally, laptop and mobile phones have an internet connection. They are also able to share the data in the cloud. So, in the internet of things (IoT), home appliances, cars, climate control systems, wearables and so on have the ability to share data in the cloud.

Besides, these things will not only share the data with the cloud but also act upon the predefined set of rules. In the cloud, the software platform can analyze the usage patterns and alert user. So, the user now has the ability to control things remotely.

In IoT ecosystem, the manufacturer and user have a huge advantage. Both of them can analyze the data and take necessary action. This will improve the efficiency in every field as actions are fast and conclusive.

How the internet of things work (IoT)?

The internet of things (IoT) ecosystem works on four major components. They are the sensors, connectivity, data processing, and user interface. These four components interact with each other and take necessary actions.

We will take the example of a truck carrying a cold-storage container. The cold-storage container has various sensors including temperature sensors and some sensors on the air-conditioning system. This container has the ability to share data through wireless communication. The transporter has an interface to analyze the data in real time.

IoT in action

Furthermore,  Now let’s say the container is losing temperature. It is carrying the fresh fish that is sensitive to temperature. Once it starts losing the temperature, the inbuilt software kicks in. It attempts to start the compressor or the air conditioning system on the container.

The system also notifies to transporter about its action. However, the software is unable to start the compressor. Hence, it transfers all data to the cloud. Another software analyzes the data in the cloud and then takes swift action.

The software in the cloud then alerts the driver thru’ the smartphone. It shows the address of the nearest air-conditioning service station. At the same time, it also alerts the nearest service station and provides the necessary information. Furthermore, the consignee gets a notification of late delivery.

It displays all the information to the transporter including the current situation of the goods. The data in the cloud is then analyzed by an equipment manufacturer to rectify the defects. So in time, all the defects are rectified at the service station. Then, the container moves swiftly to the delivery location. Here, the IoT system avoids the loss of the perishable goods simply by taking the right decisions at right time.

Advantages of the internet of things (IoT)

IoT helps to take the timely decision and swift action. The data in the cloud can be utilized for improvements and for taking an informed decision at right time. The companies can gather a large amount of data in real time and keep track of failures.

Big supply chains make effective business decisions; saving huge costs. The manufacturing sector has huge benefits from IoT. The manufacturers can reduce the dead-stock and automate the order placement.

The agriculture sector also has huge gains as real-time temperature monitoring helps in pest control. Automation in irrigation is simply possible by soil temperature sensors. Nutrient management in crops by remote sensing is now possible.

The governments can track the infrastructure projects remotely in order to avoid unnecessary delays and corruption. The energy management systems can reduce blackouts by taking necessary precautions and timely maintenance. The electricity generation companies can track losses and equipment failure remotely avoiding further damage.

Hence, IoT platform has big potential and we can use IoT in as many ways as possible.

Disadvantages of the IoT

The IoT systems also have disadvantages. The first and most important disadvantage is the privacy. As data is transferred and stored remotely, the data breach can lead to privacy issues. The attack by hackers can take an entire national grid down.

Hackers can take control of the manufacturing process; leading to chaos. The data on the internet is vulnerable and is prone to misuse. The rivels may copy the secret recipe of a food manufacturer to produce a new product that tastes just like the original one.

The challenge here is to protect the data and utilize it to maximize the efficiency. In the real world, everything has advantages and disadvantages. It is up to us how we use it. This is applicable to the internet of things (IoT) too.

Image courtesy: Google, Cisco  Video courtesy: IBM

Watch the internet of things (IoT) in action:

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