What is Internet of Things (IoT) and can I benefit from it?
A brief introduction to internet of things containing basic blocks, design concepts, and career opportunities.
Table of contents
IoT & Career Opportunities
1. Gain an overview on Internet of Things.
2. Be able to explain and understand basic concepts regarding IoT.
3. Get insight on opportunities presented by Internet of Things revolution.
Internet of Things…
- Is a system of interrelated devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people each provided with unique identifiers (UIDs)
- Includes transfer data over a secure network without human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
- Enables data-driven actions based on generated insights and business logic
IoT allows things to be connected with system and users. Systems include business applications, business logic and analytics and others. Users can be operators, consumers, and managers. Things mean devices, sensors, products, and many others.
To illustrate the idea of Things, we have examples below such as embedded devices, which can connect to the internet and interact with each other. They can also be remotely monitored and controlled. Universal considerations, regardless of which vertical they are used, include power, network and data connectivity.
Connectivity plays an important role in Internet of Things. Several wireless and wires technologies enable IoT, tailoring considerationgs include data rate, range, power consumption, and of course, cost.
For instance consider short range, local area, wide area, and even global communications via satellite. Below is table from sciencedirect.com.
More on connectivity…
Short range. For short-range wireless, we have Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), near-field communication (NFC), radio-frequency identification (RFID), Wi-Fi, ZigBee and Z-Wave.
Local area. For medium-range wireless, mobile networks and LTE-advanced while for long-range wireless, low-power wide-area networking (LPWAN), and very small aperture terminal (VSAT).
Wide area. Commonly used are wired technologies, including Ethernet (via twisted pair coppers or fiber optic links) in conjunction with hubs or switches. Or even using your home’s electrical power (HomePlugs, G.hn)
IoT Platform Reference Architecture
A good IoT platform caters to various verticals and solutions. It is a “one size fits many” platform in nature as opposed to “one size fits all” Both edge and platform are scalable and can be adapted to different industries. The IoT platform should fit many use cases this ensures that there is more business benefit, faster time-to-market, and reduced deployment time. Below are the four elements of IoT capabilities for solutions:
More on IoT architecture..
1. The edge. With the business case, you can figure our potential use cases for your edge devices and associated things. This will help you lead the charge and lay a solid foundation for future requirements.
2. Stream processing. IoT almost always co-exists with Big Data (and now AI is gaining popularity as well) because there is a huge ingress and egress of data in terms of volume, variety and velocity of data. For example, take a single device that sends a message per minute. Extend that into 5000 devices (which is not unusual for a standard IoT deployment) means that we have 300,000 messages per hour! Be proactive in looking for opportunities to leverage analytics and Big Data.
3. Event processing and orchestration. This component consist of business logic and the company’s workflows. It entails core functionality to IT automation, and is the place where most optimization and analytics opportunities can help (i.e., ticketing systems, operations monitoring, technical dispatching system, air traffic control, and others)
4. Application and system integration. Because IoT focuses on driving action and interaction between enterprise applications and the physical world, integration with enterprise systems is essential. It connects internal systems to one another, to client systems and to third-party service providers.
What is an API? Application programming interface, allows disparate systems to transmit data over an agreed protocol and standard (API document) Google / Apple — Weather information or Stock trade information
Because of the ubiquitous nature of IoT devices and its accessibility, security is of utmost importance. IoT deployments, almost always and should!, undergo security assessments. Below are some considerations:
Device Layer — This layer addresses information security that can be implemented on the IoT device itself. Controls can range from simple features, such as password protection to advanced protection such as encryption.
example: camera password credentials
Communication Layer — This layer addresses all information security controls that can be implemented through the network, such as network segregation, access control, logging and monitoring.
example: Admin / management traffic vs customer / user traffic for security reasons, QoS management
Application Layer — This layer addresses all information security controls that can be provided by an application such as user identification and authentication, application access control or integrity checks.
example: Is the user who he says he really is (Authentication)? Does he have permissions to perform various actions (Authorization)?
Mandatory Controls include required checks before deployment. Company or client compliance for development and procurement. For example: device licenses, software licenses, infrastructure certifications, and others.
According to GSMA Survey Report 2019..
- Businesses will get serious about IoT. 85% of businesses will lead the surge in IoT adoption, planning, and implementing in 2019.
- Devices will become more vocal. IoT will give everything we own a voice, such as control smart home devices Amazon’s Alexa hub, or Apple’s Siri.
- More computing moving to the edge. Edge computing refers to algorithms that are run at the “edges” of a network –such as within sensors and cameras themselves.
- Artificial Intelligence will increasingly drive IoT development. IoT enables artificial intelligence (AI) because of the enormous amount of data that it generates.
- 5G networks will broaden the scope and availability of IoT. This year should see the switching-on of the first consumer-ready 5G networks, that could operate up to 20 times faster than existing mobile data networks.
Cisco predicts there will be 25 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2015 and 50 billion by 2020.
The Economist forecasts that in the world of IoT, even cows will be connected. Sparked, a Dutch start-up company, implants sensors in the ears of cattle. This allows farmers to monitor cows’ health and track their movements, ensuring a healthier, more plentiful supply of meat for people to consume. On average, each cow generates about 200 megabytes of information a year.14
IoT Job Opportunities