The IoT “Internet of Things” is the network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment. According to Harbor research the business value will reach 1 Trillion $ so the need to understand and develop applications for this kind of business is highly important and required. So how AI with IOT is GOLD
The aim from this article is to just introduce the term Internet of Things, so the contents are:
1- Giving a general overview and define the term IoT “Internet of Things”.(What is IoT?).
2- Answering the question: (Why has IoT become such a focus these days?).
3- Discussing the areas that make IoT so special.(what makes IoT so special?).
4- Explain a simple IoT device.
1- Overview of IoT “Internet of things”
IoT, is a network of interconnected things, objects, devices, sensors and systems. That collect and transmit data and exchange data between them. The data they generate is very valuable and should be treated for our benefit so it should be collected, analyzed, and acted upon. More and more of the world’s activity is being expressed digitally by billions of devices. IoT based customer devices such as wearables, and smart appliances, receive a high degree of media attention but think about the mobile phones, smart TVs, smart meters, GPS devices, and billions of sensors around the globe. All of this data can be collected and analysed with resulting actions that can help both individuals and businesses.
*For regular customers or individuals: By collecting and analyzing the data that is related to our health such as blood pressure could help taking care of our health, collecting data from home sensors such as smart meters, and gas detectors could protect our homes, minimize our costs, and lead us to make accurate decisions.
*For businesses: Collecting data enables business to learn more about their operating environment. This way, businesses can identify and act on the potential to create new value. Value by unlocking your revenue from existing products and services, value by inspiring new working practices and processes, value by changing or creating new business models or strategies and by value i mean revenue.
2- But sensors, networks and the Internet have been around for a long time. Why is everyone focusing on Internet of Things now? AI with IOT is GOLD
Over the last three years a number of factors have allowed for our world to be more connected. For years we have been seeing sensors in our world. Pedometers count steps. Lights turned ON and OFF or doors opened and closed when motion was detected, fire alarms sent out signals with the detection of smoke, and so forth. The reason of the Internet of Things became booming technology nowadays is in recent years, many sensor cost has dropped, making them more affordable and thus more readily available for individuals and businesses. We also have better control of power than we were few years ago. In Internet of Things, devices can be plugged in, But also they can self generate power by harnessing solar energy, for example.
Things can also take advantage of long lasting batteries. In addition to efficient power consumption of most of the recent sensors, there are a variety of affordable ways to connect the sensors to other things and to the cloud. The options for a connectivity are vast, ranging from direct internet connections, to low cost radio, to available and affordable WiFi, to special networks such as LoRa and sigFox, to the abundance of cell phones. So now, we can have for example, a low cost sensor, feed it with a low cost power that can efficiently capture and relates data to other more powerful devices that they can in turn collect and transmit data to the internet forming series of connected devices “IoT”.
Platforms are another reason why IoT is generating a lot of attention. Companies have a number of options when it comes to developing. They no longer have to keep all of the software and hardware locally, requiring infrastructure management for development of applications. Instead they can take advantage of a number of cloud solutions. Ranging from infrastructure as a service which provides the virtual machines or storage needed for running IoT solutions. To software as a service, which takes it one step further and provides well established software in the cloud. Or, platform as a service which provides servers, run time and services that help developers develop, test, and deploy applications. We will explain the concept of platforms and the top platforms used and comparing between them in later articles.
3- But, what makes IoT so special?
A variety of particles, domains and applications allow collection of data from a vast number of things not hindered by location. Those things can be configured in a number of different ways. Some with processor, storage, keyboards, screens, but somehow or another they must communicate with the internet either directly, or via an internet connected device. Standard connectivity which can send data to the cloud from anywhere. Storage and applications that can analyze this data lead to new insight and revenue opportunities. There are consistently new sources of data for businesses. And businesses are creating systems of insight by unlocking data from billions of interconnected devices.
IoT takes computing power out of the data center, and onto the cloud. The cloud is critical for devices beyond the reach of the data center. To connect and communicate from anywhere in the world through open standards. Internet of Things gives business access to product usage data they never had before. Personalized services designed from usage data creates opportunity for new sources of revenue. You have probably notices some of this with advertisement after a Google search or with suggested videos on YouTube. Personalize is the new expectation for engagement.
In terms of data, there is about 90% of data which is created at the edges of IoT that is never even captured, analyzed, or acted upon. And from the data that is captured, 60% of it loses its value within milliseconds of being generated. This means that most of the data is never turn into insight before the age of Internet of Things. IoT will allow us to innovate, operate, and engage at the next level so the potential of Internet of Things lies on the intelligence and the advanced analytics that consumes data, analyses it and generates actionable insight in context.
4- A simple IoT device example:
let’s break down the term Internet of Things for simplification. We’re probably gonna start off with a thing of some kind. So in this case we’re explaining a refrigerator and a refrigerator is just a thing, so it can be anything besides a computer. Right? If it’s a computer, we’re not calling that a thing, but anything besides a computer. Besides a traditional computer, a laptop, desktop, server type of device, you’ll call that a thing of some kind. And it has some features. It has some use.
So in the case of a refrigerator like this, we know what a refrigerator does. It keeps things cold and so on. So you start off with a thing. Now the next thing you do is you add to that some type of computational intelligence. Usually that involves a processor. Typically it has a micro controller of some kind, running some kind of code. So, you see these devices all around your house.
But it’s power come from the computer inside, right? So it doesn’t look like a computer, it looks like a thing of some kind such as our example a refrigerator, but it actually has computational intelligence inside, so it’s really a computer hidden on the inside. And it’s somehow is used to improve the functionality of the device, to make the device do what it did before, but better.
So that’s what you start with, you start with a thing, you add some intelligence, some computer technology inside it. Then, you add some kind of Internet connectivity. Now, this is very common in things, and that’s where the term Internet of things comes from. So now you’ve got a thing with some kind of computation inside and it’s got a network connection which means it can use all sorts of other resources that are not local, Right? It can reach on the Internet.
It’s potentially accessible from this IoT device. So all that put together is generally what you’d call an IoT device, an Internet of Things device. You take the thing, you put some intelligence in there, and you put some network connectivity. And remember that, from the outside, this device doesn’t look that much different than it used to look, right? It doesn’t look like a computer, that’s the main thing.
It doesn’t have a full on keyboard and a screen, it might have a screen, a few little buttons on it but it doesn’t look like a standard computer. You don’t have to install Windows or linux or Android or whatever the operating system is. It’s none of that complexity. So it’s much simpler to use, just like the original thing was. So if you look at the new IoT refrigerator, it’s not going to be hard to use. You still open a door, close a door, plug it into the wall, and get ice out of it and it has the same old simple interface.
So what is the intelligence and the internet connectivity add to that thing “refrigerator”?. Some of the IoT refrigerator in the market nowadays warn you when the door is ajar. Usually it’ll beep in some way. It basically has some sort of sensors built in that tells if the doors are shut. And if they’re open for a certain amount of time, maybe they start a timer, if they’re open for a certain amount of time, an alarm goes off and that requires some kind of computational intelligence.
It might tell you when the water filter need to be refilled. Some types of IoT refrigerators keep beeping every time you try to get water out of it if it’s filer need to be refilled. So again it has some type of timer where it keeps track of the date. Says okay, this many days have gone by since you last refilled the filters. So again requires computational intelligence. Note that it doesn’t require networking yet, right? These tasks are just computational tasks.
You can also have a set of recipes programmed into your refrigerator. I know there are refrigerators that have this. They can be programmed into your fridge and they can suggest recipes for you based on the foods it sees inside. So you’ve got milk, you’ve got butter, you’ve got this, you’ve got that, you can make pancakes today. So, that’s another thing that, another feature that you can add on to an intelligent refrigerator if you wanted to.
It requires this computational intelligence inside the refrigerator to do that, also sensors, like cameras maybe, weight sensors, door sensors to see if the doors open and close, something like that. And using all that together, you can enhance the properties of the refrigerator. So now this refrigerator, it does a lot more than what it used to do, but it’s still very easy to use, right? You don’t have to do anything complicated.
It tells you the door is ajar, or something like that. It’s not extra work for you, no learning curve. So, you might call that an intelligent refrigerator, but you’ll notice that these features that I’m listing here. They still don’t require network connectivity in general. It just use their local sensors and local processing that sense what’s in your fridge and respond to you by giving you information.
So that’s intelligent refrigerator. But, maybe you wouldn’t call that Internet of Things, because it’s not actually networked yet. So the ultimate IoT refrigerator is basically the computational intelligence, but also network connectivity. With the network connectivity you can add another set of features on top of that, that you couldn’t have added without the network connectivity. For instance, you can have your refrigerator actually order food for you when the stock is low.
That could easily happen. It can check, it could just go straight to Amazon which has services from which you can go to supermarkets and order food. So, you can have your fridge detect that you need butter and then just order that, and then the next morning, butter will appear on your doorstep, But that requires network connectivity. You have to be able to connect to the network, and place the order, grab money out of your bank account, then transfer it to whoever you’re purchasing it from.
In summary, getting things, devise a center systems, to monitor our world and communicate with each other, is easier than ever. Collecting and intelligently analyzing the data leads to new opportunities for value and industry transformation supported by applications written specifically for the Internet of Things. In later articles, we will explain more and more new areas of interests in the future of IoT.