Internet of Things (IoT) is the new buzz word that is widely used in all business verticals. The internet is binding us all into one with its architecture. IoT makes our lives easy by connecting all the everyday gadgets and devices into one cloud, thereby controlling them using an interface.
For instance, your smartwatch calculates the steps you have walked in a day and stores them in the cloud. When you go to bed, your phone (which is connected with the smartwatch) gives you an analytics of how many calories you have burned by walking!
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That is IoT! We have converted the watch into a smartwatch using sensors. These sensors send the data over the internet and store it in the cloud. The application in the phone packs up this data and displays it in a simple and understandable form.
What is IoT?
In simple terms, if you can connect with a thing, be it anything, it becomes the internet of things. These IoT architectures have impacted human lives in many ways. They are helpful in military applications, biomedical devices, academia, and business analytics.
The connectivity is made possible with disruptive technologies like machine learning, cloud computing, low power sensor technology and artificial intelligence. In businesses, the IoT is applied to achieve energy-efficient production, smart manufacturing, digital supply chain and automated process control.
Businesses require a myriad of data analytics to understand the market needs. They depend on these IoT devices to receive such data and use them in making an informed decision. Sensor data collected are transferred to the cloud server using an IoT architecture.
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How is it Built?
The existing IoT architecture has several layers based on the application requirements. The layers of architecture are grouped into three categories:
- Perception layer – The perception player is the first slayer that is physical and gathers real-time data from the environment. It consists of sensors & actuators to perceive and gather data.
- Network layer – The network layer does the connecting, transmitting, and processing of the collected data. It connects with other smart devices for servers to process the gathered data. It converts the data based on timing and structure.
- Application layer – The application layer is application-specific in which the IoT architecture is used for. For example, autonomous driving, smart home systems, or smart assistants. The data from other sources can also be used here to make it presentable for the users.
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Other layers like the security layer, monitoring layer, and preprocessing layer in IoT architecture are used based on requirements. These layers are built using physical components that gather, transfer, and process the data.
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Components in IoT Architecture
The architecture is the fundamental way to develop an IoT system that can be applied in useful service. IoT architecture has no defined standards, but it made up of the four components, listed below:
Sensors, or actuators, are physical devices that can collect, emit and transfer data over the network. An example is an IR sensor that detects the IR signals and notifies the network about it. Actuators are output devices that do corresponding actions based on the feedback. For example, a motor in a robotic arm is an actuator that grabs or releases an object based on the input given.
Some sensors and actuators are cameras, microphones, gyroscopes, GPS, RFID, magnetometer, proximity sensor, light sensor, thermometer, barometer, and humidity sensor. Today’s smartphones have most of these sensors built-in, making them one of the most complex internet of things architectures present.
A plethora of data are collected by these sensors, and they demand high seed gateways for the transfer of these collected data for useful interpretation. The network determines the mobility of the smart device. It can be wifi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, Personal Area Network, LAN ( Local Area Network), or WAN (Wide Area Network) system.
The communication should also be a low power system, so it does not require a hefty power supply or back up devices. Users prefer high speed and efficient communication system based IoT architecture for their homes and offices. The architecture may also require routing protocols that require low memory but efficient communication.
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The middleware preprocesses the data before transferring it over the cloud. It abstracts the hardware and provides an interface for communication called API (Application Programming Interface) for security, communication, and data management. These edge IT is preferred to have low latency, mobility, location awareness, scalable, reliable and power saving.
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These are the data management systems that process the data and present them as analytics. It also has security controls over the system that prevents them from being hacked or attacked. These security controls are varied based on the application.
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How is it Helpful in Making Our Lives Easier?
Diverse IoT applications are making our lives easy every day. The most loved IoT application is the Home Automation System. Smart homes are controlled remotely and are very useful in power saving. These are employed in feature extraction, hazard protection, and protection from the remote control.
IoT has a vast application in biomedical devices. Doctors can extract patients’ data remotely, like blood pressure, heart rate, and medical reports. Besides, there are many health care applications like Fitbit and active gadgets to monitor the vitals of a person. These data are collected and stored in the cloud that is used later when needed. Read more on IoT real life applications.
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IoT architecture has very many applications, from healthcare to the military. The demand for IoT professionals is soaring high every day. Added to it Industry 4.0 has opened many such positions in manufacturing industries too. To become a professional IoT engineer get certified from a reputed institution.
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What is IoT’s contribution to healthcare to improve everyday lives?
The introduction of wearable technology could be a great addition to improving the health and hospital industry. It will save costs and immensely contribute to improving the cost and quality of the patients. Moreover, IoT solutions will slowly use sensors and RFID chips that will help in operating the controls of the hospital resources. This will further build smart assets and optimize the regular activities of patients. IoT in healthcare will take a spike outside of the healthcare systems. For instance, when a physician does not have a prescription, they can send out an automated notification to the patients to keep them informed.
What is the disadvantage of IoT?
Owing to the advantages IoT bears, it has several disadvantages too. A data breach is one of them. Every physical object connects with one another to send, receive, and transmit information. Thus, every piece of data is now present on the Internet for hackers to access. The primary cause of data breach is when outsiders gain unauthorized access to sensitive information. Another disadvantage of IoT is complexity. There are several complicated tasks that run behind the system to finish the tasks at hand. The user is unaware of such cases and finds themselves stuck to finding customer support in the process. Security, dependency, and accessibility concerns are a few other disadvantages of IoT.
How has IoT contributed to unemployment?
With the increase of IoT devices every day, it is best to assume that companies are using it massively. As a result, many people are suffering from the wave of unemployment. Chatbots take care of most of the things for tech giants. Due to the invention of automation, people who aren’t very tech-savvy are ending up losing their jobs. Since devices are capable of completing inventory tasks at frequent intervals, people who are working at inventories don’t have a job anymore. All of this is contributing to unemployment.