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What is Internet Of Things (IOT) ?

Internet of things can be described as a concept which focuses on each physical object on earth being interconnected with each other via internet which enables them to share data without the dependency on human beings. It is a network of computing services, buildings, electronic appliances, vending machines, animals, vehicles and human beings etc., which are provided with unique identifiers like IP Addresses or Bar Codes to make them uniquely identifiable on internet and are embedded with sensors through which they can share their data over the network. The software and sensors fitted in physical objects not only enable them to share data but they can also be controlled remotely.

In 1982, a coke machine at Carnegie Mellon University became the first internet-connected appliance. People were able to connect to the coke machine remotely and check the inventory. The idea of smart devices connected to internet got the name of Internet of Things in 1999 when Kevin Ashton an expert of digital innovation gave a presentation on this concept. He emphasized on the fact that if each object on the earth is given an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) it would be possible to track and capture details from it without the need for human interaction. This would make the computers even smarter as it would then have all the data for everything on earth.

ZigBee is the technology that is helping IOT work efficiently and effectively. It is an open wireless standard which is being used by most of the physical objects (like electrical switches , temperature meters , fire alarms or traffic lights etc.) to connect to each other and share the data.

In order to manage the devices remotely the devices need to have a unique identifiers. Below are few identifiers which are used:

  • Radio Frequency Identification(RFID): RFID is a form of a tag assigned to the device which can be tracked by the reader device. Wireless communication technology is used between the object and
    the reader.
  • IP Address: These are 32 bit hexadecimal numbers which enable the objects to have unique identity on internet. With the invent of IPv6 addressing, each atom on earth can now be assigned an IP¬†address.
  • Universal Unique Identifier(UUID): This is also a 128-bit number which uniquely identifies object on internet.
  • Apart from these Bar Codes, QR Codes, Digital Watermarking can be used as UID.

Applications Of Internet of Things:

IOT is utilized for extremely large range of purposes ranging from Medical, healthcare, infrastructure management, transportation, manufacturing.

  • Electrical Appliance Handling: Using sensors and automation systems we can remotely manage and control our electrical appliances including televisions, air conditioners, fans, switches. Through a cloud based interface users can remotely switch on or off the microwave ovens and many other appliances.
  • Medical Facilities: Sensors and software can be used for enabling remote health monitoring. These sensors and wrist bands can help the blood pressure and heartbeat rate of human beings.
  • Transportation: Internet of Things ensures that advanced safety measures can be adopted while travelling like speed limit tracking, managing traffic more efficiently by providing traffic details to the¬†drivers, smart parking, electronic toll collection system.
  • Infrastructure Management: Using software like home automation and building automation we can track and monitor the electrical, electronic systems used inside the buildings.

The prerequisites for IOT is definitely the availability of high speed internet. Cisco is connecting the physical objects with open standards platform, integrating architecture from cloud to end devices which enhances the productivity and once all information is stored at one place it would be available just on a click.

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