A Simplified Insight Into How IoT Works

IoT Business Solution

The world has witnessed tremendous scientific revolution in the last decade. Connectivity has improved, deliverables are accounted for, safety and security have received an overhaul. This has been made possible with the help of Technology, primarily IoT. It has helped bridge gaps and has established a network that can be relied upon. A better lifestyle and successful business endeavors is a reality of this lifetime. The vision of Nikola Tesla and Alan Turing has finally come into fruition.

Though unofficial, there has been a series of inventions dating back from the 1970's that tinkered with the idea of IoT. In a first, way back in 1982, a humble Coke vending machine got an IoT upgrade thanks to the scientists at the Carnegie-Mellon Computer Science department. They perfected an IoT enabled smart Coke vending machine with the help of Micro-switches. These sensors gathered data on the quantity and temperature of Coke bottles in the vending machine. The gateway was a companion status inquiry program. As the micro sensors were set on the multiple rows, there was complete information on which row had Coke bottles and if they were hot, warm, cool or cold.

The above-mentioned example was the first in many attempts of smart machinery across the globe. From an Australian university in 1992, to MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) there is record of 20+ IoT enabled smart Coke machines till 2003!

So, what exactly is this technology? What makes IoT tick? What makes individuals want to tinker with vintage Coke machines or even with their everyday devices like locks, fans or even their car? The answer is pretty simple. Connectivity. With the help of IoT, they have managed to connect to their homes, their loved ones or businesses. With this blog, we shall share an in-depth view on how IoT works.


The Advantages of IoT

To explain simply, IoT Integration helps one in planning, directing, controlling and execution of business operations, the daily commute of one's ward and even care for an ailing loved one and more! Additional advantages of IoT are mentioned below:

  1. Digitizes industrial operations
  2. Simplifies management
  3. Boosts quality control
  4. Enhances offline safety and security
  5. Monitors production flow
  6. Optimizes packaging, logistics and supply chain management
  7. Promotes shorter feedback loops and responsive services
  8. Decodes customer behaviour

What may seem like a complicated prosses to setup for organizations and private sectors alike, is easily adaptable.

How it Begins

To be a part of IoT enabled smart homes or smart transport, one needs to procure an IoT enabled device or sensor. These are then placed either on an individual car or fleet, household devices or individuals. Only then, does it collect data, which it then stores on a cloud. From there it is analyzed and then transmitted as and when required. Let us take an in-depth look into the whole new world of IoT.

Data Ingestion

IoT enabled device or sensors collect data. Ranging from a number of situations like weather fluctuations to changes in temperature or humidity. From tracking vehicles/fleet and cargo along with it. Automation of household appliances to turn on or off at the touch of the button. These are, but a few examples. Once data of the above mentioned is ingested by the device/sensor, it stores the same to a cloud. If reports are to be believed, IoT devices breed almost 5 quintillion bytes of data per day. This massive amount of data is minutely broken down and analyzed and transmitted across the globe via multiple gateways. To protect this sensitive data from being misused, protocols like Bluetooth, Sig Fox, LoRa, NB-IoT, ZigBee, COAP, REST, DDS, MQTT, XMPP etc. are put to work to ensure top most data security and privacy.

Data Transmission

Once the data has been ingested, it is then transmitted to the cloud via Gateways. They are also known as telemetry devices. Telemetry is explained as wireless, measured transmission of data from remote sources. They help one in faster data collection, reduced hardware costs and sharing information as and when required. IoT experts have utilized cellular and satellite communication gateways for successful data transmission.

Data Processing

Now that we know of the huge amount of data on cloud, sharing it across the globe is no easy feat. That too, in real time. Well, data analytics plays a crucial role in this process. This data is now known as BIG DATA. It has 4 popular characteristics. 4Vs Value, Variety, Velocity and Volume, based on which it is later processed. Scale of data, forms of data, analysis of data flow and finally asking it the right questions. Once the big data is sorted based on 4Vs, it is then uploaded across the globe in real time. The scale of Big Data is so large that till date only 5% of all the data that has been collected has ever been processed. If just a fraction of this data has made operations smoother, lives more secure, then imagine the potential of tapping into the vast amount of Big Data!

Data Visualization

The last step of IoT enabled data is being visualized on applications and software for the end user. With an easy to use interface that involved hard level coding by the developers, the end user reaps the benefits of the data in real time. That's right! All of the above-mentioned processes have been completed in real time resulting in custom interactive displays. They often involve multiple types of components, not limited to tables, charts and meters.

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How Internet of Things Works in different industries

IoT origins, the process involved, and most importantly the many advantages of the same are covered in this blog. This technology has the potential to disrupt the current protocols in place and bring in a revolutionary transformation. One of the key factors that needs to be kept in mind is that IoT enables better communication. With the help of sensors and modules, this task becomes easier. Paul J. Meyer, the pioneer of the self-improvement industry said, "Communication - the human connection - is the key to personal and career success." Following this exemplary example, IoT is now being implemented in multiple sectors. Read on to know more.

1. Oil and Gas

The Middle East is considered by many as a golden bird. As of today, the Middle East still has many untapped resources in Oil and Gas sector. Majority of which, are under local government protection and kept as reserves. Corporations have been flocking in doves to get a piece of the pie. But, the one who are succeeding, are using IoT in their operations. IoT helps Oil and Gas sector by providing the following solutions:

  1. Leak detection solution - Resources are precious. Any leak, no matter the quantity needs to be controlled in real time with complete effectiveness.
  2. Oil well/tanker monitoring solution - Does it really take X amount of time and Y amount of fuel to transport a tanker from one location to another? Additionally, the level of the Oil well needs to be well monitored. Care needs to be taken to ensure no siphoning occurs.
  3. Equipment health check and preventive maintenance - Scheduled checkups of equipment is necessary. By adding IoT sensors and data monitoring solutions, one can be cost effective and prove agility by being proactive.

These are but a few solutions which when implemented in the Oil and Gas sector can bring in higher profits, more agility and save resources from going to waste.

2. Transport

Transportation is the backbone of any industry. There are many different ways in which one can increase one's productivity and on the other hand have a smoother running operation. Some of the IoT enabled solutions are:

  1. Vehicle tracking and fleet monitoring: Corporations boast of a huge number of vehicles as one's fleet. Additionally, there are multiple numbers of individual trailers that are may be attached to them. It is a logistic manager's nightmare at the time of peak demand. Tracking of these vehicles is paradigm in ensuring that each vehicle reaches its destination on time and meets deadlines.
  2. Truck/Trailer weight measurement - When a cargo is loaded on to a vehicle, there is a specific weight that it displays. At the time of delivery, this weight must be exactly the same at boarding. This way one can maximize loading and plug profit leaks in the bud. Additionally, overloading may lead to fines incurred.
  3. Last mile transportation - This solution helps one generate advanced analytics of the entire journey. From the vehicle's trip management to generating a mobile proof of delivery, sensors deliver data in real time. Vehicle route planning and staying connected to the customers in order to keep them updated is also easily done.
  4. Smart contract - A smart contract is legally binding BoL (Bill of Lading) that is crafted via an IoT enabled application. Additionally, the terms and conditions also include excise and custom duty fees. This makes processing of deliverables an easy task as it reduces the wait time and increases overall productivity.

The above mentioned are few of the IoT based solutions that can help transform the transportation sector.

3. Water

The most precious commodity of all, water as a resource needs to be stored and used to the best of their abilities. IoT enabled sensors and meters provide the following solutions:

  1. Automatic Meter Reading Solution - This solution helps in increasing billing accuracy with the help of better water usage management systems in place. It also helps in matching the demand in ratio to the supply.
  2. Water Leak Detection - One of the most popular IoT enabled solution, it helps detect pipeline leakage in real-time. With the help of real-time notification alerts one can also monitor underground pipelines and reduce water wastage.
  3. Water Quality Monitoring - This solution has global appeal as statistics believe that by 2025, there shall be a worldwide scarcity of potable water. For the same, it is important to ensure there is conductivity measuring of the water quality. This includes its salinity, Ph balance and TDS Measuring.

In order to protect water as a resource, it is crucial that we implement these water solutions. Every drop saved is a drop that shall benefit our future generations.

4. Hospitality

Even though the economy is in the dumps, the service sector is blooming. These are thanks to the combination of experience and facilities that are being offered to the guests. The following solutions in the hospitality sector ensure to generate revenue surplus for the property owners and make a visit memorable for the guests.

  1. Guest room automation - Guests today want to experience the option of availing best facilities and IoT benefits in their room. Hence, many guests link in their personal Netflix account onto the smart TV in the room. Additionally, with smart gadgets handy, their stay becomes more comfortable and luxurious.
  2. Conference room automation - Many corporations hire hotels as independent venues for their corporate events. They are a perfect solution as this way the hotel can display their best IoT enabled solutions. An IoT powered conference room gives greater connectivity, launches portals for virtual guests and most importantly, saves time of the attendees by addressing their needs in real time. For e.g. If water for a particular guest is over, with a click of a button, the caretakers can be notified of the same. No more running about asking for water!
  3. Inter property linkage - In a big property, there are multiple number of amenities that are offered to the guests. For better coordination of the same, IoT comes to the rescue. Many a times, the pool house may be booked but the front desk may not have been updated. To avoid such unpleasant situations, smart solutions are the best bet.
Also Read: How Smart Hotel Solutions Have Uplifted the Hospitality Sector

5. Agriculture

An upcoming sector that is implementing IoT to the fullest is Agriculture. For a bountiful yield, IoT Smart farming solutions help farmers convert their knowledge into profit. The overall quality and quantity of produce, livestock and poultry improves thanks to geo fencing, tracking, drone monitoring, and automated sprinkler systems. All these are key features that are possible with smart farming. The seamless end to end solution supports intelligent operations and improves farming and business process execution to achieve speci?c objectives. Additionally, IoT enabled smart farming solution also help achieve:

  1. Smart pest management: Pesticides help in preventing infestations. But the wrong quantity can result in destroyed crops. In order to avoid such situations, IoT works by providing detailed analytics which predict swarm patterns and alerts on the health of the crop. This data is analyses with the help of smart devices and sensors that constantly keep a check on the weather patterns. A locust swarm has destroyed many a crop and resulted in million-dollar losses.
  2. Climate monitoring and forecasting: Nature is a fickle friend of the farmers. Off season showers may be welcomed by many but for farmers with acres of crops, an unseasonal rain or extreme summers/winters can mean the loss of produce. To ensure fail safe measures, IoT plays a big hand. Climate change, weather forecasts are now key features in precision farming. They alert the farmer of the impending changes and help ensure preventive measures. With sensors in place to predict and analyze the weather, crops can be saves from being destroyed.
  3. Stats on livestock feeding and produce: Feeding patterns of the cattle often predict if there is any illness round the bend. Quality produce of milk and protein depends on the amount and quality consumption of the cattle. Smart sensors ensure that livestock is eating in a sufficient manner. This is possible with IoT enabled smart devices that weigh and discharge food pellets to the cattle. If the cattle do not eat the regular dosage, an instant alert can be sounded to the person in-charge of the shed.

6. Energy

IoT works wonders. Nowhere more than in the energy sector. With daily innovations and adaptation, IoT implementations has managed to shake the age-old infrastructure of the energy sector. With improved productivity and connectivity, IoT has helped create a smart energy management system. With it, one can achieve greater convenience for the business and the end customers. With data derived from IoT enabled devices and machine learning protocols in place, this sector has completely transformed. It has impacted the following:

  1. IoT Machine uptime monitoring: One of the challenges in ensuring energy efficiency is the sudden and often untimely shutting down of equipment. With smart devices in place, one can get real time updates as and when a machine is facing any issues. Additionally, this also help in predicting when the machinery is due for a checkup or over haul.
  2. Facility power management: A tailored and integrated smart solution has the potential to improve operational and energy efficiency. With supported and mandated sustainability goals, automated backup system helps in reducing costs with power management solutions.
  3. Smart grids: When IoT enabled smart meters are connected with a network of grids, this results in a grid system that ensures energy efficiency. They help in reducing power outages which means lesser down time.

7. Healthcare

One of the most crucial sectors where we offer IoT based solutions, is Healthcare. With lives at stake, IoT can help doctors, nurses and even the EMT. IoT solutions not only help regulate precise directions but also shares information in real time during a lifesaving surgery.

Also Read: IoT Applications and Gadgets for the Healthcare Industry

In Conclusion

We have just gone through a simplified, short journey on how Internet of Things works and the sectors where it is implemented. But we would be amiss if we do not talk about Predictive analysis or Machine Learning. Thanks to the IoT enabled data, machines, applications and software now have the ability to adapt to new circumstances and detect patterns based on the previous data algorithms. An example of the same is Uber. Once you book an Uber from a particular location, the next time you log on to Uber, the predictive text would prompt you to the same location! We are currently living is the futuristic world we have seen in cartoons when we were kids (Except for the flying cars) IoT has just made this futuristic fantasy world our everyday reality. Now, all we need are the flying cars and we would be no less than the Jetsons!