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IoT - Internet Of Things

IoT comes from the English "Internet Of Things", that is, "Internet of things", yet what precisely right? For what reason is it so popular at this point? What applications does it have? What innovations are accessible?

This article aims to be an introduction to IoT for all those people who, despite having heard about it, do not have a clear idea of what it is, for this, we try to give an answer to all the questions posed and additionally, concepts and acronyms are introduced related to this topic.

What is IoT?

The meaning of IoT could be the gathering and interconnection of gadgets and articles through an organization (either private or the Web, the organization of organizations), where every one of them could be obvious and communicate. With respect to sort of articles or gadgets, they could be anybody, from sensors and mechanical gadgets to ordinary items, for example, the fridge, footwear or dress. Anything you can imagine could be connected to the internet and interact without the need for human intervention, the objective therefore is a machine-to-machine interaction, or what is known as an M2M (machine to machine) connection or M2M gadgets.

Why is the IoT fashionable? What applications does it have?

The Internet has evolved rapidly and this has allowed IoT to become a reality and not just a vision of the future. The notoriety of this innovation lies mostly in all the applications and potential outcomes that it gives us both to improve the two individuals' everyday lives and business conditions, where it has just been executed for quite a while.

The applications are almost endless, but some examples will be described to give visibility of some of them, both in daily life and in the business environment:

1. Let us suppose the refrigerator of a house, where the food is kept, which, in turn, has an expiration date. In this scenario, the refrigerator could be connected to the internet to notify the user through their mobile phone, for example, when food expires, if there is a drop-in temperature due to a breakdown, if any food is running out, or simply the electricity consumption based on the number of times the refrigerator door is opened.

2. Another scenario could be that of home automation, where there are already numerous devices that connect to the Internet to make life easier for human beings, see for example voice-controlled devices that are asked to play a song from a repository on the internet, or the devices and applications that allow controlling all the parameters of the water in an aquarium, or even the alarm systems of the houses that are connected to the power plants. Security systems that connect to the network notify you when someone enters your house or those devices that allow you to turn on the heating from a mobile phone.

3. If one thinks of industrial applications, IoT is already used in many production plants where devices and sensors connected to the network allow data to be analyzed and alarms and messages generated that is sent to different users to take the necessary actions or even initiate action protocols automatically, without human interaction, to correct or treat said alarms.

4. Another example of an application would be in the livestock the sector where biometric monitoring and geolocation is a factor that helps farmers to ensure that their animals are always controlled.

Terms closely related to IoT can be "Smart Cities" and "Smart Buildings" where IoT devices are used to improve traffic control, control of water and heating supplies in a building, control of public transport, etc.

What technology is utilized?

As you can see, IoT is already here and is a reality, its scope is very wide and every day more and more devices emerge that make this technology possible. This innovation related to the IoT permits information to be gathered and shipped off the organization for analysis or even to carry out a previous analysis and then send it to the network.

It is in this correspondence cycle that IoT is advancing since one of the obstructions to defeat is the sort of convention with which these gadgets convey (that is, "the language" that they address one another). Currently, there are very new devices or sensors whose communication and connection to the internet is easy and direct, but there are also many other older non-standard devices whose correspondence and association convention isn't trifling, that is the place where one of these entanglements comes to be saved. Additionally, each manufacturer or "vendor" has its own communication protocols that mean that not all devices are compatible. One of the components that have been attempted to set up is the production of an open and standard convention (proposed by IBM) called MQTT (Message Lining Telemetry Transport), which allows all manufacturers to participate and support it, thus facilitating communication between different communication devices. different manufacturers.

On the other hand, if you are looking for devices for IoT you have to consider various aspects such as low consumption and that they are small in size, hence the SoCs (SoC, System on Chip) are an important part of these devices. An SoC is an integrated circuit that contains all or most of the modules that a computer would have (SoCs can be found in mobile phones, for example). As examples of large manufacturers we have ARM and Intel, although they are not the only ones, there are more recent ones such as MediaTek, Qualcomm or Samsung. Additionally, there are very affordable alternatives for all users such as Arduino that allows a user to assemble their own devices and control circuits for the home.

Another important part of an IoT device is the sensors, the processor and the platform are in charge of managing the information, but this must come from the sensors. In this sense, Arduino has made this type of technology available to all users. Additionally, vendors that provide cloud services also offer kits prepared with various sensors, and that allows you to easily connect with these services.

Finally, another technologically important component to enable the IoT is the technology used for communication between various devices whose location is not close, that is, communication networks. In this section, you can talk, for example, of communication through a "WiFi" network that, although it admits a high transfer rate, has a high consumption and a low range. Another well-known example would be a mobile network (3G, 4G, or the future 5G) where the range would be greater and lower consumption. Additionally, there are other types of specific networks for IoT such as Sigfox (with great coverage in both the United States and Europe) or LoRa.

To finish, simply comment that talking about technology in IoT means talking about a series of solutions proposed by different manufacturers and that are in continuous evolution. There is no single technology, but many of them that must be analyzed to adapt them to the specific solution to be developed.

As mentioned, IoT is something very extensive with infinite applications, however, that the devices are connected or have some degree of intelligence is not new, the key is how IoT proposes to do it now. The idea is that they are connected to the Internet and, if possible, directly, that they are capable of collecting data and information and transmitting it to other devices and that said information can be saved and analyzed to improve the operation of the device itself or improving other devices.

By and by, I believe that IoT is an innovative pattern that will be persistently developing and that it will be relentless. It is presently being utilized in various fields, for example, creation plants to perform preventive support and break down information, in the clinical area, where you can screen the constants of a patient and act before the circumstance is basic, at home, with the "SmartHomes", where the microwave can start to warm the food before the client returns home, in the so-called "wearables", which are all those devices that can be incorporated into clothing (for example, shoes that all count the kilometers that a person runs) or to the body, like “Smartwatches”, and a long etcetera.

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