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An Overview of the Architecture – How IoT Works


September 29, 2015 | Cloud Computing, IoT, Technology

The IoT (Internet of Things) is a technology concept and/or an architecture which is an aggregation of already available technologies. IoT architecture can also be called as an event-driven model. The visionaries have also realized that this IoT ecosystem has business applications in areas of Home Automation, Factory/assembly line automation, Retail, Medical/Preventive healthcare, Automotive and more.

Starting from the bottom level, the data flow gets generated from any “thing” through sensors that are being sent out to the cloud through communication gateway for analysis, which turns out to be useful information. IoT has evolved from the convergence of wireless technologies, micro electromechanical systems and the Internet.

Building blocks of IOT:

A thing, in the Internet-of-Thing, can be a person or animal or any object that can generate data through a built-in sensor, or any other natural or man-made object that can be assigned an IP address and provided with the ability to transfer data over a network.

Sensors:

A sensor is a transducer, whose purpose is to sniff a wide variety of information ranging from Location, Weather/Environment conditions, Grid parameters, Movement on assembly lines, Jet engine maintenance data to Health essentials of a patient and generate output as an electrical or optical signal. The sensors in the IOT are called as a node that will collect information and sent to the outside world, through communication protocols – Bluetooth, BLE, ZigBee, Z-wave, Wi-Fi or through wired communication, which I have already discussed in my previous blog. These nodes will be forwarding the data to a device called Gateway.

IOT Gateway:

The gateway acts as a bridge between these IOT objects and the internet. Gateways can connect to the IoT devices that communicate via specific protocols, store and parse the information and then send them over to cloud servers for processing and analytics. IOT gateways not only abstract the medium of communication but also provide the secure channel required for the transmission of this data. Gateways usually run real-time operation systems (RTOS) or a form of Linux to drive their systems. Hardware and software level encryption is built right into the gateway to provide a secure channel for communication.

Cloud platform and Big data Analytics:

The protocols that support cloud platform are– GPRS, Wi-Fi, CoAP, MQTT, WebSocket, RESTful, etc. Cloud computing is the only platform to support the massive and unpredictable data. Cloud will empower IOT by providing elastic computing power, storage and networking. The massive data generated from IOT can be analyzed in the cloud with big data solutions to gain insights and patterns of usage and behaviour of machines and humans. This business intelligence, in turn, allows us to predict forthcoming growth in data demand and deploy additional resources accordingly.

These patterns are then analysed, and if found irrelevant, then accordingly the information is sent to the user, to control & monitor their devices (ranging from room thermostat to jet engines & assembly lines) from remote locations. These apps push the important information on your hand-held devices & help to send commands to your Smart Devices.

However, the communication flow can also be in a reverse manner when user/ manufacturer want to actuate any object

  • User/ manufacturer will give some input in the form of SMS, Push, Email, Call, etc.
  • That information is forwarded to the internet i.e. Cloud
  • The cloud then processes the information identifies the particular object through the IP address and pushes the information through the communication protocols to the Gateway.
  • Gateway will trigger the actuator that will be responsible for controlling and moving the system or object.

Hence, this is “How an IoT ecosystem works”. If you are interested to be the one building such automotive network of objects, Cognixia is here to help you up-skill your career in IOT.

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