Internet Of Things (IoT), application, use cases and why it’s more important now

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Internet of things (IoT) is not a technology anymore. In the era of Industry 4.0, IoT is now part of the process, an intelligent way of how humans interact with machines and devices. It’s how machines stay connected in a network of interconnected devices. It is among the leader of key technology disruptions happening around us. IoT is part of almost every industry vertical, with its adoption growing exponentially.

In India alone, the IoT market size would surpass 9 billion USD in the year 2020. Importance of IoT can be easily judged when in 2017, Government of India – Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) released the nation’s first Internet of Things (IoT) policy document. IoT is now a key part of all Indian government’s emerging technology initiatives mainly Digital India, Make in India and Smart Cities.

“To develop a connected and smart IoT based system for our country’s economy,

Society, Environment and Global needs.”

Vision – IoT Policy – Government of India

We will discuss the following topics in this post:

  • IoT today and tomorrow
  • Key Benefits of its Adoption
  • Smart Industry – Use Cases
  • Application, How it Works?
  • Hardware, Software & Platform
  • IoT, IoT, IoT – any exciting work?

IoT today and tomorrow

Research statistics by IHS Markit

Even in tough times of COVID-19 when industry growth is slowed down, IoT spending is recorded at 8.2% yearly in the current fiscal year. According to recent research (dated 5 June 2020) published by OrbisResearch – one of the leading market research reseller, IoT market size is expected to grow rapidly at a CAGR of 14.5% globally in the next 5 years. It is measured at USD 17,700 million in the year 2019 and is forecasted to reach USD 30,480 million by 2025.

Major industries that recorded the highest IoT spending are Healthcare, Insurance and Education.

Key benefits of its adoption

  • Overall cost saving by improved business model and enhanced operational efficiency
  • Real-time asset tracking of devices that are geographically dispersed
  • Maintenance prediction models, by using enormous data points collected with machine learning
  • Better employee productivity by task automation
  • Enriched customer experience
  • Save energy and workforce
  • Localized intelligence with high precession
Research statistics by McKinsey

Smart Industry – Use Cases

  • Smart Manufacturing – Factory 4.0, powered by the IoT
  • Smart Energy Management – Intelligent temperature and humidity control
  • Connected Living – Smart homes, connected lights, fans, refrigeration and more
  • Connected Mobility – Intelligent vehicles that could make real-time decisions
  • Smart Health – Intelligent Medical Equipment
  • Intelligent Personal IoT– Smartwatch, Fitness Tracker, GPS tracker, Smart camera
  • Industrial IoT (IIOT) – IoT enterprise solutions by IT service companies
  • Intelligent Transportation System (IoT-ITS) – communicating vehicles using IoT in railways, roadways, airways and marine
  • Smart Construction – intelligent site management, connected construction equipment, and worker safety wearables
  • Smart City – with smart parking, smart water & waste management, smart urban-lighting and more
  • Smart Farming – Optimized irrigation control, soil health monitoring, and farm asset-protection using IoT monitoring
  • Smart Supply Chain & Logistics – Logistics 4.0 – reliable, self-organizing and self-optimizing logistic system

“Fourth Industrial Revolution is the fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres”

in book Fourth Industrial Revolution by Professor Klaus Schwab

Application, How it Works?

Any IoT application consists of three basic components namely Device, Gateway and Server (or Cloud). Rest is how they communicate with one another without human intervention.

  • Device: use sensors to interacts with the surrounding environment, and gather raw endpoint data. It collects data and send it to gateway. Device can be your smart-phone or personal fitness-tracker wearable or may be a factory-equipment installed at machine to capture temperature reading.
  • Gateway: is a kind of communication bridge that ensures connection between device and cloud is maintained, it controls messaging between them
  • Cloud: is a data-centre server where all the computation takes place, it stores data gathered by device, process it and produce actionable insights or decisions.

Hardware, Software & Platforms

Hardware components for IoT application are primarily sensors (or actuator), microcontrollers and network distribution devices. Sensor is the most important defining hardware component in any IoT application. There are thousands of sensors available such as temperature, pressure, proximity, gas sensor, gyroscope, speed, infrared, optical sensor, etc. Sensor device contain modules like raw-sensing, energy management, RF module and power management. RF modules help in communication using wireless technologies such as WIFI, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, 6LoWPAN, RFID, ZigBee etc.

Software components for IoT application are operating system, firmware, application program, and middleware. These software components help in collecting data from the source system, integration with various hardware components, processing data and generating real-time analytics.

Major operating systems (OS) developed specially for IoT devices are:

Key Protocols that are leveraged by IoT application are Constrained Application Protocol – CoAP, RESTful HTTP, messaging protocol – MQTT and XMPP

IoT, IoT, IoT – any exciting work?

Lets explore some eye catching IoT projects, might help changing the mood.

Jacquard by Google: Convert ordinary objects such as shoe or jacket and give them new digital abilities. Adidas GMR is one such innovation by Adidas and Google-Jacquard to unleash all-new experience for football players by combining outdoor football game and online gaming with IoT capabilities in shoes.

IoT – adidas GMR, Google – Play connected

Trucker Jacket Levi’s by Google Jacquard and Levis is another technology innovation by which one could play music, answer phone calls and take photos, just by jacket sleeve.

IoT Trucker Jacket Levi’s® Google

Scope of IoT applications is huge and this is emerging as the next big moneymaker for all sort of industries. With the advent of Industry 4.0, we are still at the start of a new Era – IoT Era!

Anubhav Agarwal
Anubhav is a data scientist by profession who loves to explore new technologies and tools. He is passionate about table tennis, AI and evolution of Galaxy:). He feels that unemployability can be reduced with the right skills and knowledge among the people.