The phrase 'Internet of Things' (IoT) reminds me of when a person can’t remember a name of a particular item and says, “You know what I mean ... that thingy!" I suppose IoT is better than "Internet of what’du call it?’
The method of transmission from IoT devices to a monitoring platform now has many protocols!
We could have named it the Internet of Services, but I don't think IoS would work somehow for our friends at Apple. Anyway, back to the serious side of this blog post: an IoT device is classed as anything which has a permanent connection to the Internet, via fixed, mobile or wireless protocols and can send data readings for analytics and (depending on the thing) can receive incoming instructions to make things happen.
"One of the earliest industrial applications I was introduced to was in the Agricultural sector in 2017!"
A company had developed a chip, housed in an outdoor case, which connected via a SIM card to their monitoring platform. The 'box' was placed in various positions within a very large Pig breeding farm. The sensors recorded temperature, humidity and even when the water levels were low in the water troughs for drinking water.
As these sheds are quite large, the ambient temperature can vary from one side to another and by having sensors sending constant data back to the monitoring platform, decisions could be made to on which side of the barn to increase or decrease the temperature so that the whole structure was of an even temperature.
Equally, the system was connected to the water pipe and automatically topped up the drinking water for the pigs when the sensor detected a low water level, measured by a sensor in the trough.
The method of transmission from said device to a monitoring platform now has many protocols. Zigbee, Sigfox, LoRa-WAN, NB-IoT, and standard mobile data to name, but a few!
Companies have developed transmission networks that optimise power usage and use 'low power' methods that can also travel very long distances, thus minimising the number of masts required to pick up and relay a data packet from the device, back to the monitoring platform. Also, by using low-power methods, prolongs the life of the battery within the device and advances have been made in certain sensor devices, in which sending data once or twice a day will allow the battery to last up to five years or more.
In an office environment, sensors can be tracked for humidity, carbon dioxide build-up, and room occupancy monitoring. The efficiency of air conditioning units can be monitored and all of this would lead to a much healthier environment within the workspace and can also help in space planning and moving partitions and re-modelling spaces to optimise airflow in the office area.
Sensors can be placed within commercial waste disposal bins (industrial garbage cans) to report back how full or empty the bin is so that rubbish (garbage) collections can be increased or decreased as required.
On the domestic front, we have heating, lighting and security devices that are all connected to our Wi-Fi networks. With the use of Apps on our smartphones, we can control all these devices and even have motors on the curtain tracks to open and close them.
"Where will it all end?"
Or is this just the beginning as Artificial Intelligence finds its way into IoT devices? One last thing ... all blog posts are typed on my PC in full and the subject matter is chosen by me. No GPT-3 here folks! That's my personal guarantee.
Until next time ...
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Where do we start? Simple terms like 'IT' and 'Telecoms'? or terms that appear NOT to have an actual meaning at all!, e.g. 'Internet of Things (IoT).
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