The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and connectivity which enables these things to connect and exchange data.

Internet of Things is changing the world and sensors are at the heart of IoT solutions.

sensor is a device, module, or subsystem whose purpose is to detect events or changes in its environment and send the information to other devices.

Some of the common sensors are

  • Temperature sensors

These are one of the most popular sensors that measure the temperature or heat . These sensors utilize a number of different methods to determine and quantify the temperature of an object. These sensors work in a number of different ways, some of the sensors required to be in physical contact with the object while others do not require contact as they can detect liquid or gases that emit radiant energy like spike in heat or a plummeting temperature.

  • Proximity sensor

Proximity sensors are used to detect motion. They are used in applications involving security, safety, or efficiency. These sensors detects obstacles to help avoiding in navigating to a crowded place or any complex route as it can be the best possible sensor for map building and guiding. Proximity sensors utilize electromagnetic radiation or radar to conclude motion or habitation.

  • Pressure sensor

These sensors are used for measuring pressure of gas or liquid by converting the physical power into an electrical signal. Barometers and pressure gauges are the most popular pressure sensors used for IoT ecosystem. Barometers are an absolute help in weather forecasting as it accurately measures the ambient air. Pressure gauges are mostly used in industrial sites as it is good in monitoring the pressure in sealed environments.

  • Chemical sensor

Chemical sensors are used to indicate changes in liquid or air chemical changes. They play an important role in bigger cities, where it is necessary to track changes and protect the pollution.Chemical sensors can be found used in Industrial environmental monitoring and process control, intentionally or accidentally released harmful chemical detection, explosive and radioactive detection

  • Gas sensor

Gas sensors are specifically used to monitor changes of the air quality and detect the presence of various gases. They are used in numerous industries such as manufacturing, agriculture and health and used for monitoring air quality, Detection of toxic or combustible gas, monitoring of Hazardous gas in coal mines, Oil & Gas industries etc.

  • Smoke sensor

A smoke sensor is used to senses smoke. Smoke sensors detect the presence of Smoke, Gases and Flame surrounding their field. It can be detected either optically or by the physical process either use both methods. Smoke sensors are extensively used by manufacturing industry, HVAC, buildings and accommodation infra to detect fire and gas incidences.

  • IR sensors

An infrared sensor is a sensor which is used to sense certain characteristics of its surroundings by either emitting or detecting infrared radiation. It is also capable of measuring the heat being emitted by object.Especially used in Healthcare field to monitor the blood flow and blood pressure. They are even used in a wide array of regular smart devices such as smartwatches and smartphones.

  • Optical sensors

Optical Sensors are used to detect electromagnetic energies like light, electricity, or such elemental particles. They can emit, receive, and convert light energy into electrical signal. The fiber optic sensor IoT interface is connected to internet and cloud platform which collects information for monitoring various parameters. These optical sensors have great use in digital cameras which act as one of the major physical devices of an IoT ecosystem. We can expect high growth of innovative fiber optic sensors as part of the rise in sophisticated industrial automation applications.

 

When we build IoT projects, we will use one or more of these IoT sensors and devices in it, we can get cheap IoT sensors and actuators , at the same time there are IoT sensors manufactures producing highly accurate and calibrated sensors which are very costly and only used in Medical & Aeronautical fields. IoT technology is growing fast now so more & more sensors are used to collect more data & interact with devices.

In upcoming posts I will share few of the IoT projects I have done so that you can get the details on those & can try to implement those from your end.

On top of Sensors you may also use Relay modules in our projects which is also one of the essential component to control AC devices.

Commonly used temperature sensors are DHT11, DHT22, LM35 which you can easily buy in amazon or other online stores.

DHT11

DHT22

LM35

 

Proximity or motion sensors

 

Motion sensor

Ultrasonic Range Finder

 

Pressure Sensors

Piezo electric sensor

Weighing sensor

 

Gas Sensor

Smoke Sensor

 

Project vs Program vs Portfolio vs Operations:

Organization to achieve their goals and objectives, they have put solid foundation through project management process, tools & techniques. A project can be managed in different ways.

  1. Standalone project
  2. With in a Program
  3. With in a portfolio

IT project manager interact with Program manager & portfolio manager if the project is inside program or portfolio.

What is a project?

A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to achieve unique product or services.

Examples for projects : Building a bridge on XYZ river, making an ABC application , etc.

What is a program?

A program is defined as a group of interlinked projects , subsidiary programs managed in coordinated way to obtain a specific objective which cannot be obtained if the projects or subsidiary programs are managed individually. A program is not just a large project.

What is a portfolio?

A portfolio is defined a group of projects, programs or subsidiary portfolio managed as a group to achieve a organizational strategic goal.

What is operations?

Operations is concerned with ongoing production of goods or services. it ensures that business operation continue effectively. Project can intersect with operations at several instances of product life cycle.

Examples for operations: Production systems, service operations etc.

Project, Program & Portfolio

Projects and program management focus on doing projects and program the right way.

Portfolio management focus on doing the right projects and programs.Portfolio management aligns portfolio with organizational strategies by selecting the right projects and programs prioritizing the work and providing the resources.

Projects Programs Portofolios
Definition A project is a temporary endaveour undertaken to create a unique product, service or result A program is a group of related projects, subsidiary programs & program activities that are managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits not available from managing them individually A portofolio is a collection of projects, programs , subsidiary portfolios and operations managed as a group to achieve strategic goal
Scope Projects have defined objectives, scope is progressively elaborated throughout the project lifecycle Program have scope that encompass the scopes of its program components. Program produce benefits to an organization by ensuring the outputs & outcome of program components are delivered. Portfolio have organizational scope that changes with strategic objectives of the organization
Change Project managers expect change & implement process to keep the chanages managed & controlled. Programs are managed in a manner that accepts and adpats to changes as necessary to optimize the delivery as the programs components deliver outome & outputs Porfolio managers continously monitor changes in the organization ( Internal & external)
Planning Project managers progressively elaborate high level information in to the detailed Project plan through out the lifecycle of project Programs are managed using high level plans that tracks the interdependencies & progress or program components Portfolio managers create & maintain necessary process and communication relative to the portfolio
Management Project managers manage the project to meet its objectives Programs are managed by program managers to ensure the benefits are achieved Portfolio is managed by portfolio manager
Success Success of the project is measured by product ,project quality, timelines, budget, customer satisfaction Program success is measured by its ability to deliver the intended benefits & effectiveness in delivering those benefits Portfolio success is measured in terms of investment performance & benefits realization


Classic example for Operations are production systems , service operations. A production system will consist of multiple machines & have multiple technologies involved for the production of goods. However the processing of the goods are going to be same process & production system will produce the same goods again & again. Where as service industry mainly focus on intangible products like customer experience , service for goods or products.

Project Success :

We can say the project is success if we are able keep the customer requirements satisfied or exceeding , complete the project with in the scheduled duration, complete with in the given budget & mostly the acceptance agreement from customer.

Project Success

Project Failure:

Few reasons for failure of the project are scope creep , Poor requirement gathering, unrealistic planning & lack of resources.

Project Failure

#what is project,#what is program,#what is portfolio


Some of the major IoT platforms  or Internet of things companies are listed below

A fully managed service to easily and securely connect, manage, and ingest data from globally dispersed devices.

Key features:

  1. Secure device connection and management
  2. Zero touch device provisioning to Cloud IoT Core
  3. Establish two-way communication with your devices
  4. Fully managed and scalable
  5. Device deployment at scale

Google IoT

AWS IoT Core is a platform that enables you to connect devices to AWS Services and other devices, secure data and interactions, process and act upon device data, and enable applications to interact with devices even when they are offline

Key features :

  1. AWS IoT Device SDK
  2. Device Gateway
  3. Message Broker
  4. Authentication & Authorization
  5. Registry
  6. Device Shadow
  7. Rule Engine

Amazon IoT

Azure IoT Edge is a fully managed service that delivers cloud intelligence locally by deploying and running artificial intelligence (AI), Azure services, and custom logic directly on cross-platform IoT devices. Run your IoT solution securely and at scale—whether in the cloud or offline.

Key Features

  1. Establish bidirectional communication with billions of IoT devices
  2. Authenticate per device for security-enhanced IoT solutions
  3. Automate IoT device provisioning and registration to accelerate your IoT deployment
  4. Extend the power of the cloud to your edge device

Azure IoT

IBM Watson is an IoT platform which is pretty much taken among developers already. Backed by IBM’s hybrid cloud PaaS (platform as a service) development platform, the Bluemix, Watson IoT enables developers to easily deploy IoT applications.

Improve IT operations, accelerate innovation and deliver exceptional performance with the power of a data-driven and knowledge-based IT services platform

Key Features:

  1. Device Management
  2. Secure Communications
  3. Real Time Data Exchange
  4. Data Storage
  5. Recently added data sensor and weather data service

IBM Whatson IoT

Bosch’s IoT platform, the Bosch IoT Suite, provides all key middleware capabilities needed to build sophisticated IoT applications from top to bottom.

Key Features:

  1. Trusted and secure
  2. Open and flexible
  3. Innovative
  4. Ready to use
  5. Device management

Bosch IoT

Dell takes a pragmatic approach to the Internet of Things (IoT) by building on the equipment and data you already have, and leveraging your current technology investments, to quickly and securely enable analytics-driven action.

Offerings:

  1. Internet of Things Infrastructure
  2. Internet of Things Analytics
  3. Internet of Things security
  4. Internet of Things industries
  5. Internet of Things Labs

Dell IoT

There are lots of new business opportunities in the fire hose of IoT data that’s streaming from today’s internet-connected products. Yet behind the billions of connected apps, devices, sensors, and sites, there are customers. So make sure you’re giving customers the best experience with Salesforce IoT, the only platform designed to put your IoT data where it will do your customers the most good: right inside Salesforce.

Key Features:

  1. Build complete customer device profiles.
  2. Input data from everywhere
  3. Easily create IoT engagement rules with clicks, not code.
  4. Visualise all your IoT devices in one place.
  5. Natively connect to the Customer Success Platform.

Google cloud

AWS IoT

Azure IoT

IBM Watson

 

 

 

 

 

Comparison of Major IoT platforms:

IoT platform Comparison

There are free IoT platforms available also like

  1. Cayenne
  2. Thingboard
  3. Blynk

IoT platform remains the heart of the entire IoT ecosystem regardless of the IoT solution that you are planning to adopt.Choosing the right IoT platform is an important decision that you need to make before you start your IoT journey

Some of the deciding factor which you need to look on selecting the IoT platforms are

  1. Scalability : As you move forward in your journey of IoT product, there will be need to add more & more devices, so the IoT platform should be able to support easy scalability to accommodate your requirement.
  2. Customizable : It is very difficult to get all features you need in a single IoT platform. So you have to decide which is best & it should be easy customizable to your requirements. Your vendor is capable of customizing your IoT applications and implementation strategy that fosters your business goals .
  3. Cloud Infrastructure : Rather than going with on premise infrastructure it is always advisable for Private or hybrid IoT cloud. This give easy accessibility & high computing capabilities.
  4. Data Security : This is very important aspect, there is always discussion on how much the data is secured now & when using cloud.

The information on open source IoT platforms comparison is listed here , You need look in to the IoT platform features,IoT platform providers and IoT platforms design methodology to decide which platform is suitable for your project and to have IoT platforms enable for your IoT projects.


First we should know what is a project, usually people are confused between project & operations. They call operations as project.

Project:

A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to produce a unique product or service

The characteristics of projects are

  • Specific start and end date
  • Has a defined objective
  • Series of tasks to achieve a defined outcome or objective

 

Project Characteristic

Projects are undertaken to full-fill objectives by producing deliverables. The deliverables may be tangible or intangible.

Fulfillment of project objectives may produce one or more deliverables like

  1. Unique product ( a complete product or enhancement of a existing product or correction of product etc.)
  2. Unique service ( a support function)
  3. Unique result ( new process, documents etc.)
  4. Unique combination of one or more of the above.

The temporary nature of project indicate that it have a definite start & end date. Temporary doesnt means that the project have to be short duration like months, projects can span for years duration.

while operations is concerned with the ongoing production of goods or services.

Project Management:

Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools & technique to the project activities to meet the project requirement. Project management enables the organization to execute the projects effectively & efficiently.

The core component of project management are

  • Business case for why a project is necessary
  • Capturing project requirements, specifying quality of the deliverable, estimating resources and timescales
  • Developing and implementing a management plan for the project
  • Leading and motivating the project delivery team
  • Managing the risks, issues and changes on the project
  • Monitoring Project progress against plan
  • Managing the project budget
  • Maintaining communications with stakeholders and the project organisation
  • Procurement management
  • closing the project in a controlled fashion when appropriate.

Effective project management helps organization to

  1. Meet business objectives
  2. Meet stakeholders expectations
  3. Increase chance of successful project
  4. Manage constraints
  5. Manage risks in timely manner
  6. Control changes

Poorly managed project with out project management will fail & result in

  1. Missed deliverables
  2. High cost
  3. Poor quality
  4. Rework
  5. Lost of reputation for organization
  6. Unsatisfied stakeholders

It is the responsibility of IT project manager to make sure the projects are completed successfully. We can cover more about the project manager responsibilities in upcoming days.

Project management is used in most of the industries

  • Transport and infrastructure
  • IT
  • Product manufacture
  • Building and construction
  • Regulatory changes in finance and law

Lot of people do project management in current organization because of they are promoted to this position as they were doing good in their Job, they must have been good in technical topics & they are promoted to PM role assuming they will do good in this position also.

The project management basics is to use project management skills, tools, technologies to make sure that the projects are completed successfully, tailor the project management principles suiting for your project & organizational needs.

you need to be patient when taking the role of Project manager, the first step to the Project management is the right education.

There are 5 Project management process group as listed below

  • Initiating
  • Planning
  • Executing
  • Monitoring & controlling
  • Closing

You don't need to start with a degree, learn from experience at the same time understand the project management terminologies, concept, benefits of right project management through CAPM, PMBOK , Prince2 similar courses & completing certifications will give additional value. Certified project managers will have more value in the market than others.

To become an expert project management professional, throughout your career, you will find yourself learning new skills. This is because no two projects are ever the same. Also, you will find that each project comes with its own set of unique challenges, forcing you to make changes to your plan of action for each of these.

In upcoming post we will be talking in detail about 5 process groups

There are 49 knowledge areas as per PMBOK and the same we will be also covered in later posts.

  1. Develop Project charter
  2. Identify Stakeholders
  3. Develop Project management plan
  4. Plan Scope management plan
  5. Collect requirements
  6. Define scope
  7. Create WBS
  8. Plan schedule management (Project time management)
  9. Define activities
  10. Sequence activities
  11. Estimate activity duration's
  12. Develop schedule
  13. Plan cost management
  14. Estimate costs
  15. Determine budget
  16. Plan quality management
  17. Plan resource management
  18. Estimate activity resources
  19. Plan communication management
  20. Plan risk management
  21. Identify risks
  22. Perform qualitative risk management
  23. Perform quantitative risk management
  24. Plan risk response
  25. Plan procurement management
  26. Plan stakeholder management
  27. Direct & manage project work
  28. Manage project knowledge
  29. Manage quality
  30. Acquire resources
  31. Develop team
  32. Manage team
  33. Manage communications
  34. Implement risk responses
  35. Conduct procurement's
  36. Manage stakeholder engagement
  37. Monitor and control project work
  38. Perform integrated change control
  39. validate scope
  40. Control scope
  41. Control schedule
  42. Control cost
  43. Control quality
  44. Control resources
  45. Monitor communications
  46. Monitor risks
  47. Control procurement's
  48. Monitor stakeholder engagement
  49. Close project or phase

The 49 Processes can be clubbed in to group of 10 knowledge areas which are

  1. Project Integration Management
  2. Project Scope Management
  3. Project Schedule Management
  4. Project Cost Management
  5. Project Quality Management
  6. Project Resource Management
  7. Project Communication Management
  8. Project Risk Management
  9. Project Procurement Management
  10. Project Stakeholder Management

Project Process Group


Those who have heard of IoT , would have also heard of IoT platform. There are lot of IoT platforms available now & it is keep growing year or year.

IoT platform is a key component in IoT ecosystem . In this post i would try to provide the explanation on IoT platform as simple as possible.

First we should re-collect the components of IoT system to understand IoT platform. To know more about what is IoT or what is Internet of Things ,I have covered the details in my previous blog what is IoT.

The major components of IoT systems are Sensors/devices , Connectivity, data processing & user interface.

The sensors & devices collect data from environment or perform the actions like temperature reading, location tracking, moisture data etc.To send these data to data processing there should be a medium .The data will be send mainly to cloud ( what is cloud ? i will submit some blog for this in future) & receive from cloud back to the devices. In IoT system these are mainly done through gateways.

To make this user friendly , there is a need for a user interface or software that can be used to interact with IoT systems , example a web dashboard which shows the trend of the data analyzed, button to control the devices like switching of light, park vehicle etc.

Definition for IoT platform:

IoT platforms are the support software that connects everything in an IoT system. An IoT platform facilitates communication, data flow, device management, and the functionality of applications.

we can say IoT platform is a multilayered technology, that connects the sensors/devices,  provision them, manage them & can automate the connection of the devices in the Internet of Things. With IoT platform its easy to connect to the devices to the cloud & data processing. It connects remote devices to user applications and manages all the interactions between the hardware and the application layers.

Some of the main common features of IoT platforms are,

  • Registry for recognizing devices
  • Software Development Kit for devices
  • Device Shadows
  • Secure Device Gateway
  • Rules engine for inbound message evaluation

IoT  Architecture:

We could say there are 4 layers in an IoT stack

  1. Physical
  2. Communication
  3. Infrastructure
  4. Application

IoT architecture

Your devices connect to the platform, which sits in the cloud or in your on-premises data center, either directly or by using an IoT gateway. There are multiple protocols used for communication , refer the link IoT Standards and Protocols for more info.

The IoT platform itself can be decomposed to multiple layers

  1. Infrastructure
  2. Communication
  3. Core features ( Data collection, Device management, Configuration management, messaging, Software updates etc.)

Advantages of IoT platform:

  1. scalable ( Easily able to add more end points or devices)
  2. customizable (Easily modify to the business need & add more features)
  3. secured ( Encryption & data security)
  4. User friendly ( GUI or good user interfaces)

 

Some of the major IoT platforms are listed below

  1. Google Cloud IoT 
  2. AWS IoT Core
  3. Microsoft Azure IoT
  4. IBM Watson IoT
  5. Bosch IoT Suite
  6. Dell IoT
  7. Salesforce IoT
  8. Oracle IoT cloud platform

Above has given you IoT Platform companies list , To more about Top IoT platform Companies  features refer http://www.thetips4you.com/iot-platform-companies/

There are free IoT platforms available also like

  1. Cayenne ( I have used this for lot of my projects, will share more in upcoming blogs on how to do the IoT projects with Cayenne)
  2. Thingsboard
  3. Blynk

These are opensource IoT platforms & most of these platforms provide API to support the Linux hacker board such as Raspberry Pi, Arduino.

We get a easy user interfaces to add the devices, customize the action to be done with the devices, connect to respective GPIO Pin of the raspberry or Arduino. Most of the necessary features are inbuilt in the IoT platforms, we make use of those to build our home projects.  Simply add a relay button in Cayenne connect to your respective GPIO pin with a toggle switch so you can control the lights connected to the relay.

Refer the posts to know more about IoT sensors and IoT Devices .


What is Internet of Things?

Considering we all know about internet, before we go in to Internet of Things let me give a short note on What is internet.

By definition Internet is the global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to link devices worldwide.

The term Internet is used to refer to the specific global system of interconnected devices. In simple definition of internet, we can say the Internet can be defined as the mode of communication through which one can receive, transmit information between multiple devices (Things) that can be used for multiple operations.

The things can be physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, electronic devices, sensors, actuators, software etc. which can be connected & exchange data.

Now i think we should be able to answer for what is iot.

IoT meaning or IoT full form : Internet of Things.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of things (physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators)  connected through internet which enables these things to exchange data. This creates opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, resulting in efficiency improvements, economic benefits, and reduced human exertions.

In simple terms we can say IoT is a system of things integrated with sensors, softwares, electronics which are connected to each other & can exchange data or Information with other connected devices.

How IoT works:

If you do a google search you may notice lot of articles however if still not able to understand the IoT basics, let me give you a short explanation.

The main pillars of IoT projects or IoT solutions are

  • Sensors/Devices

Sample sensors are below

 

  • Connectivity

ESP8266 Wifi module is a sample connectivity device

  • Data Processing

Data processing is done mainly in cloud , using data analytics tools.

The Sensors & devices can be like temperature sensor, motion sensor, camera, GPS etc. and to connect these devices each others there should be a medium like Internet ( WiFi) , Bluetooth, satellite, Cellular etc. And last the data send between the devices need to be stored & analyzed like in cloud, data analytics software etc.

There can be optional user interface also be part of it in  through which useful information can be viewed, monitored, alerts can be set etc.

The number of IoT devices increased 31% year-over-year to 8.4 billion in 2017 and it is estimated that there will be 30 billion devices by 2020

Connectivity or network is the crucial technology for IoT, there are several wired & wireless technologies available now

  • Short range wireless communication

Bluetooth, wireless, Radio frequency, Z-wave, Zigbee

  • Medium range wireless communication

LTE advanced, Halow

  • Long range wireless communication

Long range wireless, satellite

  • Wired

Ethernet, power line communication

The challenges on IoT is more related to security & data sources, different regions & governments have laws for data protection. How your IoT devices can embed the law & regulations when you make your IoT solutions.

According to the Business Insider Intelligence Survey conducted in the last quarter of 2014, 39% of the respondents said that security is the biggest concern in adopting Internet of things technology.

As IoT are growing, we are talking about more connected machines & the probability of cyber attacks are more.

The IoT soultions are spread across wide areas and some are listed below

  • Smart Home

IoT devices part of home automations like lighting, temperature control, air conditioning, security systems etc.

  • Enterprise applications

IoT devices used in corporate & business

  • Infrastructure applications

Monitoring & controlling of infrastructure like bridges, railways, roads, traffic etc.

  • Manufacturing

Integration in manufacturing area with sensors for identification, communication, tracking etc is improving the efficiency of manufacturing area. Example like opening the door automatically when truck comes.

  • Agriculture

There are numerous IoT applications in farming such as collecting data on temperature, rainfall, humidity, wind speed, pest infestation, and soil content. This data can be used to automate farming techniques, take informed decisions to improve quality and quantity, minimize risk and waste, and reduce effort required to manage crops.

  • Environmental monitoring

IoT solutions for environmental protection , monitoring rivers, water quality , forest area etc.

  • Energy Monitoring

Lot of power sources can be connected & can communicate each other for better utilization of power.

  • Medical & Healthcare

IoT devices for health monitorings & other activities in hospitals, health centers.

One of the key drivers of the IoT is data. The success of the idea of connecting devices to make them more efficient is dependent upon access to and storage & processing of data. For this purpose, companies working on IoT collect data from multiple sources and store it in their cloud network for further processing. This leaves the door wide open for privacy and security dangers and single point vulnerability of multiple systems . This brings up the points on government regulations on data protection, this varies from country to country.

i will be covering the details on IoT Platform in my coming blogs.

Reference IoT Wiki : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_of_things