Internet of Things (IoT) is a natural evolution of embedded computing. The advent of IoT has completely changed the way people and business think and act. The exponential growth of IoT is fuelling innovation and creating new business models, innovated products and new services to enhance customer experiences. IoT aims to create self-organized environment by connecting people and processes to boost overall performance. Despite obvious benefits, organizations and individuals are reluctant in harnessing its real potential because of pertaining security and privacy issues. This webinar will help attendees understand standard Internet of things architecture and its security and privacy implications

Introduction of IoT
• IoT standard architecture
• IoT security and privacy
• Security and Privacy challenges
• Common vulnerabilities, threats and associated risks
• Best practices for IoT security and privacy

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf5eHRqg1th5DoAZCP4j14Wd0rUN49DCxZ1JDwrGJvSsFSpYA/viewform


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