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The internet of things (IoT) is the internetworking of physical devices, vehicles (also referred to as “connected devices” and “smart devices“), buildings and other items—embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data. In 2013 the Global Standards Initiative on Internet of Things (IoT-GSI) defined the IoT as “the infrastructure of the information society.”  The IoT allows objects to be sensed and/or controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit. When IoT is augmented with sensors and actuators, the technology becomes an instance of the more general class of cyber-physical systems, which also encompasses technologies such as smart grids,smart homes, intelligent transportation and smart cities. Each thing is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system but is able to interoperate within the existing Internet infrastructure. Experts estimate that the IoT will consist of almost 50 billion objects by 2020.

British entrepreneur Kevin Ashton coined the term in 1999 while working at Auto-ID Labs (originally called Auto-ID centers, referring to a global network of objects connected to radio-frequency identification, or RFID). Typically, IoT is expected to offer advanced connectivity of devices, systems, and services that goes beyond machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and covers a variety of protocols, domains, and applications.The interconnection of these embedded devices (including smart objects), is expected to usher in automation in nearly all fields, while also enabling advanced applications like a smart grid, and expanding to the areas such as smart cities.

“Things,” in the IoT sense, can refer to a wide variety of devices such as heart monitoring implants, biochip transponders on farm animals, electric clams in coastal waters,[18]automobiles with built-in sensors, DNA analysis devices for environmental/food/pathogen monitoring or field operation devices that assist firefighters in search and rescueoperations. Legal scholars suggest to look at “Things” as an “inextricable mixture of hardware, software, data and service”.These devices collect useful data with the help of various existing technologies and then autonomously flow the data between other devices. Current market examples include home automation (also known as smart home devices) such as the control and automation of lighting, heating (like smart thermostat), ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) systems, and appliances such as washer/dryers, ovens or refrigerators/freezers that use Wi-Fi for remote monitoring.

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As well as the expansion of Internet-connected automation into a plethora of new application areas, IoT is also expected to generate large amounts of data from diverse locations, with the consequent necessity for quick aggregation of the data, and an increase in the need to index, store, and process such data more effectively. IoT is one of the platforms of today’s Smart City, and Smart Energy Management Systems.

Network control and management of manufacturing equipment, asset and situation management, or manufacturing process control bring the IoT within the realm on industrial applications and smart manufacturing as well. The IoT intelligent systems enable rapid manufacturing of new products, dynamic response to product demands, and real-time optimization of manufacturing production and supply chain networks, by networking machinery, sensors and control systems together.

Digital control systems to automate process controls, operator tools and service information systems to optimize plant safety and security are within the purview of the IoT.[74] But it also extends itself to asset management via predictive maintenance, statistical evaluation, and measurements to maximize reliability. Smart industrial management systems can also be integrated with the Smart Grid, thereby enabling real-time energy optimization. Measurements, automated controls, plant optimization, health and safety management, and other functions are provided by a large number of networked sensors.

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IoT devices can be used to monitor and control the mechanical, electrical and electronic systems used in various types of buildings (e.g., public and private, industrial, institutions, or residential) in home automation and building automation systems.

A growing portion of IoT devices are created for consumer use. Examples of consumer applications include connected car, entertainment, residences and smart homes, wearable technology, quantified self, connected health, and smart retail. Consumer IoT provides new opportunities for user experience and interfaces.

Some consumer applications have been criticized for their lack of redundancy and their inconsistency, leading to a popular parody known as the “Internet of Shit.” Companies have been criticized for their rush into IoT, creating devices of questionable value, and not setting up stringent security standards.

Ambient intelligence and autonomous control are not part of the original concept of the internet of things. Ambient intelligence and autonomous control do not necessarily require Internet structures, either. However, there is a shift in research to integrate the concepts of the internet of things and autonomous control, with initial outcomes towards this direction considering objects as the driving force for autonomous IoT.

In the future the internet of things may be a non-deterministic and open network in which auto-organized or intelligent entities (Web services, SOA components), virtual objects (avatars) will be interoperable and able to act independently (pursuing their own objectives or shared ones) depending on the context, circumstances or environments. Autonomous behavior through the collection and reasoning of context information as well as the objects ability to detect changes in the environment, faults affecting sensors and introduce suitable mitigation measures constitute a major research trend,[110] clearly needed to provide credibility to the IoT technology. Modern IoT products and solutions in the marketplace use a variety of different technologies to support such context-aware automation but more sophisticated forms of intelligence are requested to permit sensor units to be deployed in real environments.

Network architecture : 

The internet of things requires huge scalability in the network space to handle the surge of devices. IETF 6LoWPAN would be used to connect devices to IP networks.With billions of devices , being added to the internet space, IPv6 will play a major role in handling the network layer scalability. IETF’s Constrained Application Protocol, MQTT and ZeroMQwould provide lightweight data transport.

Fog computing is a viable alternative to prevent such large burst of data flow through Internet. The edge devices‘ computation power can be used to analyse and process data, thus providing easy real time scalability.

IoT Cloud : 

The term IoT Cloud indicates a new type of distributed system consisting of a set of smart devices interconnected with a remote Cloud computing infrastructure, platform, or software through the Internet and able to provide IoT as a services.

Enabling technologies for the IOT : 

There are many technologies that enable IOT. A key foundation piece is the network used to communicate between nodes of an IOT installation, a role that several wireless and/or wired technologies may fulfill:

  1. RFID and near-field communication – In the 2000s, RFID was the dominant technology. Later, NFC became dominant (NFC). NFC have become common in smartphonesduring the early 2010s, with uses such as reading NFC tags or for access to public transportation.[citation needed]
  2. Rapid developments in the Optical technologies like Li-Fi, Cisco’s 40 Gbit/s bidirectional optical technology (BiDi) may aid the development of IoT.
  3. Optical tags and quick response codes – This is used for low cost tagging. Phone cameras decode QR code using image-processing techniques. In reality QR advertisement campaigns gives less turnout as users need to have another application to read QR codes.
  4. Bluetooth low energy – This is one of the latest tech. All newly releasing smartphones have BLE hardware in them. Tags based on BLE can signal their presence at a power budget that enables them to operate for up to one year on a lithium coin cell battery.
  5. Low energy wireless IP networks – embedded radio in system-on-a-chip designs, lower power WiFi, sub-GHz radio in an ISM band, often using a compressed version ofIPv6 called 6LowPAN and relying on dedicated routing protocols such as LOADng[132] standardized by the ITU under the recommendation ITU-T G.9903 and RPL.
  6. ZigBee – This communication technology is based on the IEEE 802.15.4 2.4 GHz-band radio protocol to implement physical and MAC layer for low-rate wireless Private Area Networks. Some of its main characteristics like low power consumption, low data rate, low cost, and high message throughput make it an interesting IoT enabler technology.
  7. Z-Wave – is a communication protocol that is mostly used in smart home applications. It uses a radio protocol in the 900 MHz-band.
  8. Thread – Like ZigBee, this IoT communication technology relies on the IEEE 802.15.4 2.4 GHz-band radio protocol. A key difference is that its networking protocol is IPv6-compatible.
  9. LTE-Advanced – LTE-A is a high-speed communication specification for mobile networks. Compared to its original LTE, LTE-A has been improved to have extended coverage, higher throughput and lower latency. One important application of this technology is Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communications.
  10. WiFi-Direct – It is essentially WiFi for peer-to-peer communication without needing to have an access point. This feature attracts IoT applications to be built on top of WiFi-Direct to get benefit from the speed of WiFi while they experience lower latency.
  11. HaLow – long range, low-power WiFi. Isn’t able to transfer much data (bandwidth), yet sufficient for simple devices that require a network connection
  12. HomePlug – This networking standard can be used to enable IOT communication over a home or building’s power lines
  13. MoCA – This networking standard can be used to enable IOT communication over CATV-type coaxial cable
  14. Ethernet – This general purpose networking standard can be used to enable IOT communication over twisted pair or fiber network links.

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