Part 6 : A walk through Internet of Things (IoT) basics.

Topic Covered :

  • Our future with IoT.

Before we know, how our future with IoT  is going to be – let’s have an understanding about the growth in technology with this technology road map.

IoT Technology Roadmap
IoT Technology Roadmap

From this graph we can see the massive advancement in technology since the year 2000 till date and still more to go in future.

Back in 2000 we had RFID tags for identifying objects and facilitating routing. Then came surveillance, security, healthcare, transport management. We are now living at a time where we can locate people and everyday objects. And in the near future we are about to experience the essence of teleoperation and telepresence !!

That is how lives are going to be. With the rapid advancement in technology we can take care of our near and dear ones, our possessions even from another corner of the world. Everything is going to get connected !!

Let’s look at this graph below for an explosion of connected possibility and hence a number of new job openings !

IoT - Explosion of Connected Possibility
IoT – Explosion of Connected Possibility

The number of devices that are going to be connected are so many hence leading to new job and research scopes.

Let’s look at some of major IoT giants 2020 predictions :

  • By 2020, 20% of the computers will learn not only to process but also work and manage things like humans.
  • By 2017, 65% of data center capacity will be private.
  • Companies will compete across industry borders – which means, companies are going to compete with their rivals outside industries as well.
  • By 2020, around 50 billion devices are going to be connected.
  • Supply chain will be revolutionized by 3D printing.

We have seen the economic impact from Part 1 of this series itself. To have a look click here.

Let’s watch this video from IoT Asia to see how IoT is enhancing our lives.

Hence, we can see that IoT has enormous potential and is going to influence us a lot in the near future.

That’s all for this series. Hope, this series was helpful and you enjoyed reading !!

Thanks for visiting 🙂

Stay tuned for more interesting articles on IoT !!


Part 5 : A walk through Internet of Things (IoT) basics.

Topic Covered :

  • IoT applications.

As, we have understood the Internet of Things and its features, let’s see how is IoT applicable in our day to day lives.

The figure below, depicts various application fields of IoT in our daily lives.

IoT in every aspects of our lives.
IoT in every aspects of our lives.

From the figure, we can clearly see that IoT influences every aspect of our lives, starting form home to transport to medicine !!

Let’s have a look, how IoT is doing that :

Home : With the use IoT network protocols, devices in the home are connected to the home network and are accessible directly, over the home network, and even remotely from across the world. These connected home devices are able to coordinate energy usage, consumer convenience, and possibly accurately and consistently anticipate the needs of the people who dwell in the homes.Mobile apps controlled thermostats and lighting solutions can already be found on retail store shelves. There is also a noticeable range of safety devices, which include remote system failure indicators, virtual tracking etc. The technology is also being extended to all other home use gadgets and devices.

Some of the IoT smart home applications are :

  • Home security – Access control
  • Lighting control
  • Home health care
  • Fire detection – Leak detection
  • Energy efficiency
  • Solar panel monitoring and control
  • Temperature monitoring and HVAC control
  • Automated meter reading
Smart Home - IoT Application
Smart Home – IoT Application
Use of IoT in every aspects of Smart Home
Use of IoT in every aspects of Smart Home

Healthcare :

Clinical Care : IoT-driven, monitoring systems are used for hospitalized patients whose physiological status requires constant close attention. These monitoring systems employ sensors to collect physiological information which is analyzed and stored using gateways and the cloud. This information is then sent wirelessly to caregivers for further analysis and review. It provides a continuous automated flow of information. Thus, the quality of care is improved through constant attention which in turn lowers the cost of care.

IoT in Clinical Care
IoT in Clinical Care

Remote monitoring : Due to the lack of immediate access to effective health monitoring systems, many lives are suffer risks. Small, powerful, wireless solutions connected through the IoT are making it possible for remote monitoring of those patients who require immediate attention. Patient’s health data are captured through various sensors and are analyzed and sent to the medical professional for proper medical assistance remotely.

Sensors connected on a patient for Remote Health Monitoring
Sensors connected on a patient for Remote Health Monitoring
IoT in Remote Health Monitoring
IoT in Remote Health Monitoring

Smart Energy :

IoT solutions are use in Energy sectors for efficient and smart utilization of energy.

Smart grid : “A smart grid is a modernized electrical grid that uses analog or digital information and communications technology to gather and act on information – such as information about the behaviors of suppliers and consumers – in an automated fashion to improve the efficiency, reliability, economics, and sustainability of the production and distribution of electricity.” – Wikipedia.

Smart meter : “A smart meter is usually an electronic device that records consumption of electric energy in intervals of an hour or less and communicates that information at least daily back to the utility for monitoring and billing. Smart meters enable two-way communication between the meter and the central system. Unlike home energy monitors, smart meters can gather data for remote reporting.” – Wikipedia.

With Smart Energy Metering, not only do technicians not have to come and physically read your meter, you have access personally to your energy usage so you can see what impact your consumption patterns have on your wallet and on the environment.

Reasons for smart grid :

  • Stopping power threat.
  • Higher quality/reliability of power, fewer blackouts.
  • Efficient energy utilization.
  • Smart grid is required for renewable power.
From conventional grid to Smart Grid
From conventional grid to Smart Grid

Connected Cars : A very useful implementation of IoT is the introduction of connected cars. The cars have sensors attached to them which help them analyze the traffic of the road, keeps them updated about the road condition and also keeps them connected with the road control center for further assistance. There are on-board diagnostic systems that alert you about almost everything in the car, from faulty lights to tire pressure.

Connected Car
Connected Car

Environment : Another significant implementation of IoT is in the field of environmental care. Global warming being an issue, IoT is being used to tackle this critical problem. Also, IoT allows quicker notification of natural disaster, thus saving crucial time. It also promotes better analysis and reporting. Also this technology helps in pollution and waste management using warning sensor.

Smart Waste Management
Smart Waste Management

Cities :

As it is with homes, our cities are also benefiting from this technology (IoT). The most clear examples are driving convenience (real time traffic tracking and parking information) and electricity optimization (using resources like lightning as per weather conditions and automated malfunction reporting). All major cities of the world are welcoming IoT based solutions.

Smart City with IoT
Smart City with IoT

Business :

With the growth of IoT, business models are hugely innovated. It has become much easier to manage multiple location and keep a close quality check. More customers can be reached all at once and hence a greatr growth of the business.

IoT in Business
IoT in Business

Government :

With the help of connected government, government sectors can keep a track of its local governing bodies like municipal corporation. It can also keep a track of its employee productivity. Common people can request their needs and government can deliver the service quickly. Also, with the massive amount of data collected from IoT sensors, it can lead to new innovations. And not to forget, citizens can also gain a knowledge about the working of their respective government.

IoT and Government
IoT and Government

Agriculture :

The agricultural sector is not behind in IoT applications. Infact, it is doing more innovation with IoT.

IoT strategy is being utilized in agricultural industry and it is a huge success in terms of productivity, pest control, water conservation and continuous production based on improved technology and methods.

Some influences of IoT in agriculture:

  • Crop monitoring : Sensors can be used to monitor crops and health of plants with the help of data collected. Sensors can also be used for early monitoring of pests and disease.
  • Food safety : The whole supply chain – the farm, logistics and retails are all getting connected. Farm products can be connected with RFID tags – increasing customer confidence.
  • Climate monitoring : Sensors can be used to monitor temperature, humidity, light intensity and soil moisture. These data can be send to the central system to trigger alerts and automate water , air and crop control.
  • Logistics monitoring : Location based sensors can be used to track vegetables and other farm products during transport and storage. This enhances scheduling and automates supply chain.
  • Livestock farming monitoring : The monitoring of farm animals can be monitored via sensors to detect potential signs of disease. These data can be analyzed from the central system and relevant information can be sent to the farmers.
IoT in Agriculture
IoT in Agriculture

And the list of IoT application continues.

Let’s have a look at Libelium’s smart world info-graphic to see the vast application of IoT.

Numerous IoT Applications
Numerous IoT Applications

That’s all for this article. Hope you enjoyed reading !!

Thanks for visiting 🙂

Up Next – Part 6 : A walk through Internet of Things (IoT) basics.

Stay tuned !!

Part 4 : A walk through Internet of Things (IoT) basics.

Topics covered :

  • IoT – Network Protocols
  • IoT Network Architecture


To understand IoT Networks let’s have a look into this picture.

IoT Network
IoT Network

In IoT network some of the technologies that rules are :

WPAN (Wireless Personal Area Network) which include networks like Zigbee, Bluetooth, 6LowPAN etc.

On a slightly larger wireless network area scale, WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) which includes Wi-Fi is to be used.

On a larger scale, the mobile communication technologies like 2G, 3G,4G, LTE remains. Smartphones and mobile communication system will be used and they will connect to the base stations and base stations will provide connectivity to the Wide Area Network (WAN) which is the Internet.

Considering this, we can think of many other options –

Smartphones are equipped with bluetooth and wi-fi, therefore we can think of an IoT network. The most common topology control is the WPAN which is bluetooth or NFC(Near Feild Communication). The WPAN are connected to a smartphone and the smartphone can bring the signal up through 3G,4G,LTE through the base station and the base station will connect that to the WAN.

Therefore we get a technology linking on another technology.

Wearable IoT Networks :

This is a technology where the above explanation is brought to reality.

  • Wearable devices (e.g., shoes,watch, glasses, belt, etc.) can be used to detect biometric information.
  • Smart device collects the information and communicates with control center and/or medical server through the Internet.
Wearable IoT Networks
Wearable IoT Networks

Wi-Fi :

  • Wi-Fi is a WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) technology based on the IEEE 802.11 standards.
  • Wi-Fi Devices :
  • Smartphones, Smart Devices, Laptop Computers, PC, etc.
  • Applications Areas :
  • Home, School, Computer Laboratory, Office Building, etc.
  • Wi-Fi devices and APs (Access Points) have a wireless communication range of about 30 meters indoors.
  • Wi-Fi data rate is based on its protocol type :
  • IEEE 802.11a can achieve up to 54 Mbps
  • IEEE 802.11b can achieve up to 11 Mbps
  • IEEE 802.11g can achieve up to 54 Mbps
  • IEEE 802.11n can achieve up to 150 Mbps
  • IEEE 802.11ac can achieve up to 866.7 Mbps
  • IEEE 802.11ad can achieve up to 7 Gbps
Wi-Fi IoT Networks.
Wi-Fi IoT Networks.

Bluetooth :

  • Bluetooth is a WPAN (Wireless Personal Area Network) protocol designed by the Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group)
  • Replaces cables connecting many different types of devices
  • Mobile Phones & Headsets
  • Heart Monitors & Medical Equipment
  • Bluetooth’s standard PAN range is usually 10 meters (50 m in Bluetooth 4.0)
  • Bluetooth Low Energy (in Bluetooth 4.0) provides reduced power consumption and cost while maintaining a similar communication range.
  • Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR can achieve up to 2.1 Mbps
  • Bluetooth 3.0 + HS can achieve up to 24 Mbps
  • Bluetooth 4.0 can achieve up to 25 Mbps
Bluetooth IoT Network
Bluetooth IoT Network

IEEE 802.15.4 Standard :

  • Low-cost, low-speed, low-power WPAN (Wireless Personal Area Network) protocol.
  • IEEE 802.15.4 applications
  • ZigBee, 6LoWPAN (IPv6 over Low power Wireless Personal Area Networks), WirelessHART (Highway Addressable Remote Transducer), RF4CE (Radio Frequency for Consumer Electronics), MiWi (Microchip Wireless Protocol), and ISA100.11a
IEEE 802.15.4 and Zigbee layer in OSI Model.
IEEE 802.15.4 and Zigbee layer in OSI Model.

ZigBee :

  • Supported by the ZigBee Alliance
  • Provides IEEE 802.15.4 higher layer protocols required for low powered radio system.
  • IEEE 802.15.4 defines the physical and MAC layers.
  • ZigBee provides the application and network layer protocols.
  • ZigBee works well in isolated network environments.
Zigbee Network
Zigbee Network

Zigbee network is made up of Coordinator (C) which is required to establish a network connection. ‘C’ establishes PAN, router (R) which provide the network connection to the end devices and End Device (E) which are the IoT devices connected to the network.

6LoWPAN (IPv6 over Low power Wireless Personal Area Networks) :

  • Supports IPv6 packets over IEEE 802.15.4 WPANs
  • Enables IPv6 IoT wireless network support
  • Low power design aspect included.
  • Good for battery operated IoT devices
  • 6LoWPAN is an IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) standard that uses the IEEE 802.15.4 WPAN technology.

In the 6LoWPAN node, Bluetooth Smart devices can connect to the internet over Bluetooth Smart using a border router. The border router acts as a device that is connected to the internet and provides access for the nodes to the internet.

Z- Wave :

The Z-Wave protocol is an interoperable, wireless,  RF-based communications technology designed specifically for control, monitoring and status reading applications in residential and light commercial environments.

  • Low Powered RF communications technology that supports full mesh networks without the need for a coordinator node.
  • Operates in the sub-1GHz band; impervious to interference from Wi-Fi and other wireless technologies in the 2.4-GHz range (Bluetooth, ZigBee, etc.).
  • Designed specifically for control and status apps, supports data rates of up to 100kbps, with AES128 encryption, IPV6, and multi-channel operation.
Z - wave applications.
Z – wave applications.


  • Data networking protocol.
  • Incorporated under the architecture of TCP/IP protocol.
  • UDP is robust and that is why TCP/IP has mainly standardized UDP for real-time data transfer.
IoT Network Layers of OSI model
IoT Network Layers of OSI model

In the diagram below, we get a clear differentiation of IP Suite and IP Smart Object (IoT) suite.



Autonomous Network Architecture :

  • Autonomous networks are not connected to the public networks. However, it does not mean that the Internet access is forbidden. It is possible via gateway if required.
  • While designing autonomous networks, though not mandatory, IP protocol suite is still commonly adopted sue to its scalability and flexibility.
  • The large address capacity provided by IPv6 is required in most cases.

Example : Autonomous information collected by the parking sensor due to the occupancy of parking slots in a wireless manner and sent to the control center.

Autonomous Network Architecture
Autonomous Network Architecture

Ubiquitous Network Architecture :

  • Smart objects or ‘things’ network are a part of the Internet.
  • Through the Internet gateway, authorized users will have access to the information provided by smart objects networks either directly fetching from the device or by means of intermediate servers.
  • The servers acts as a sink to collect data from each objects.
  • Features :
  • Multitier – The network architecture is hierarchical, comprising both multi-access networks and wireless multi-hop networks.
  • Multiradio – It is uncommon nowadays to have a number of radio access technologies available to connect to the Internet, either covering the same or complimenting geographical areas. These networks could be WLAN, WiMAX, macro-cellular, femto-cellular or even ad-hoc. The synergy and integration of different networks in multi-access and multi-operator environment introduces new opportunities for better communication channels and an enhanced quality of provided applications and services.

Examples : Structural Health Monitoring – monitoring the health of any structures small or big like building, bridges etc. Passive wireless sensors are embedded within a concrete structure which sends radio signals of suitable amplitude and phase characteristics periodically using radio frequencies. The data collected from these sensors are then analyzed to detect anomalies.

Ubiquitous Network Architecture
Ubiquitous Network Architecture

That’s all for this article. Hope this was helpful and you enjoyed reading !!

Thanks for visiting 🙂

Up Next  –  Part 5 : A walk through Internet of Things (IoT) basics.

Stay tuned !!

Part 3 : A walk through Internet of Things (IoT) basics.

Topics covered :

  • Devices that make IoT
  • IoT Technologies


When it comes to devices of the IoT, most of us wonder, are smartphones, tablets IoT devices! Well –

  • Smart phones and tablets have sensors, accelerometer, gyroscope etc.
  • Are embedded devices with displays and keypad
  • Can be connected to the internet
  • Has IP address

In a way fits every requirement of IoT devices !!

So, can we call smartphones or tablets as IoT devices ?

This doubt was clarified at a keynote event during Sept 2011’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona by Qualcomm Chairman and CEO Dr. Paul Jacobs.

Paul Jacobs talked about how mobile technology could be used to connect non‐phone, non‐tablet devices called IoT devices and objects to the Internet. In the future where everything is going to be Web‐connected, mobile phones will serve as the hub, or the remote control, for Internet of Things.

So IoT is internet connectivity of smart objects and embedded system other than mobile phones which can be connected with external hardware and Mobiles, Tablets, Laptops and PCs are remote control/access center of IoT.

Let’s have a look, how –

Today, smartphones or tablets are equipped with sensors which data from anything from location to the device orientation to light conditions. Altogether, these sensors produce a huge amount of data, both in unstructured form (picture or videos) as well as structured, such as GPS or acceleration data. With the rise of the wearables, smartphones increasingly have an additional role. This new role can be considered as the ‘brain’ of your Body Area Network (BAN), given the storage and communication capabilities of the smart phone. Last but not least with technologies such as Near Field Communications (NFC)​, smart phones can function not only as sensors but also as actuators, that is, trigger actions (such as payments) or control other things,including home, parking slots, cars and many more.

Next, Smart Devices –

With IoT, we also get to hear a lot about Smart Devices. What are these Smart Devices – Lets look into the definition –

“A Smart Object is an object that can describe its own possible interactions.”


According to wikipedia – “A smart device is an electronic device, generally connected to other devices or networks via different wireless protocols such as Bluetooth, NFC, WiFi, 3G, etc., that can operate to some extent interactively and autonomously.

Any device which not only has a state but also has certain data associated with that state and can also determine the nature of connectivity, duration of connectivity and connectivity protocol are called smart objects. Some of the smart devices are smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, smart bands and smart key chains. The term smart device can also refer to a ubiquitous computing device: a device that exhibits some properties of ubiquitous computing.

Characteristics of smart devices :

  • A set of system hardware & software ICT (Information and Communication Technology) resources. This set is usually static fixed at design time.
  • Dynamic component-oriented resource extensions & plug-ins (Plug and Play) of some hardware resources.
  • Remote external service access and execution.
  • Local, internal autonomous service execution.
  • Access to specific external environments: human interaction, physical world interaction and distributed ICT / virtual computing interaction.
  • Ubiquitous computing properties.

Ubiquitous Computing Properties :

  • Devices need to be networked, distributed and transparently accessible.
  • Human – computer interaction with devices is hidden to a degree from its users.
  • Devices exhibit Context awareness of an environment in order to optimise their operation in that environment.
IoT devices and technology - classified
IoT devices and technology – classified

(Image source :


Now, lets have an understanding of various Technologies of IoT.

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) :

  • RFID chip holds information about the ‘thing’
  • RFID chip is attached and transfers data to the reader.
  • Antenna on the RFID module is used to receive energy that is used to operate the RFID device and transmit information back to the reader.
  • RFID enables efficient management, tracking, and monitoring processes – Logistics and supply chain applications.

WSN (Wireless Sensor Networks) :

  • Efficient, low cost, low power devices for use in remote sensing applications.
  • Low power integrated circuits and wireless communications.
  • A large number of intelligent sensors collect raw data, and create valuable services by processing, analyzing, and spreading data.
  • Challenges are related to limited processing capability and storage, and sensor data sharing for multiple device/system cooperation.

IoT Cloud Computing Support :

  • For Advanced IoT services, IoT networks may need to collect, analyze, and process segments of raw data and turn it in into operational control information.
  • Advanced IoT services will need support of cloud computing.
  • Numerous IoT connections will be made to various devices and sensors.
  • Many IoT devices will not have (PC or smartphone level) sufficient data processing capability or interoperability functionality.

Cloud Computing :

  • IoT applications will need support from a reliable, fast, and agile computing platform.
  • IoT devices can overcome lack of Software, Firmware, Memory Storage, Hardware, Data Processing capability through Cloud computing.
  • Cloud service models –
  • SaaS (Software as a Service)
  • PaaS (Platform as a Service)
  • IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

That’s all for this article. Hope this was helpful !

Thanks a lot for reading 🙂

Up Next – Part 4 : A walk through Internet of Things (IoT) basics.

Stay Tuned !!

Part 2 : A walk through Internet of Things (IoT) basics

Topics covered :

  • IoT – Basic Building Blocks
  • IoT – Working
  • IoT – Architecture Layers

    Now that we know what Internet of Things (IoT) is, let’s understand some more things about this technology.

If you are still wondering what IoT is – read this, you will have a clear understanding about IoT.

Let’s start !!


Four things form basic building blocks of IoT system –sensors, processors, gateways, applications. Each of these nodes has to have their own characteristics in order to form an useful IoT system.

Simplified block diagram of basic building block of IoT
Simplified block diagram of basic building block of IoT


These form the front end of the IoT devices. These are the so called “Things” of the system. Their main purpose is to collect data from its surrounding (sensors) or give out data to its surrounding (actuators).

These have to be uniquely identifiable devices with a unique IP address so that they can be easily identifiable over a large network.

These have to be active in nature which means that they should be able to collect real time data. These can either work on their own (autonomous in nature) or can be made to work by the user depending on their needs (user controlled).

Examples of sensors are: gas sensor, water quality sensor, moisture sensor etc.


Processors are the brain of the IoT system. Their main function is to process the data captured by the sensors and process them so as to extract the valuable data from the enormous amount of raw data collected. In a word, we can say that it gives intelligence to the data.

Processors mostly work on real-time basis and can be easily controlled by applications. These are also responsible for securing the data – that is performing encryption and decryption of data.

Embedded hardware devices, microcontroller etc are the ones that process the data because they have processors attached to it.


Gateways are responsible for routing the processed data and send it to proper locations for its (data) proper utilization.

In other words, we can say that gateway helps in to and fro communication of the data. It provides network connectivity to the data. Network connectivity is essential for any IoT system to communicate.

LAN, WAN, PAN etc are examples of network gateways.


Applications form another end of an IoT system. Applications are essential for proper utilization of all the data collected.

These cloud based applications which are responsible for rendering effective meaning to the data collected. Applications are controlled by users and are delivery point of particular services.

Examples of applications are: home automation apps, security systems, industrial control hub etc.

In the figure below, the extreme right block forms the application end of IoT system.

Basic building blocks of IoT
Basic building blocks of IoT

In a nutshell, from the figure we can denote that the information gathered by the sensing node (end node) are processed first then via connectivity it reaches the embedded processing nodes which can be any embedded hardware devices and are processed there as well. It then passes through the connectivity nodes again and reaches the remote cloud-based processing which can be any software and are send to the application node for the proper applied usage of the data collected and also for data analysis via big data.


The way IoT works is pretty simple.

Firstly, it acquires information with respect to basic resources (names, addresses, etc) and related attributes of objects by means of automatic identification and perception technologies such as RFID, wireless sensor and satellite positioning i.e. the sensors, rfid tags and all other uniquely identifiable objects or ‘things’ acquire real-time information (data) with the virtue of a central hub like smartphones.

Secondly, by virtue of all kinds of communications technologies, it integrate objects-related information into the information network, and realize the intelligent indexing and integration of the information related to masses of objects by resorting to fundamental resource services (similar to the resolution, addressing and discovery of Internet).

Finally, utilizing intelligent computing technologies such as cloud computing, fuzzy recognition, data mining and semantic analysis, it analyzes and processes the information related to masses of objects, so as to eventually realize intelligent decision and control in the physical world.

Let’s take a look at this diagram.

Layer wise working of IoT
Layer wise working of IoT

In the Physical layer, all the data collected by the access system (uniquely identifiable ‘things’) collect real-time data and goes to the internet devices(like smartphones). Then via transmission line(like optical fiber cable) it goes to the management layer where all the data are managed separately (stream analytics and data analytics) from the raw data. Then all the managed information are released to the application layer for proper utilization of the data collected.


There are four major layers :

IoT architecture layers
IoT architecture layers

At the very bottom of IoT architecture, we start with the Sensors and Connectivity network which collects information. Then we have the Gateway and Network Layer. Above which we have the Management Service layer and then at the end we have the application layer where the data collected are processed according to the needs of various applications.

Let’s discuss the features of each of these architectural layers separately.

Sensor, Connectivity and Network Layer:

  • This layer consists of RFID tags, sensors (which are essential part of an IoT system and are responsible for collecting raw data). These form the essential “things” of an IoT system.
  • Sensors, RFID tags are wireless devices and form the Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN).
  • Sensors are active in nature which means that real-time information is to be collected and processed.
  • This layer also has the network connectivity (like WAN, PAN etc.) which is responsible for communicating the raw data to the next layer which is the Gateway and Network Layer.
  • The devices which are comprised of WSN have finite storage capacity, restricted communication bandwidth and have small processing speed.
  • We have different sensors for different applications – temperature sensor for collecting temperature data, water quality for examining water quality, moisture sensor for measuring moisture content of the atmosphere or soil etc.

As per the figure below, at the bottom of this layer we have the tags which are the RFID tags or barcode reader, above which we have the sensors/actuators and then the communication networks.

sensor and connectivity
Sensor, Connectivity and Network Layer

Gateway and Network Layer:

  • Gateways are responsible for routing the data coming from the Sensor, Connectivity and Network layer and pass it to the next layer which is the Management Service Layer.
  • This layer requires having a large storage capacity for storing the enormous amount of data collected by the sensors, RFID tags etc. Also, this layer needs to have a consistently trusted performance in terms of public, private and hybrid networks.
  • Different IoT device works on different kinds of network protocols. All this protocols are required to be assimilated in a single layer. This layer is responsible for integrating various network protocols.

From the figure below, at the bottom we have the gateway which is comprised of embedded OS, Signal Processors and Modulators, Micro-Controllers etc. Above the gateway we have the Gateway Networks which are LAN(Local Area Network), WAN(Wide Area Network) etc.

Gateway and Network Layer
Gateway and Network Layer

Management Service Layer:

  • This layer is used for managing the IoT services. Management Service layer is responsible for Securing Analysis of IoT devices, Analysis of Information (Stream Analytics, Data Analytics), Device Management.
  • Data management is required to extract the necessary information from the enormous amount of raw data collected by the sensor devices to yield a valuable result of all the data collected. This action is performed in this layer.
  • Also, certain situation requires immediate response to the situation. This layer helps in doing that by abstracting data, extracting information and managing the data flow.
  • This layer is also responsible for data mining, text mining, service analytics etc.

From the figure below, we can see that, management service layer has Operational Support Service (OSS) which includes Device Modeling, Device Configuration and Management and many more. Also, we have the Billing Support System (BSS) which supports billing and reporting.

Also, from the figure, we can see that there are IoT/M2M Application Services which includes Analytics Platform; Data – which is the most important part; Security which includes Access Controls, Encryption, Identity Access Management etc. ; and then we have the Business Rule Management (BRM) and Business Process Management (BPM).

Management Service Layer
Management Service Layer

Application Layer:

Application layer forms the topmost layer of IoT architecture which are responsible for effective utilization of the data collected.

Various IoT applications include Home Automation, E-health, E-Government etc.

From the figure below, we can see that there are two types of applications which are Horizontal Market which includes Fleet Management, Supply Chain etc. and on the Sector wise application of IoT we have energy, healthcare, transportation etc.

Application Layer
Application Layer

Smart Environment Application Domains :

Smart Environment Application Domains - Network Connectivity and Bandwidth required for various areas.
Smart Environment Application Domains – Network Connectivity and Bandwidth required for various areas.


WLAN stands for Wireless Local Area Network which includes Wi-Fi, WAVE, IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/p/n/ac/ad, etc.
WPAN stands for Wireless Personal Area Network which includes Bluetooth, ZigBee, 6LoWPAN, IEEE 802.15.4, UWB, etc.

Smart Environment Application Domains - Service Domain and their Services classified.
Smart Environment Application Domains – Service Domain and their Services classified.

That all for this article. Hope you enjoyed reading !!

Up Next : Part 3 : A walk through Internet of Things (IoT) basics.

Stay tuned !!

Thanks for visiting 🙂

Part 1: A walk through Internet of Things (IoT) basics


Topics covered :
  • What is INTERNET?
  • What are THINGS?
  • Characteristics of IoT
  • Some facts about IoT

Everyone of us has heard about the latest buzz IoT – Internet of Things! This revolution in technology is even bigger than the industrial revolution !!

So, What is Iot?

In this article we will have a basic understanding of what IoT is and why we are so enthusiastic about this latest technology !

Before we begin with the IoT introduction, lets break the term into Internet and Things and understand these two terms first.

All of us, these days, use internet – more or less. Lets discuss, what internet is….

internet ?

Since 1991, after WWW was formed, internet has changed the way long distance communication was conducted, it created new ways to share and acquire knowledge. It changed the way awareness was spread across communities. It was a great leap when people from different parts of the world were able to connect with each other through internet to share, learn and care.

But then, what is internet ?

Internet is “a global network connecting millions of embedded hardware devices (computer, smartphones, tablets) providing a variety of information and communication facilities, consisting of interconnected networks using standardized communication protocols.”

And now, the next term – Things….

Today, an average household has more devices at home which are connected to internet than the number of people at home.

Each device that is on the internet is identifiable with a unique ID –  that is the IP address.

The IP address is string of characters and numbers which help identify a device, locate the device on the network and route the internet traffic.

And hence, “Things refers to any physical objects with a device that has its own IP address and can connect to a network also send/receive data via a network.”

Things can be us – humans, animals, buildings, energy stations, smartphones, tablets, bicycle, sensors, cameras, vehicles, health monitoring devices etc.

illustration of 'things'
illustration of ‘things’

Merging Internet and Things – making them work hand in hand, we land up to a powerful technology The Internet of Things (IoT).

Today we have many other devices apart from smart phones and computers which have the capability to connect and communicate through internet like garage door opener, internet connected sprinklers, water quality sensors, ATM machines, Electricity and utility meters, cars and other vehicles, Medical and Health monitoring device and many more.

All the interconnection of these uniquely identifiable computing devices within the existing internet infrastructure can be termed as Internet of Things or in short IoT.

Hence, IoT can be defined as :

A network of physical objects or ‘things’ that can interact with each other to share information and take action.


The Internet of Things (IoT) is the interconnection of uniquely identifiable embedded computing devices within the existing Internet infrastructure.


Let us watch this introductory video to have a clear understanding of what IoT is.

Pretty cool, isn’t it ! We now have a basic idea of the power of IoT and how wonderful it would be to include this fast growing technology into our lives !!

Characteristics of IoT –

To make this technology an integral part of our lives, let’s have an understanding of the characteristics of IoT. The ‘things’ in IoT which are also called applications need to have some specific characteristics to make this technology work smoothly and in order to be called as a full-fledged IoT system or application. These characteristics are –

  1. The things should have a unique identification in so that each of them can be distinguished from various objects in the network. If they don’t have unique identification then it becomes difficult for developers to work with.

  2. Things should be able to detect the presence of other objects, following a rule of autonomy. If they can do so then they can further interact with each other and work accordingly.

  3. Things should be able to capture data autonomously.

  4. As there are various communication protocol and technologies that IoT devices will work with hence things should be interoperable between various communication technologies.

  5. Things should have a service – based operation, which means that if any two or more objects are in vicinity or in contact then they should be able to communicate directly with each other and exchange information and data if necessary.

  6. There should be cooperation between autonomous objects(things). If two autonomous objects can interact and cooperate with each other to accomplish any preset or necessary task, it can intensify value of such application manifold.

  7. Things should be able to operate at low power.

  8. Things should be contextual in nature.

  9. Things should be programmable by user.

  10. Things should have a fail-safe operation and most importantly secure.

Some facts about IoT :

IoT Network Scale – how large it is ?

  • Number of mobile devices exceeds the number of people on Earth.
  • Predictions are made that there will be 50 billion ‘things’ connected to the Internet by 2020.

Therefore, a knowledge about IoT is important !

IoT Service Support :

  • Some advanced IoT services will need to collect, analyze, and process segments of raw sensor data and turn in into operational control information.
  • Some sensor data types may have massive sizes (due to large number of IoT devices).
  • IoT databases will be needed, that is where Cloud Computing support is needed.
  • IoT data analysis needs to be done, that is where we will need Big Data support.

Influence of IoT is everywhere !

People : More ‘things’ can be monitored and controlled  SO People will become more capable.
Process : More users and machines can collaborate in real-time SO More complex tasks can be accomplished in lesser time. And hence we have more collaborated and coordinated data.
Data : Collect data more frequently and reliably WHICH Results in more accurate decision making.
Things : ‘Things’ become more controllable THEREFORE Mobile devices and ‘things’ become more valuable.

Economic Impact :

Predictions have been made that IoT has the potential to increase global corporate profits by 21% (in aggregate) by 2022.

  • Asset Utilization –  $2.5T
  • Employee Productivity  – $2.5T
  • Supply Chain & Logistics – $2.7T
  • Customer Experience – $3.7T
  • Innovation – $3.7T

A total of $19 Trillion Market. That’s huge !!

  1. M2M (Machine-to-Machine) connections are increasingly important
  2. P2P (Person-to-Person) as well as
  3. P2M (Person-to-Machine) , &
  4. M2P (Machine-to-Person) still represent the majority of IoT’s economic value
  • M2M  – $6.4T – 45% of economic value.
  • M2P or P2M  – $3.5T and P2P – $4.5T both together represent 55% of economic value.

Putting all together in a nutshell, we can see that this technology is huge and has enormous potential ! This is and will create huge potential for developers.

Up next : Part 2 : A walk through Internet of Things (IoT) basics.

Stay tuned !!

Thanks for visiting 🙂