IoT Infrastructure: Components and Communication Protocol
Almost every corner of the globe is being touched by the Internet, and it is changing human life in unimaginable ways. As more and more appliances are connected to the internet, we are entering an era of even more ubiquitous connectivity. IoT (Internet of Things) is a new era that we are entering. Plethoras of sensors and actuators interface the digital world with the physical world. This capability allows us to query the state of an object and change it. It’s a term used to describe a new kind of world in which almost every device and appliance we use is on the network. It is possible to use them collaboratively to complete complex tasks that require a high level of intelligence. A basic understanding of IoT infrastructure is presented in this article.
An IoT System’s Workings
Sensors/devices, connectivity, data processing, and a user interface are all integrated into all complete IoT systems. In the sections below, we’ll explain what each one means and how they contribute to an IoT system. Following these sections, we will dive deeper into each of these components in each subsequent chapter of this ebook.
- First, sensors or devices collect data from their surroundings.
The data could include anything from a temperature reading to a video feed. As we use “sensors/devices,” we mean devices that contain multiple sensors or sensors that perform a variety of functions. In addition to having several sensors (camera, accelerometer, GPS, etc.), your phone can also perform a variety of functions. Regardless, in this first step, something is collecting data from the environment, whether it’s a standalone sensor or a full device.
As soon as that data has been sent to the cloud, however, it has to find a way to reach it!
It is possible to connect sensors/devices to the cloud via a variety of methods, including cellular, satellite, WiFi, Bluetooth, low-power wide-area networks (LPWAN), gateway/routers, or directly to the internet via Ethernet.
The power consumption, range, and bandwidth of each option are tradeoffs. Each IoT application requires a different connectivity option, but they all accomplish the same goal: getting data to the cloud.
- Processing of data
Data is processed once it reaches the cloud (we’ll cover the cloud in our data processing section).
This could be as simple as checking the temperature reading to see if it falls within a safe range. This can also be a very complex process, such as identifying intruders on a property with the help of computer vision on video.
In the event of an intruder or high temperatures, what should be done? The user plays a crucial role here.
- Interaction with the user
Finally, the end-user is made aware of how the information may be useful to them. User alerts may take the form of emails, texts, notifications, etc. Using a text alert to notify employees when the cold storage temperature rises too high.
Users may be able to check in proactively using an interface. By using a phone app or a web browser, users can check video feeds on various properties.
Nevertheless, there are times when it’s a two-way street. It is possible for the user to perform an action and affect the system based on the IoT application. Users might be able to adjust the temperature in a cold storage remotely via their phones, for example.
Some actions are performed automatically as well. Instead of you adjusting the temperature manually, the system could do it automatically according to predefined rules. A security team or other relevant authorities could be notified automatically of an intruder by the IoT system, rather than just calling you.
It consists of sensors/devices that communicate with the cloud via some type of connectivity. When data reaches the cloud, software processes it and decides what action to take, such as sending an alert or automatically adjusting sensors/devices without the user’s intervention.
Users can also access the system through a user interface if input is needed or if they simply wish to check in. Afterward, the user can make adjustments or actions through the user interface, the cloud, and the sensors/devices, where they are sent on the opposite side of the system. At a high level, that’s how the Internet of Things works.