Wednesday, 27 June 2018
The term Internet of Things is 16 years old. But the actual idea of connected devices had been around longer, at least since the 70s. Back then, the idea was often called “embedded internet” or “pervasive computing”. But the actual term “Internet of Things” was coined by Kevin Ashton in 1999 during his work at Procter & Gamble. Ashton who was working in supply chain optimization wanted to attract senior management’s attention to a new exciting technology called RFID. Because the internet was the hottest new trend in 1999 and because it somehow made sense, he called his presentation “Internet of Things”.
Even though Kevin grabbed the interest of some P&G executives, the term Internet of Things did not get widespread attention for the next 10 years.
The concept of IoT started to gain some popularity in the summer of 2010. Information leaked that Google’s StreetView service had not only made 360-degree pictures but had also stored tons of data of people’s Wifi networks. People were debating whether this was the start of a new Google strategy to not only index the internet but also index the physical world.
The same year, the Chinese government announced it would make the Internet of Things a strategic priority in their Five-Year-Plan.
In 2011, Gartner, the market research company that invented the famous “hype-cycle for emerging technologies” included a newly emerging phenomenon on their list: “The Internet of Things”.
The next year the theme of Europe’s biggest Internet conference LeWeb was the “Internet of Things”. At the same time popular tech-focused magazines like Forbes, Fast Company, and Wired starting using IoT as their vocabulary to describe the phenomenon.
In October of 2013, IDC published a report stating that the Internet of Things would be an $8.9 trillion market in 2020.
The term Internet of Things reached mass market awareness when in January 2014 Google announced to buy Nest for $3.2bn. At the same time, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas was held under the theme of IoT.
Functional requirements in IoT:
1. Diverse Connectivity: Probably the most familiar form of connectivity for the internet, and for IoT, is Ethernet. In addition to Ethernet, IoT devices can connect using a wide variety of other technologies. The connectivity objective is that an IoT platform support as many modes of connection—wired and wireless—as possible. Wireless options include ANT+, Bluetooth, EDGE, GPRS, IrDA, LTE, NFC, RFID, Weightless, WLAN, ZigBee, and Z-Wave.
2. IoT Platforms Leverage Applications: IoT software applications are emerging for businesses in virtually every industry as well as for home users. These applications provide much of the automation capabilities that make IoT solutions so valuable. These software and middleware applications help businesses drive down costs, increase efficiency, and improve regulatory compliance. To achieve these goals, an IoT platform should be compatible with applications specific to your industry.
3. IoT Platforms Manage a Range of Devices: The number of devices connected to IoT will soon reach anywhere from 28 billion to 50 billion, depending on who you ask. IoT sensors gather information about conditions in their vicinity, such as temperature or moisture level. IoT actuators perform specific tasks, such as turning things on or off and recording information about its triggers and subsequent reactions. In addition, IoT wearables of various kinds, like a health-tracking bracelet, can record your health statistics and other data such as your location. In essence, the functional requirement for an IoT platform is that it has the ability to manage a heterogeneous set of devices.
4. IoT Platforms Generate Massive Amounts of Data: Devices that we discussed above don’t just perform tasks. In most cases, they will also report on the tasks they perform. Through their connection to an IoT platform and to each other, they will transmit detailed data about their actions. Typically, there will be no need for human intervention in the process. The devices will simply send data, potentially in real-time, for storage and analysis. To give you an idea of just how much data is involved, one estimate foresees the IoT generating around 400 ZB (zettabytes) by 2018. Functionally, therefore, an IoT platform must be able to support storing massive amounts of data.
5. IoT Platforms Require Powerful Analytics: The vast volumes of data discussed above have the potential to provide unprecedented insights into consumer behavior and preferences. Unlocking those insights, however, requires powerful analytics tools. A key IoT platform functionality, therefore, is that it is capable of either incorporating — or offering compatibility with —analytics solutions that will translate significant amounts of data into useful and actionable insights.
However, even if a platform meets those functionality requirements, there are still important non-functional requirements for an IoT platform.
Non-Functional requirements in IoT:
1. IoT Platforms and Security: Even with the recent attention given to security for IoT devices, it can be easy to overlook the need for end-to-end security for an IoT platform. Every part of a platform should be analyzed for security prospects. From internet connections to the applications and devices to the transmitted and stored data, there is a potential for an attack vector. Without question, the single most important non-functional requirement of an IoT platform is that it offers robust security.
2. IoT Platforms and Scalability: In light of the billions of devices and zettabytes of data discussed earlier, scalability is clearly a requirement in an IoT platform. The best practice for both businesses and consumers is to start small with IoT. However, many IoT solutions achieve their true potential only at scale. The ideal IoT platform is fully able to support a small, initial implementation, but also should be able to scale out as your business needs grow.
3. IoT Platforms and Availability: Highly robust public cloud platforms have conditioned us to expect 4 or 5 nines when we think about internet availability. Those same expectations should extend to IoT platforms. In fact, there is a good reason to anticipate even higher levels of availability from IoT platforms. That is because IoT platforms can interact with and control devices that have real-world impact. For example, an IoT platform might control the thermostat in your home or the open/close switch for a relief valve in an industrial plant. IoT platforms must, therefore, offer exceptionally high availability.
These requirements are intended to help you set the stage for evaluating IoT platforms. Depending on your specific plans, any particular function may be more important than the others. An IoT platform should nevertheless meet all these functional and non-functional requirements in order to serve you well.
(Source: IBM Journal)
some of the information systems based on the functions are
“The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.”
Kevin Ashton, co-founder and executive director of the Auto-ID Centre at MIT, first mentioned the Internet of Things in a presentation he made to Procter & Gamble in 1999.
“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, creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, resulting in efficiency improvements, economic benefits, and reduced human exertions.”
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