INTERNET OF THINGS

Internet of Things (IoT) is defined as a network of physical objects which contain embedded technology to communicate, measure or interact with its internal states and the external environment.

 Humans interact with objects and systems like these: mobile phones, heating thermostats, cars, door keys, video cameras, TVs, GPS systems and so on; that can be controlled through the web. Users can ask for the status of these objects and, at the same time, we can get information collected by sensors installed in them.

SCSI, Sistema Contextual para el Soporte a la Industria 4.0

SCSI es un sistema de soporte a las operaciones de fabricación en cadenas de montaje o de operaciones de mantenimiento en base a servicios contextuales de información.

Smart Revolution

Several agents converge at this moment and they have made possible this revolution, such as:

  • Open hardware boards (Arduino or Raspberry) have become popular, making it easier to use electronics and programming embedded systems, so it is now possible to develop hardware prototypes at reduced cost.
  • Prices of sensors have experienced a significant decrease. This reduction in sensor costs has allowed its integration into more devices and bring them closer to daily life.
  • Improvement in autonomy. Batteries are smaller and more powerful, and they can be connected directly to the internet or to devices with Internet connection.
  • Improvement of communications. Many traditional communication protocols are still in use in IoT such as local network connections via Ethernet or wireless transmission using mobile connectivity. However, there has been created new protocols designed for IoT, the communication between objects and in short distance such as BLE or NFC.
  • The emergence of IoT platforms as a basis for the connection of devices and the generation of their own ecosystem. These platforms are the key to ease the development of applications, software and services of interconnection between people and things.

The Smart concept is already everywhere. Everybody has a Smartphone; we watch our favourite TV shows on our Smart TV or we use a Smart watch to check our physical activity. Some of us already have a Smart thermostat that allows us to monitor the heating system and others control the lighting or the blinds through their mobile device.

Architecture

When developing any IoT project it is necessary to have an architecture that has at least these four elements:

  • Devices. There are different devices that compose the IoT ecosystem, the main ones are the sensors which get raw information, actuators to monitor other elements and connectivity systems (Wi-Fi, Ethernet, 3G/4G) for sending information to servers.
  • Platform. It stores raw information so that it can be consulted and analysed later. Therefore, it will be in charge of executing all the logic of the application.
  • Front-end. It provides the interface with the end user and it allows to display collected and analysed information through a dashboard or with reports.
  • Integration with other systems. The platform must be able to integrate with other information systems (ERP, CRM or CMS solutions) in order to provide it with a new dimension.

Potential of IoT

Experts say that it will take more than 10 years for the IoT to be widely used, due to the issues of security, privacy policies, data standards and wireless networks.

The amount of objects that are connected to the Internet will grow exponentially in the next years. GSMA (Global System for Mobile communications Association) estimates that there will be about 24 billion of devices connected by 2020. Cisco and Ericsson ensure that they will reach 50 billion.

The real value of IoT and its business impact lies in its applications, or in other words, what we do with the amount of information obtained.