The Internet of Things is more than just the “things”. The iceberg that lays beneath the surface is vast and complicated. These are some of the major pieces in IoT Solutions from the devices all the way to the cloud.
Sensors & Control Devices
Sensors measure things such as temperature, rate of flow, distance to a Bluetooth transmitter.
Control Devices perform actions such turning on a fan, slowing the feed rate of a cutting tool.
In an IoT solution, both Sensors and Control Devices are network connected to enable measuring and controlling of the business process. Connectivity
The “Internet” in IoT can be any standards based network. This connectivity can be your local network, open cell networks, private cell networks, or any network you can imagine which is openly available for manufactures to add to their devices.
Some examples include:
- IP direct to cloud (WiFi, Cellular, Ethernet)
- Gateway based connectivity (Bluetooth, custom Mesh, ZigBee)
- GSM, LTE, LoRa, NB-IoT
Gateway devices sometimes called edge devices provide a layer of management and services between the sensor network and the back end systems. This is very common when using cloud based IoT services. These IoT Gateways provide connection aggregation, network proxying, and protocol translation. In addition, they may enable some IoT workloads to be deployed locally. Not all IoT solution will require a gateway device.
Data Acquisition and Storage
Data ingestion services provide the capacity to process heavy inbound data streams. Mature cloud platforms will provide globally available endpoints which support industry standard protocols (AMQP, HTTPS, MQTT).
Data Contextualization provides additional data that is not available at the ensor and is merged into the data stream such as location, account, department number, etc.
Data Formatting services provide data-format transformations from XML, JSON or proprietary formats as well as unit conversion to metric or standard based systems.
IoT generates a lot of data, petabytes of data is not uncommon. Your Data Storage solution needs to be affordable, resilient, and globally available. Data Storage solutions must also allow cost management with hot, warm, and cold tiers of performance and availability.
Device Provisioning binds the sensors, control devices and gateways to the IoT specific solution and account.
Device Authentication verifies the identity of the device and shields from hackers by rejecting unauthenticated devices.
Configuration Management provides on-the-fly updates to device settings, ongoing validation devices are in compliance and over-the-air firmware deployments. In some instances due to limitations with the sensors, control devices or gateways, it is required to do in-the-field updates to device firmware.
Customer Applications and Services
Custom Business Solutions
Custom Business Solutions in IoT integrate your existing business systems with your IoT solution. They may also be used to bring 3rd Party best-of-class technologies with your chosen IoT Cloud Provider.
Business Intelligence provides the reporting and visualization to make IoT Actionable for people. With Business Intelligence you should be able to create operational business reports as well as forecasting and scheduling in tabular, a variety of chart formats as well as custom visualizations.
Mapping services should provide out-of-box solutions for visualizing location data (you on a map), spatial operations (geo-fencing, items nearby), provide routing services to direct vehicles with custom rules (no left turns, traffic data, weather data, route around incident\weather), geo-lookup services to translate from address to coordinate based systems and a high degree of customization for custom solutions such as floor plans, clustered pins, etc.
AI & Machine Learning
AI & Machine Learning can be used to do analysis of trends and patterns to reduce outages, optimize the flow of goods, watch for long-running trends which are otherwise difficult to track.
Vision services go beyond the facial recognition use cases we hear about in the news. Vision services can be used to do object identification, data driven anomaly detection (quality control), light quality analysis as well as broad spectrum (infrared) analysis of products and materials.
Speech in IoT refers to written and spoken language. Speech Services work with live and recorded audio, written text and in many languages. You can use Speech Services to analyze the sentiment of content (positive, negative), translate content between languages, identify speakers and provide transcription.
Blockchain Services in IoT are related to but not the same thing as cryptocurrencies. IoT Blockchain Services provide a common reliable ledger. The underlying ledger technology can be used in supply chain management, auditable action logs, Smart contracts
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