How Does IoT Work? Top Applications of IoT

The Internet of things has been the most widely discussed topic in the recent era. Ranging from traveling to shopping, IOT has been applied to every little thing. But for this, it is important to know what IOT means and how IOT works?

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Before that, it is important to know what the IOT is. The Internet of things is defined as a concept where several devices are connected in a network. It is defined as a massive network where things are connected. The things in the IOT can be people, devices, animals, or anything which shares data in the network. The connected devices in the Internet of things might range from objects of small sizes to objects of large sizes and shapes. These connected devices can be anything like smart microwaves that automatically cook food within a specific time duration. These self-driving cars contain sensors for detecting the objects within the path, fitness devices used for measuring the heart rate, and calculation of steps taken on a specific day, etc. Several devices are being developed based on which data; decisions can be made for future activities.

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Working of IOT

Several devices are connected to the platform of the Internet of things. These devices consist of built-in sensors that help them remain connected to other devices in the network. The devices are used for collecting data from different sources. Then analytics are applied over the data to share valuable information to other applications built for addressing specific needs. The Internet of things helps identify useful information and the information that can be ignored. Specific patterns can be identified, recommendations can be made, and identify problems before their occurrence. Let us look into how IOT works with examples.

Smartphones play an essential role in the IOT platform. This is because of the availability of many IOT devices that are nowadays controlled through the apps available on smartphones. Smartphones can now be used for controlling connected devices. For example, the smart thermostat can now be controlled and communicated through the app that is installed in smartphones.

There are mini processors and sensors contained within the IOT devices that act on the collected data through those sensors through machine learning. It can therefore be referred to as mini-computers that are now connected to the Internet. Hence, the devices become vulnerable to hacking and malware.

The concept of machine learning refers to the way computers learn like humans, that is, through the collection of data from the device’s surroundings, therefore, making the devices smart devices. The machine uses the data to learn the preferences and then adjust accordingly. Therefore, machine learning is a form of artificial intelligence where the machines can learn by themselves without the need to get programmed by any user.

Likewise, the smart devices within a network can collect and then share the data over a network. 

Applications of IOT

 There are multiple applications of the Internet of things as it can provide relevant information through adjusting to any technology capable of it.

A few wide applications of the IOT are described below.

1. Wearables

Wearables are those devices that people in their daily lives wear. Several wearable devices are being developed and are available in the market for their use in different applications. A few of the wearables are virtual glasses, Belts with GPS tracking systems, fitness bands. All these devices provide some sort of benefit to the user. Like fitness, bands help monitor the heartbeat of the user and the calorie expenditure of the user. Companies that are into the manufacturing of these devices are Google, Samsung, Apple, etc. 

The devices are quite small and equipped with some sensors and the necessary hardware for the readings and the measurement of the data collected by the devices. Also, the required software is incorporated into the devices so that the data can be collected and organized, and also, the user information can be collected.

2. Health

The applications of the IOT have been observed in the health sector too. If any patient wears the available wearable devices, then the sensors connected to the devices allow the doctors to monitor the patient’s condition outside the hospital. This will help the doctor get an idea of all the patient’s vital signs, thereby improving the patient care and preventing the risk of lethality in patients of high risk.

There is also another application of the IOT in the health sector by introducing smart beds in hospitals. The beds are equipped with sensors for observing any vital signs in the patient like the blood pressure, temperature, oximeter reading, etc. 

3. Traffic

The IOT has been used in the monitoring of traffic conditions. In large cities, traffic is a regular problem. To monitor such traffic scenarios in those large cities, the IOT is used to manage traffic. In such cases, the mobile phone becomes the sensor. It collects traffic data and shares the information over the network through applications such as Google maps, etc. In this way, the Internet of things is used and contributes towards the monitoring of traffic conditions. The conditions of the different available routes are shown, which further improves the information for the available routes to the destination showing even the estimated arrival time to the destination.

4. Fleet management

Due to the presence of sensors in the fleet vehicles, connectivity between the vehicles with their managers is established. Also, connectivity between the driver and the vehicles is established. Therefore the status of the vehicle along with the vehicle need is now known by the driver, owner, or manager. This is done through the accession of the software, which is used to collect the data, its processing, and its organization. The software also shows the maintenance required, which is not detected normally by the driver.

 In fleet management, the IOT is applied for assisting with the geolocation, performance analysis, control of a telemetry and saving fuel, reducing the emissions of pollution to the environment, and the provision of information for improving vehicle driving.

5. Agriculture

In agriculture, IOT is applied through the concept of smart farms. Whenever agriculture is considered, soil quality is an important factor that is important for the production of good crops. The application of IOT provides this valuable information to the farmers who will have a detailed knowledge of the condition of their soil. 

IOT helps the farmers in obtaining the data for the different stages of soil and the current state of the soil. This information includes the information for the soil moisture, acidity level, nutrient presence, temperature of the soil with characteristics of other chemicals, showing the efficient use of water, predicting and showing the time which is best for sowing, and also the information for the presence of any diseases in the plants or soil. 

6. Hospitality

The service quality is improved with the application of IOT in the hotel sector. Electronic keys are implemented that can be directly sent to the mobile devices of different guests, thereby automating the process of different types of interactions.

Different activities that could be managed through the application of IOT are guest location, sending any offers or information related to the activities of interest to the guest, room service, request for supply of personal hygiene, etc. also, the process of check out is automated through the application of electronic keys. This also provides the information of available rooms immediately and the immediate assignment of housekeeping staff for maintenance. 

7. Smart grid

With the application of IOT, the electrical network is better monitored and controlled. This is done by using smart energy meters, sensor quipped meters and installing sensors at different strategic points that go from plants of production to distribution plants.

8. Water supply

IOT can be applied to the water supply sector by incorporating sensors into the water meters connected to the Internet and associated with specific software. This software helps in the collection of data, it’s processing, and analysis that allows the understanding of the consumer behavior, identifying any faults in supply service, etc. 

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It can be observed that due to the availability of smart devices, various sectors have benefited. Also, as most cities have been converted to smart cities, the Internet of things has shown to be a powerful concept in the present era and the future. Proper collection and analysis of data are behind all these benefits. And when data analysis is concerned, machine learning plays an important role in managing and analyzing the data. If you want to further explore machine learning opportunities, you can check the course Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence Courses offered by upGrad. The course offers the benefits of placement assistance in top industries and getting trained under industry experts for any working professionals. For any query and help, you can contact our team of assistance.

How does IOT work?

IOT works through the presence of built-in sensors in the devices.

What is the role of machine learning in IOT?

For getting an insight into the data collected through the IOT devices, machine learning is used. Data ranging from simple to difficult data can be calculated and analyzed through the machine learning language.

What is a thing in IOT?

It can be anything or an object in the real world. But to become a thing of IOT, the user must be able to retrieve data from that thing.

What is the Artificial Intelligence role in IOT?

The interpretation of the data from the connected devices can be done through artificial intelligence.

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