In the previous articles, we understood the basics of IOT and how it works. I encourage you to read the previous articles before proceeding with this one. In this article, you will learn about the various components and building blocks of IOT.
We know that IOT is a network of “Things” comprising of devices like sensors, actuators and controllers coupled with application software. These “Things” collect and transmit data which is filtered, processed and analysed by the software before displaying it to the user.
Let us consider a simple example to further understand this. Your family doctor needs to be alerted when your blood pressure shoots up over 150 (systolic). How will you design a system to accomplish this?
A practical case
Let us assume that you are wearing a BP monitoring device in your wrist. This device is GPRS enabled and can transmit data over the network. The data from the BP monitoring device is sent to an application server through the internet. The application processes the data and sends an alert when the systolic level crosses 150. The doctor can be alerted through a mobile app or SMS.
What are the various components in our set up? If you analyse carefully, these are the building blocks of our BP monitoring and alerting system
A pressure sensor that senses the blood pressure (Sensor)
A microcontroller setup that gets the reading from the sensor
The microcontroller is connected to the internet through network through GPRS. This can very well be connected through WSN, WIFI, LTE, CDMA or any other mechanism.
A software application that consists of database, business logic layer, security, management, User Interface layer etc
The associated protocols at each layer like the TCP/IP, HTTP, SOAP, REST etc
That’s it, if you can understand this well, you can build any system with ease. Essentially, we are looking at collection, transmission, processing and display of data. It all starts with a sensor or a data collection device and ends in a display or an action (a device switching on another device)
The technology is simple but it can be used in a lot of areas through intelligent design and usage of these building blocks. We will see more of it in the next article.