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The Internet-of-Things (IoT) is gradually becoming one of the most prominent ICT technologies that underpin our society, through enabling the orchestration and coordination of a large number of physical and virtual Internet-Connected-Objects (ICO) towards human-centric services in a variety of sectors including logistics, trade, industry, smart cities and ambient assisted living. In a series of post, I will be presenting a set of internet-of-things technologies and applications in the form of a series of tutorial in nature post. The present post is the first introductory one.
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For over a decade after the introduction of the term Internet-of-Things, different organizations and working groups have been providing various definitions. For example:
- ITU-T (as part of ITU-T Y.2060) defines IoT as: “A global infrastructure for the Information Society, enabling advanced services by interconnecting (physical and virtual) things based on, existing and evolving, interoperable information and communication technologies.”
- The EU and more specifically the EU Projects Research Cluster in the Internet of Things (IERC) gives the following definition: 'A dynamic global network infrastructure with self-configuring capabilities based on standard and interoperable communication protocols where physical and virtual “things” have identities, physical attributes, and virtual personalities and use intelligent interfaces, and are seamlessly integrated into the information network.'
Independently of the defintion, the exploitation and coordination of ICOs data and services is enabling a large number of novel human centric applications (e.g., Smart Cities & Communities, IoT in Healthcare, IoT in Manufacturing & Logistics, IoT Platforms & Ecosystems).
The IoT paradigm is enabling the vision of pervasive & ubiquitous computing, which was back in the 90's envisaged to be a direct consequence of the rapid prolifration of computing devices. Indeed, following the era of super-computing (where a few fat computing systems served many users (many-to-one)) and the era of personal-computing (where each user had its own personal device (one-to-one), we are already in the era where each human individual enjoys services based on multiple internet-connected computing devices (such as laptops, mobile devices, multi-purpose sensors, home gateways). Hence, the IoT revolution is indeed propelled by the exponential increase of the number of connected devices, which is (according to CISCO) estimated to reach 50 billion devices in 2020. This will mean that each of the estimated 7.8 billion people on the planet will use on average more than six devices. Nowadays, we have already crossed the point (back in 2005) where the number of people around the globe was equal to the number of internet connected devices.
The proliferation of internet-connected-objects, empowers interactions both between devices and things, but also between things and people, thus providing unprecedented application opportunities. Indeed, people can directly connect to things (such as mobile phones, electronic health records etc.) via wearable sensors such as motion sensors, ECG (electrocardiogram) sensor and smart textiles. Likewise, things connect to each other e.g., as part wireless sensors networks (WSN), but also as part of a WSN's interaction with other devices (gateways, mobile devices etc.). As another example car sensors, connect to intelligent transport systems and with sensors from other vehicles. These interactions are in most cases empowered by heterogeneous networking infrastructures, which provide ubiquitous high-quality connectivity, such as 4G/5G infrastructures.
Along with the term internet-of-things, several similar/analogous technologies and terms have been introduced. These include for example:
- M2M (Machine-to-Machine).
- IoE (Internet of Everything).
- Cloud of Things.
- Web of Things.
- Cyber Physical Systems (CPS).
- USN (Ubiquitous Sensor Networks.
All these terms are very relevant (and in most cases overlapping) to IoT. Nevertheless, they have also subtle (but sometimes important) differences from IoT. We will illustrate these terms and their differences from IoT in following posts. In gerenal there are different viewpoints for IoT, and ΙοΤ experts approach IoT from different angles. For example:
- The 'Things-Oriented' viewpoint focuses on technologies for the representation and use of the things e.g., RFID (Radion-Frequency Identification), NFC (Near Field Communications), WSN (Wireless Sensor Networks), Things connectivity technologies etc.
- The 'Internet-Oriented' viewpoint focuses on the internet and web aspects of IoT, such as the web-of-things layer for simplifying application development, IPv6 for internet connectivity and identification etc.
- The 'Semantics-Oriented' viewpoint focuses technologies for accessing and leveraging the semantics of IoT data and services based on semantic web technologies, reasoning technologies etc.
Independently of one's viewpoint about IoT and IoT technologies, any non-trivial IoT system is expected to comprise the following elements:
- Sensors and Actuators.
- Communication infrastructure between servers or server platforms.
- Server/Middleware Platforms.
- Data Analytics Engines.
- Apps (iOS, Android, Web).
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- These elements are evident in the functional viewpoints of the various architectural frameworks that have been introduced for IoT, and which we will be presented in following posts.
IoT is gradually becoming very closely affiliated with cloud computing infrastructurdes and BigData infrastuctures (including data analytics frameworks ). These infrastructures provide IoT applications with the means of levveraging the scalability, capacity and reliability of the cloud, along with the data processing and analysis capabilites of BigData systems. In later posts we will be discussing both IoT/cloud integration and the topical subject of IoT analytics (including mining of IoT data streams). However, we will start with an illustrations of the 'things'-oriented technologies that underpin IoT, such as RFID and WSN.
Further Reading & Study:
1) There are a number of videos illustrating the IoT videos and introducting some motivating functionalities. Some of these are listed below:
2) One can read about the different viewpoints of IoT at:
Atzori et al. / Computer Networks 54 (2010) 2787–2805
3) The IoT/Cloud integration is explained at:
Gubbi et al. / Future Generation Computer Systems 29 (2013) 1645–1660
4) The IERC cluster books provide a wealth of information about IoT. The most recent book (authored in 2015) is titled'Building the Hyperconnected Society - IoT Research and Innovation Value Chains, Ecosystems and Markets - IERC Cluster Book 2015.
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This Trivia was originally posted in San Diego PC Help
The following computer trivia fun facts were compiled by our technicians here at San Diego PC Help (we’ve been fixing laptops, tablets, cellphones, etc. since 1999.) Enjoy the list! Also be sure to check out the humorous 6 things you can do with your computer other than the obvious and our introduction to Net Neutrality!
1. It took the radio 38 years and the television only 13, but the internet reached 50 million users in only 4 years.
2. The computer mouse was invented by Doug Engelbart in 1963. It was made out of wood (weird, huh).
3. In 2009 the average number of Internet transactions per second was 2,000. The total number of goods sold was worth $60 billion.
4. Early hard disks in personal computers held only 20 MB of data and cost around $800. In 2010 you could get a 2 GB flash drive for around $8. This implies that there is a 100-fold reduction in the price and a 100-fold increase in storage capacity.
5. Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, the first female admiral in the US Navy is also known in the computer world for creating the popular programming language COBOL. She also came up with the term ‘debugging’ after removing a moth from a computer.
6. The computing power in today’s cell phones is much higher than the processing power of all the computers in the Apollo 11 Lunar Lander that put 2 men on the moon.
7. The two main components in IT (Information Technology) are hardware and software. But there is also a lesser known ‘grey’ component. This is the software that is stored in hardware and cannot be modified easily. It is known as ‘firmware’.
8. There are over 20 billion web pages on the internet, and that number is rapidly growing every day. Also, there are over 2 billion internet users worldwide at present.
9. RIM (the BlackBerry operating system company) co-CEO and cofounder Mike Lazaridis dropped out of college to start his own company. He did so after reading Microsoft’s founder, Bill Gates’, book. Autodesk map 3d for mac.
10. The first hard disk drive was created in 1979 by Seagate. Its capacity was a whopping (not) 5 MB.
11. HP, Google, Microsoft, and Apple have one thing in common – apart from the obvious that they are IT companies. They were all started in garages.
12. The 12 engineers at IBM that developed the IBM PC had a code name – “The Dirty Dozen”.
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13. The first and still the oldest domain name to be registered is Symbolics.com, it was created on March 15th, 1985.
14. Most Central Processing Units (CPU’s) are sold as a bit slower than they actually run. By over-clocking them you can get them to run faster – for free.
15. The first micro-processor was the 4004, Intel had originally designed it for a calculator and no one had any idea to what it would lead.