If you are not living under a rock the term internet of things must have become a common term to you right now. As the internet is becoming more faster and efficient over time the IoT is no longer just a fancy technology used by the general population for entertainment. It is spreading its wings into various serious B2B and B2C industries like construction, corporations, hospitals, governance to Insurance, banks, etc. With more modern and advanced components of IoT coming into play Soon IoT will be incorporated into a more conventional field like education and even in tuff jobs like military operations. However, most of you are still don’t know what are the major components of IoT system are and The components of IoT architecture.
Sure, Its relatively new technology compared to web applications and platforms but not too old that you should stay unaware of it, especially now when it thought that there will be around 21 billion IoT devices around the world within 2025, Yes it a little complex compared to the previous ones as here the software, hardware, platform, and infrastructure differs from each other from one field to another but the main components of IoT system stay the same. At the end of this blog, you will definitely acquire the bragging right for knowing everything about the key components of IoT architect.
Major Components of IoT System
The components of IoT system or environment consists of two major parts (it has more sub-parts, will talk about that before) the first is the thing or the object. This is the part you can see and use, you make it smart by adding the next part into it which is the embedded system, which provides the connectivity. Though the first part is comparatively simpler, just a dumb old speaker (even it has some sensors but is not connected) can be its example. The second part is, however, a little more complex. This part consists of multiple gateways, cloud storages servers, data management layer, scripts, etc. Both of them together are called the major components of IoT.
The second part is where all the smartness of the device comes from this is where your old dumb speaker becomes a smart connected assistant device.
Key Components of IoT Architecture
The Physical Part
One of the first main components of IoT is basically your physical device and its parts that you can feel and touch it’s the backbone of all components of IoT systems. In the realm of IoT and smart devices data is everything the IoT collects and analyze data in real-time to perform a given task this part does the collecting part of the data
The sensor collects data from its environment and converts one kind of energy into another. Depending on their functionality there are different kinds of sensors. Like Light sensors, Proximity Sensors, Humidity sensors, etc. The sensors stay connected to the endpoint of the physical devices themselves.
For example, a weather station will have sensors like humidity and wind speed sensor. The humidity sensor checks the difference between current flow and the find speed works depending on the rotation of the anemometer. One of them changes mechanical spinning energy into an electrical signal. The humidity sensor on the other hand converts the difference between the changing electrical current flow and changing that into electrical impulses that shows the humidity
Actuators are another major component of IoT systems they are the polar opposite of sensors. Sensors sense things from the surrounding environment while the actuators receive the information given from the sensors and act based on them. Sometimes IoT devices have an equal amount of actuators because once the sensor senses something if it needs to change something the actuators will be the ones making the change.
As an example, actuators may control the heating and cool in a smart air conditioner or an industrial burner or machine, when they sense the temperature is too hot it starts the A.C. or oven the valves of that industrial machine to put down the heat.
The Network Layer
This part is comparatively more complex or as we say in technology more interesting this part makes your device smart and gives it the IoT badge to any device. This part involves the protocols, gateways, cloud storage, firewall, etc.
Now, when the data is collected it requires to be stored. The protocols help to transfer the data to get collected in the cloud storage servers. It works as the communication channel between two physical objects. Depending on things like
- Data transfer rate
- Distance between server and object
- Power Consumption
- Bandwidth, etc.
The network choice can be,
- It can even be from SIM card and Bluetooth.
IoT Gateways(Security Layer)
The data that comes from the sensors stays in a raw format to process that it needs to be sent into the next stage. The gateway works just as its name suggests, It works as a gateway that the data pass-throughs. The data then comes to the protocol that makes it to the server. The gateways ensure the data is secured and it also manages the data to transfer data without stopping. It also works as a gate or more preciously a closed gate against unauthorized access and malware attack.
Gateways are also efficient enough to prepare the raw data before sending it to the cloud servers. A well-equipped gateway can translate, Locally process, filter, and translate the data before sending it to the cloud.
For example, an IoT measures how much beer is taken out of a tap of a barrel. A small watermill-like wheel will be fit into the tap of the barrel that will spin and send the data about its spinning to the gateway using one of the protocols. From here the gateway collects the data and processes it.
A certain number of spins translates to a certain volume of beer, It prepares the data to get the most precise volume then it uses another protocol to send it to the next layer. It is another main component of IoT architecture as this process and summarizes the data to be understandable.
The Data Layer
Another most important components of IoT system are the cloud systems that store the data process and analyzes this. All the cool stuff happens here. All the processing power of the cloud server works to process the data and makes it understandable to humans.
The Cloud Server
Yes! People use IoT for real-time applications but the thing is small manageable IoT devices cant have all that much processing power to do all the processing locally. There has to be something to manage and handle that enormous data. Cloud system here comes to the rescue. The cloud system works here as the brain of the IoT system and process the data in an understandable form. It also uses analytics to decide what the next action should be and commands it to the rest of the system. All of the things happen in a wink of an eye with a strong server coupled with fast network connectivity making it look like real-time.
IoT analytics and data management
This part is the smartest of all components of IoT architecture. A business needs to know its key performance indicators to be scalable. Data no matter how small it is can hold enormous value to a business and indicate the key performance indicator. While one set of data may seem so important and deciding factor and another set may seem insignificant the analytics component of the IoT system can measure and compare the differences between these two and tell what is more important and how much it affects the key performance indicator.
In Simpler Terms, the analytical part of the data layer takes the simplified data processed from the from at first the gateway and then from the cloud server and turns them into insights. Which can be later used to make important business decisions. if given access IoT can also take automated immediate actions if any mishap is notified.
For example, If the IoT system is attached is being used in the same beer bar and if for some reason one night people take more than usual, the system can decrease the searing size of the beer each time to make the stock last longer.
Though there is a downside is the data requires too much processing power these kinds of operations are done using cloud platforms. If we change the components of the IoT system where we can also use edge computing and which will be highly scalable and cost-effective compared to the previous options.
UI/UX and User Device
After all, that logical and arithmetical stuff here is the end-user part the visual part the eye-pleasing part the part that you will be using and touching if you make an IoT system of your own. From here you will be able to control all the peripheral and main components of the IoT system. It’s also the easiest part to understand for a user. After all the technical part it’s like the interior of your car
Sure the user can manually control the device itself but to properly put in the use of all the functionality and the customization ability of all the major components of IoT architecture, you will have to use a smartphone, tablet or desktop via an application. Like a smart weather station will have an app to check the condition of an automatic traffic counter will have a desktop application for checking and interacting with the system.
For the simplest example, it’s like when you use your phone to interact with google home and Alexa.
The modern era eye-pleasing design is almost half the battle. When iPhone came out its fit and finish was the first thing that grabbed people’s attention at first. Consumers can choose one brand over another just for its better UI. It’s the part that gives the eye-pleasing feel to the IoT system to attract and retain users while at the same time making their things easy.
IoT may sound new but it came way back in the late 80s and most of us millennials haven’t quite seen the full evolution of the components of IoT and its application in various fields. Yet is so excitin to watch how IoT has come a long way from being used as toys to serious military weapons. Well, let’s hope that this technology will keep upgrading itself and will be used in more and more fields not only for basic but also for life-threatening critical tasks.
The IoT is evolving so rapidly that the definition of the whole IoT ecosystem may change within the next 2 or 3 years. The components of the IoT system itself may not be changed as much but they can be more and more functional in the future. Though the all major components of IoT system will stay similar in every field already but depending on the domain that does different things.
The IoT system connects the world together and makes everything simpler efficient, and secure let’s hope it will keep doing that, for now, you just completed our list of major components of the IoT list, Hope you like it please share if you do. If it happened to any IoT application that got your attention and you want to have your own do visit our official services page for more details
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