What is IoT (Internet of Things) and How Does it Work?

What is IoT (Internet of Things) and How Does it Work?

August 12, 2022

The term IoT, or the Internet of Things, refers to a group of connected devices and technologies that facilitate communication between devices and the cloud, as well as between the devices themselves. Thanks to the advent of affordable computer chips and high-bandwidth connections, we now have billions of devices connected to the Internet. This means that the devices we use every day such as toothbrushes, vacuum cleaners, cars and machines can use sensors to collect data and respond intelligently to users.

The Internet of Things integrates everyday "things" with the Internet. Computer engineers have been adding sensors and processors to everyday things since the 1990s. But progress was slow at first because the chips were bulky and bulky. Low-power computer chips called RFID tags were first used to track expensive equipment. As computing hardware has shrunk, these chips have also gotten smaller, faster, and smarter over time.

Currently, the costs of integrating computing power into the little things have fallen dramatically. For example, you can add Alexa-enabled connectivity to microcontrollers (MCUs) that have less than 1MB of built-in RAM, such as light switches. An entire industry has taken off and its focus is on filling our homes, businesses, and offices with IoT devices. These smart items can automatically transfer data to and from the Internet. All of these "invisible computing devices" and the technology associated with them are collectively referred to as the Internet of Things.


How does the Internet of Things work?

An optimized IoT system works by collecting and exchanging data in real time. The Internet of Things system consists of three components:


Smart phones

Computers are devices such as televisions, surveillance cameras, and training equipment with computer capabilities. It collects data from its surroundings, user inputs or usage patterns and transmits data over the Internet to and from its associated IoT application.


Internet of Things Application

An IoT application is a set of services and software that integrate data received from various IoT devices. It exploits machine learning technology or artificial intelligence to analyze this data and make informed decisions. These decisions are returned to the IoT device and the IoT device then responds intelligently to the input.


Graphical User Interface

An IoT device or group of devices can be controlled through a graphical user interface. Common examples include mobile applications or a website that can be used to register and control smart devices.


What are examples of IoT devices?

Let's look at some examples of IoT systems in use today:


Connected cars

There are many ways in which vehicles, such as cars, can be connected to the Internet. One of these methods could be smart car dashboard cameras, infotainment systems, or even a connected vehicle gate. These devices collect data from the accelerator pedal, brakes, speedometer, odometer, wheels, and fuel tanks to monitor both driver performance and vehicle safety. Connected cars have several uses, including:

Monitor rental vehicle fleets to increase fuel efficiency and reduce costs.

Helping parents to track the leadership style of their children.

Automatically notify friends and family in the event of a vehicle collision.

Forecasting and preventing vehicle maintenance needs.


Connecting homes

Smart home devices primarily focus on improving home efficiency and security, as well as improving home networks. Some devices such as smart plugs monitor electricity consumption and smart thermostats provide better temperature control. Hydroponic systems can use IoT sensors to control the garden, while IoT-based smoke detectors can detect tobacco smoke. Home security systems such as door locks, security cameras and water leak detectors can detect and prevent threats and send notifications to homeowners.

Connected devices in the home can be used for several purposes, including:

Automatically turn off unused devices.

Real estate rental, management and maintenance.

Search for items you can't find like keys or wallets.

Automate daily tasks such as vacuuming, making coffee, etc.


Smart cities

IoT applications have increased the efficiency of urban planning and infrastructure maintenance. Governments are exploiting IoT applications to address infrastructure, health, and environmental problems. IoT applications can be used in the following cases:

Measure air quality and radiation levels.

Reduce energy bills costs by using smart lighting systems.

Uncover the maintenance needs of critical infrastructure such as streets, bridges and pipelines.

Increase profits through effective parking management.


Smart buildings

Buildings such as university campuses and commercial buildings use IoT applications to increase operational efficiency. IoT devices can be used in smart buildings for the following purposes:

Reduce energy consumption.

Reduce maintenance costs.

Utilize workplaces more efficiently.



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