What is the IoT? What does it have to do with Big Data?
The data collected by these connected devices is characterized by its great Volume (there are millions of sensors continually generating information), Variety (sensors of all types exist, from traffic cameras and radars, to temperature and humidity detectors) and the Velocity at which is it generated. These 3 V’s are the same ones that define Big Data. To these three we can add Veracity and Value. It is said that this data is the oil of the 21st Century, but by itself, it is not very useful. However, if we apply advanced Big Data analytics we can identify trends and patterns. These “insights” carry great value for companies since that can help them to make decisions based on data, what we at LUCA call being “Data Driven“.
The application of IoT has two very different aspects.
- On one hand, that which is related to consumers, comprising of applications aimed at creating smart homes, connected vehicles and intelligent healthcare.
- On the other hand, the business-related uses, those application relating to retail, manufacturing, smart building, agriculture etc.
Which elements make up the IoT?
- Wearable technology: any object or item of clothing, such as a watch or pair of glasses, that includes sensors which help improve its functionality.
- Quantifying devices for people’s activity: any device designed to be used by those who want to store and monitor data about their habits or lifestyle.
- Smart homes: any device that allows you to control or remotely alter an object, or that contains motion sensors, identification systems or other measures of security.
- Industrial devices: any device that allows you to turn physical variables (temperature, pressure, humidity etc.) into electrical signals.
|Figure 1 : A graphic representation of the Internet of Things.|
These devices can reach certain levels of intelligence. At a most basic level, we see devices which are simply able to identify themselves in a certain way (identity), but then we move on to devices that can define where it is (location). Further still, there are devices which can communicate the condition that it is in (state) and those that can analyze their environment and carry out tasks based on certain criteria.
These intelligence levels translate into a series of capabilities:
- Communication and Cooperation: being able to connect either to the internet and/or other devices, therefore being able to share data between themselves and establish communication with servers.
- Direction: the ability to be configured and located from anywhere on the network.
- Identification: the ability to be identified via technology such as RFID (Radio Frequency Identification), NFC (Near Field Communication), QR (quick response) code and more.
- Localization: being able to know its own location at any moment.
- Intervention: the ability to manipulate its environment.
The curious relationship between IoT and toasters. A short history lesson…
|Figure 2 : The first connected device was a toaster.|