The architecture of the Internet of Things (IoT) includes several key components that work together to create a connected and intelligent IoT ecosystem. This revolutionizes industries and enhances everyday life. To achieve a good functioning of the IoT system ensuring security is very important. for this we implement robust security measures, like authentication, encryption, access controls, and regular updates, at each layer of the architecture to protect the system against potential threats.
With the advancements of time and technologies the architecture of IoT will also continue to evolve according to the industry requirements.
To enhance the working and functionalities of IoT ecosystem it is integrated with AI and ML.
A logical design of IoT system is the actual design of the assembling and configuration components (computers, sensors, and actuators) of IoT. the design should be specific to perform functions.
The physical design of IoT system is the individual node devices and their protocols. These create a functional IoT ecosystem.
The building blocks of IoT are
Sensors and Devices
For data collection we use sensors. Their design is specialized to detect and measure specific physical properties and events. It is of various types like temperature, light, pressure, and motion sensors.
Devices do the job of collecting data from the environment. It ranges from simple sensors to complex smart devices. Smart devices perform advanced functionalities. These capture real-time information such as temperature, location, humidity, motion, etc. By integrating devices with the IoT system, devices facilitate continuous data collection. It can help businesses and organizations to make better data-driven decisions.
Connectivity protocols enable IoT devices to connect, interact, and share data. These are available in a wide range which offers diverse features and functionalities to support various IoT applications. It defines the rules and standards for data exchange. It also maintains compatibility across heterogeneous IoT devices.
The functionalities provided by them offer varying ranges, power consumption levels, data transfer rates, and network coverage options. Some of the prominent examples of connectivity protocols are Wi-Fi, Cellular (3G, 4G, 5G), Bluetooth, Z-Wave, Zigbee, Ethernet, LoRaWAN, and Sigfox. Now let’s understand about each briefly-
- Wi-Fi- It provides high-speed wireless connectivity for devices within a local area network (LAN). This provides applications with internet availability and ample power.
- Bluetooth- it provides short-range communication between devices. It is ideal for creating personal area networks and connecting peripherals.
- Zigbee and Z-Wave- these are low-power, low-data-rate protocols. its applications are smart home automation applications that communicate over WiFi.
- Cellular Connectivity (3G, 4G, and 5G)- it provides wide-area coverage and high data transfer rates. It is ideal for IoT applications that require internet access outside local networks.
- Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT)- it is a cellular network. its applications are to optimize low-power and wide-area IoT applications. It provides extended coverage, and increased power efficiency. This makes it very suitable for applications like smart cities, agriculture, asset tracking, etc.
- Ethernet- it is a reliable wired connectivity that we use in industrial IoT deployments. This provides high data rates and stability. Examples include LoRaWAN and Sigfox which are long-range, low-power protocols
These are intermediaries between IoT devices and the cloud. It bridges the gap between local networks and the internet. This enables them to perform functions like enabling connectivity, protocol translation, and data aggregation within IoT architectures. Now let’s understand these functions in brief-
- Connectivity and Protocol Translation- these are centralized hubs that enable different devices with different connectivity protocols to communicate with each other and the cloud. These convert data formats and protocols, ensuring streamlined working of heterogeneous devices.
- Data Aggregation and Processing- IoT gateways collect data from multiple devices within their local network. It aggregates and filters it before transmitting it to the cloud or other systems. It reduces network congestion by processing data locally and forwarding only relevant information.l this optimizes bandwidth usage and improves the overall efficiency of the system.
- Edge Computing- IoT gateways allow data processing and analysis to occur closer to the source, reducing latency and enabling real-time decision-making. Real-life examples include industrial automation, smart grids, and autonomous vehicles.
- Security and Privacy- IoT gateways also implement security measures to protect IoT devices and their data, and communications. It performs all the security functions like enforcing access control policies, performing encryption/decryption, and detecting and mitigating security threats.
The Cloud Infrastructure of the IoT system supports the scalability, storage, processing, and analysis of vast amounts of data generated by IoT devices. It performs functionalities due to which we are able to implement the IoT implementations successfully.
- Scalability and Elasticity- With cloud infrastructure organizations can easily scale their resources up or down based on demand. Through this, they can meet changing needs and handle fluctuations in data volume and user traffic effectively
- Data Storage and Processing– Cloud platforms offer secure storage and management of large volumes of data. They provide data processing services like real-time analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning helping organizations to derive valuable insights and make data-driven decisions.
- Device Management and Provisioning- cloud infrastructure provides device management capabilities. This facilitates monitoring, updating, and configuring IoT devices remotely.
- Integrations- Cloud platforms enable integration with IoT systems, applications, and data sources. This allows organizations to consolidate and analyze data from multiple IoT deployments. They also provide APIs and data exchange mechanisms.
User Inteface acts as a medium between humans and the IoT ecosystem. It facilitates interaction and control between humans and the IoT system. It allows users to navigate through various IoT applications, visualize data, and perform actions. The data visualization techniques include complex information such as graphs, charts, and dashboards. A friendly user interface allows individuals to remotely manage and configure IoT devices, define automation rules, and set preferences. The real-life use case includes a user who can adjust the temperature in their homes, schedule tasks, and receive alerts or notifications for that task through the IoT interface. This enhances the comfort and productivity in our lives.
IoT is the most crucial technology nowadays as this is responsible for the functioning of technological networks. Hence most organizations are trying to use it to create the most intelligent systems. But to understand IoT better we have to understand its foundation which is the functional blocks of IoT. We have to understand the workings of each building block properly like which part performs which function. Through this, we can create the solution we want. If you are looking for the functioning of building blocks of IoT then this article will be helpful for you.