IoT: a connected and intelligent world


Technology is taking a sharper turn to change the world than ever before. As a result, the Internet landscape is also expanding. It is no longer limited to just smartphones, laptops, tablets, or computers. In today’s era, a multitude of devices are connected to the Internet, creating “smart” devices.

As you know, IoT or Internet of Things is an umbrella term for all internet connected devices that we see in our daily life.

To understand how IoT can enable us to create a smart and connected world (not just devices), let’s start with the basics.

What is IoT?

IoT refers to physical objects/things around the world connected to the Internet to collect and share information. The range of existing and potential IoT devices is huge. IoT networks offer an interconnected environment for objects to have a digital presence and allow them to communicate with other objects and people.

IoT is a revolutionary transformation in the digital world with the potential to change every person’s life. The changes that came with IoT are visible everywhere. Some examples of IoT devices are smart cities, smart wearables, integrated supply chains, smart connected homes, parking sensors, and many more.

IoT growth and adoption is proceeding at a rapid pace. The IoT adoption we see today is driven by many other evolving technologies, such as wireless protocols, big data, low-cost microprocessors, cloud-based web applications, and most importantly, the rise of connected devices. You can view statistics for active connections of IoT devices vs. non-IoT devices from 2010 to 2025.

IoT-Architecture

The IoT architecture consists of a collection of sensors, physical data, cloud services, communication layers, users, IoT protocols, business layers, developers, and actuators. And due to the wide range of Internet object domains, there is no defined standard architecture that is universally strictly followed.

Multiple architectures were developed based on the requirements and demands of different industries. However, there is a basic flow of processes on which IoT is built. So, in this blog, we will discuss the main layers of IoT architecture (i.e. 5-stage IoT architecture).

The functionality of the detection layer is the ability to identify changes in the physical condition of connected things in real time. Therefore, sensors are the main elements of this layer. With the help of sensors, the physical environment can be measured, data collected, smart objects identified and located, and finally data sent to the cloud for analysis.

While in the case of actuators, the process intervenes in physical reality. Thus, for example, they can adjust the temperature of the room or turn the lights on/off.

The communication layer handles the routing of messages between IoT devices, the connectivity, and the routing between the cloud and the devices. Furthermore, the data collected from the sensors is transmitted directly to the cloud and the application layer in the communication layer.

Protocols such as Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT), Restricted Application Protocol (CoAP), and Lightweight Machine-to-Machine (LwM2M) help connect different devices to send data.

The cloud layer is where all the data collected from the sensors and devices is transferred. The functionality of this layer is to store, process and analyze the data. Furthermore, the cloud uses a data center as a central server to process the data generated by the edge device.

In the management layer, one can operate and monitor all other layers with the help of cloud management tools.

The application layer provides many services and applications, consisting of data collection, analysis, visualization, and security. So it highly depends on the features needed by the end users.

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IoT protocols

IoT protocols are an essential part of IoT technology. Without protocols, the devices will only be useless. Only IoT protocols allow IoT devices to communicate by exchanging data in a meaningful and structured way.

IoT protocols ensure that data from a device or sensor is recognized by other gateways/devices/services. So, here is the list of IoT protocols that have been designed for different applications.

  • Restricted Application Protocol (CoAP)

A CoAP is an application layer protocol that is designed to address the needs of HTTP-based IoT systems. Allows devices with limited capabilities to connect in machine-to-machine communication.

  • Data Distribution Service (DDS)

Data Distribution Service (DDS) is a versatile peer-to-peer protocol for communication. With DDS, you can run small devices to connect high performance networks. Simplifies deployment, minimizes complexity, and improves reliability.

  • Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT)

MQTT is a lightweight data protocol for IoT. MQTT is used for connections that have low bandwidth in remote locations. It uses a publisher-subscriber pattern and is absolute for small devices that need efficient battery and bandwidth.

  • Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP)

XMPP is a lightweight, open standard communication protocol. It has been designed for instant data exchange in near real time between different network entities.

  • Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP)

AMQP is a software layer that enables interoperability between messaging middleware. With AMQP, a wide range of applications and systems work together. It also creates standardized messages on an industrial scale.

LwM2M has been designed to remotely manage and enable M2M (machine to machine) services. This protocol defines the communication protocol between LwM2M server and client located in an IoT device.

  • Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)

TCP is a dominant protocol for most Internet connectivity. TCP breaks a large data set into small individual packets while resending and assembling packets as required to provide host-to-host communication.

  • User Datagram Protocol (UDP)

UDP runs over IP and allows process-to-process communication. It also improves data transfer rates over TCP. UDP is ideal for applications that need lossless data transmission.

Several IoT protocols use IPv4, while recent implementations use IPv6. IP helps to route traffic over the Internet and detect and locate devices on the network.

6LoWPAN is the network layer communication protocol. It works best with devices that have limited processing power.

Zigbee is a specification based on IEEE 802.15.4. It is designed for high-level communication protocols used to create personal area networks with small, low-power digital radios.

IoT service providers

Now that we know the basics of IoT, it’s time to take a closer look at the top IoT service providers available on the market today.

AWS IoT Core provides secure, bidirectional communication between Internet-connected devices (sensors, embedded microcontrollers, actuators, or smart devices) and the AWS Cloud.

This allows you to collect, store, and interpret telemetry data from multiple devices. You can also create apps that make it easy for your users to control these devices from their tablets or phones.

Oracle IoT Cloud is a cloud-based managed PaaS solution that helps make critical business and strategic decisions by connecting IoT devices to the cloud and analyzing data in real time.

Azure IoT is Microsoft’s collection of managed cloud services that monitor, connect, and manage billions of IoT devices. Azure gives you opportunities to build a wide range of IoT solutions to power the digital transformation of your business.

Watson IoT from IBM is a cloud-hosted managed solution designed to make it easy to derive the importance of IoT devices. With IBM Watson, you can connect, capture, monitor, analyze, archive, manage and monitor your IoT device usage.

It offers a suite of IBM Cloud services as a single IBM-managed SaaS solution to collect and analyze data for IoT assets.

SAP Leonardo IoT combines innovation, technologies, and smart applications to harness IoT and bring intelligence to the business. It enables organizations to automate analytical processes and gain insights for better business performance.

Mindsphere is a leading IoT as a Service solution from Siemens. Using advanced analytics and artificial intelligence, Mindsphere powers IoT solutions with available data from connected devices. Create better business models, develop quality products and optimize all operations.

IoT Connectivity

We are already in a hyperconnected world, where intangible things and people are connected through IoT. Furthermore, IoT integrated intelligent networks that are systematically linked with services, things, and us humans for distributed processing, networking, and sensing.

So, if you are a business looking to connect IoT with your products and services, hire developers with in-depth knowledge in the field to make your tasks easier.

Image credit: provided by the author; Thanks!

mahipal nehra

Digital Marketing Expert

Work with Decipher Zone which is a Java development company. He always loves to write about technical knowledge, tools for data analysis, emerging technology trends, AI-powered transportation services, robots, web applications, CRM, and digital transformation IT solutions.


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