IoT Devices- What are they?
IoT, or the internet of things, devices are the nonstandard computing instruments and devices that are able to transmit data and wirelessly connect to a network. However, IoT goes beyond connecting the standard devices -laptops, tablets, smartphones, and, of course, desktops- to the internet. It has the capability of providing connectivity for everyday objects and devices that are traditionally non-internet-enabled. Not only can IoT provide internet connectivity, but these devices can also be monitored and controlled, making them ideal for your workplace.
When a device is connected to the internet, it also connects to other related devices in its surrounding environment, creating a cohesive workspace for you and generating tasks at home or in the workplace. IoT devices are categorized into three main groups: consumer, enterprise, and industrial.
Consumer connected devices can be seen all around your home and your workplace; these include smart TVs, speakers, and appliances; toys; and wearables such as smart watches.
Think about a smart house which has the capability to adjust the thermostat to a preferred temperature and the lighting based upon time of day, a refrigerator that has the capability to generate your shopping list for you, a sprinkler system that functions upon the weather forecast, and small robotic vacuum cleaners that not only clean your home, but learn the areas that need the most focus. All of these things make life a bit easier.
Compare these to Enterprise IoT devices, designed to be used by a business. These devices help your business to run smoothly and seamlessly, doing things that are needed without you having to remember to do them. A wide variety of enterprise IoT devices are available, for instance, smart thermostats. This example also worked for your home, but how is it beneficial in a workplace? Imagine the thermostat in a conference room adjusting itself based upon the occupancy of the room. Your clients and customers will always feel comfortable without you having to step out to adjust the temperature. In addition, your IoT devices will help the lights to dim for presentations, and to readjust when the screen is no longer needed. These are just a few small examples.
For use in factories or other industrial spaces, there are industrial IoT (IIoT) devices. These devices are sensors that supply you with the data you need from the assembly line. Various types or sensors will monitor your manufacturing process and then transfer data, allowing you to know whether systems are running as they should, and if they aren’t, the sensors will let you or a service technician know what is needed to be done in order to keep your factory running properly and efficiently.
Regardless of location- home, business, or factory- all IoT devices are created to interact with their real-world settings via sensor, camera, etc. This allows it to sense what it happening in the physical world and manipulate it in the way you need it to.
While all IoT devices can do amazing and helpful things, they have various facets that are different depending upon the device. For instance, some may be able to gain access to public internet, but many operate exclusively on private networks and connect to a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol server. The device will acquire an IP address in order to be able to work on the network.
Only some devices accept inputs, as for the most part, the sensors are accumulating data that will be making its way to other devices. Also device dependent, some will need a software application, and others have their own web servers, taking away the need for software.
Connectivity and Networking in IoT Devices
There are various options; your connectivity will help you to choose what will be best for you, but you will also want to keep in mind bandwidth, range, and power consumption.
Standard consumer devices can connect via cellular, satellite, Wi-Fi, and ethernet. Communication protocols include AMQP, CoAP, DDS, DTLS, and MQTT.
Wireless protocols include Bluetooth Low Energy, IPv6, LPWAN, NFC, RFID, Zigbee, and Z-Wave.
The IoT device, especially those used in industry, will also need to connect to another device or the cloud in order for data to be stored and analyzed. However, some IoT devices have the capabilities to do this analysis independently and need to transmit less data.
Are There Security Risks Involved?
IoT devices are prepared to safeguard you from security breaches and risks, though you need to be prepared and vigilant, too. Over the past four years, the U.S. Senate has been working to improve the safety of IoT security. In 2020, new guidelines were presented for use by federal agencies with the Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act bill, and many will also be in use by the private sector, too.
Because there are so many variations to devices and connectivity, safeguarding is not foolproof. However, tried and true security measures are using strong and unique passwords, network segmentation, encryption, cryptography, authentication/authorization, and identity management.
How Do I Maintain My IoT Devices?
In order to ensure that your IoT device works properly and effectively for its full lifecycle, it is important to keep it well maintained. If not, issues in security, connectivity, availability, or processing can occur. You may maintain your devices through the services of a device management vendor or by using standard protocols.
Device management includes features such as device registration and activation, authorization, and configuration, as well as various other features to keep the device on track.
Consider how rare it is to find someone who does not have at least one smart device. Cell phones, smart watches, toy drones, and home assistants are running rampant. IHS Markit estimated the number of connected devices to hit 125 billion by 2030. That is just right around the corner. Individuals, business, and factories are all implementing IoT devices in their day-to-day routines. They can make your business seamless and highly effective, allowing you to focus on more pressing matters.
With all technology, similar to your car and your home, it’s important to maintain the device and remain on top of security. When this is done, IoT devices can free up your thoughts and time for what matters most.
Let this new year be a new start for you; transform your factory into a Smart Factory by letting Godlan and Prophecy IoT help you gain a competitive edge. Visit www.godlan.com and www.prophecyiot.com for further information or call 586.464.4400 to speak with us about beginning the process today.