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Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT)

Today's technology has improved a lot compared to what we had decades ago. Internet of things (IOT) aims at revolutionizing the way we communicate with objects around us.

Internet of things

In general terms, it is seen as the next phase of the internet in the area of networking of physical objects with humans, digital machine, animals, mechanical machines and computing devices and providing them with unique identifiers.

IOT can be see in today's world in applications such as smart grids, smart homes, intelligent transportation and smart cities. They are all made uniquely identifiable and able to communicate with internet infrastructure through their embedded computing systems.

History of Internet of things

Internet of things got its evolution for areas of wireless technology, Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS), microservices and the internet.

As far back as 1832, an electromagnetic telegraph was created by Baron Schilling in Russia in 1832. In 1833, Carl Freidrich Gauss and Wilhelm Weber invented their own code to communicate at a distance of 1200m within Göttingen, Germany.

Jay B. Nash in 1932 could see the numerous capabilities of household objects. According to his book titles Spectatoritis, he wrote: "Within our grasp is the leisure of the Greek citizen, made possible by our mechanical slaves, which far outnumber his twelve to fifteen per free man. As we step into a room, at the touch of a button a dozen light our way. Another slave sits twenty-four hours a day at our thermostat, regulating the heat of our home. Another sits night and day at our automatic refrigerator. They start our car; run our motors; shine our shoes; and cult our hair. They practically eliminate time and space by their very fleetness."

So many other trends has shown the evolution of internet of things, some of these trends are:

1932: Jay B. Nash wrote about modern Americans and machines in Spectatoritis

1946: 2-Way Wrist Radio was first worn as a wristwatch

1949: Bar code was conceived following drawing of four lines in the sand

1955: The first wearable computer was invented

1960: Morton Heilig receives a patent for the first-ever head-mounted display

1967: Analog wearable computer was invented to aid in lip reading

1969: First message was sent over Arpanet

1973: First passive, read-write RFID tag device was patened

1974: Universal Product Code (UPC) label was used for the first time

1977: A head mounted camera to aid the blind was invented

1980: Micro-switches were installed in the Coke vending machine to check sales and temperature

1981: Wearable backpack personal computer-imaging system was invented

1990: Active badge system was developed using infrared signals to communicate a person’s location

1991: The Computer in the 21st Century was published showing how “specialized elements of hardware and software will be almost hard to notice in the future

1993: A specially-rigged computer and heads-up display was used as a wearable

1994: A wearable device that communicates via wireless transmitters was invented

1994: A wearable wireless webcam was developed

1995: Siemens set to develop an application called “M1” for machine-to-machine (M2M) enabling machines to communicate over wireless networks

1997: The First IEEE International Symposium on Wearable Computers was hosted

1999: RFID was turned into a networking technology by linking objects to the Internet through the RFID tag

1999: Neil Gershenfeld published a book about internet of things titled "When Things Start to Think“

2001: David Brock wrote about “The Electronic Product Code (EPC) in a white paper

2002: An article about “Virtual Organizations, Pervasive Computing, and an Infrastructure for Networking at the Edge,” was published

2002: The chief scientist for Accenture, published an article titled “Have Your Objects Call My Objects”

2003: Bernard Traversat et al. published “Project JXTA-C: Enabling a Web of Things” in HICSS ’03 Proceedings of the 36th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences

2004: Science-fiction writer Bruce Sterling introduced the concept of “Spime”at SIGGRAPH, describing it as “a neologism for an imaginary object that is still speculative.

2004: G. Lawton wrote in “Machine-to-machine technology gears up for growth” in Computer

2004: Neil Gershenfeld, Raffi Krikorian and Danny Cohen wrote in “The Internet of Things” in Scientific American

2005: Arduino was developed, a cheap and easy-to-use single-board microcontroller, used in developing interactive Arduino projects.

Internet of things

2005: The International Telecommunications Union published the 7th in its series of reports on the Internet, titled “The Internet of Things.”

Future of internet of things

Have you ever imagined controlling a door lock remotely through your mobile phone or checking your smart watch to see which bulbs are turned on your apartment while being far away. How about monitoring different production lines located in different countries from a remote area.

These are some of the few visions of the internet of things. Communication between objects and the internet can only be possible if the device has an Internet protocol (IP) address as its unique identifier.

Internet of things

Presently IPv4 which is the fourth version of IP limits its address space to 4 billion addresses. This limitation brought about the introduction of IPv6 in 1990 which allows approximately 3.4×10^38 addresses.

Internet of things will however make use of the extremely large number of IP addresses provided by IPv6.

As at today, there are over 3.3 Billion internet users. This number is seen to have kept growing over the years. Humans hardly communicate with other humans over the internet without passing through a device. This shows that many devices as of today are already connected to the internet.

Research shows that over 4.9 Billion things are connected to the internet of which mechanical machines are also part of them, communicating and sharing information with each other and with us. This number is expected to reach 50 Billion in the year 2020.

Project Ideas related to internet of things

Out of ongoing projects in connecting things together, there are other numerous areas where internet of things could be applied in viz:

1. Smart cities

Waste Management system - Implementation of sensors to detect rubbish levels in containers in order to optimize the trash collection routes.

Smart Parking - Sensors capable of monitoring parking spaces available in the city.

Structural health - Sensors to monitor vibrations and material conditions in buildings, bridges, historical monuments and other structures.