What is the internet of things and how does it work?

internet of things

The internet of things is a concept that is becoming more relevant, but still does not stop at home. Discover exactly what it is about. It is a term that we constantly hear about. internet of things, internet of things or Io for its acronym in English, is a somewhat abstract concept but has been gaining popularity in recent months. The idea that tries to represent is pretty well illustrated by its name, everyday things that connect to the Internet, but in reality it is much more than that.

To understand what the internet of things is about, we must also understand that its foundations are not new at all. For the last 30 years, we have been working with the idea of ​​making all everyday objects a little more interactive. Ideas like the smart home, also known as the house of tomorrow, have evolved before we realize in the connected home to enter the internet of things.

The internet of Things empowers objects that formerly were connected by closed circuit, such as communicators, cameras, sensors, and others, and allows them to communicate globally through the use of the network of networks.

If we had to give a definition of the internet of things, it would probably be better to say that it is a network that interconnects physical objects using the Internet. The aforementioned objects use embedded systems, or what is the same, specialized hardware that allows not only connectivity to the Internet , but also schedules specific events based on tasks dictated remotely.

How does the internet of things work?

the internet of things

As we have already said, the trick in all this is in the embedded systems. These are chips and circuits that, compared to, for example, a smart phone, may seem very rudimentary, but they have all the necessary tools to perform specialized tasks very specific.

There is no specific type of objects connected to the internet of things . Instead, they can be classified as objects that function as sensors and objects that perform active actions. Of course, there are those that fulfill both functions simultaneously.

In any case, the principle is the same and the key is remote operation. Each of the objects connected to the Internet has a specific IP and through that IP can be accessed to receive instructions. Also, you can contact an external server and send the data you collect.

When will he be among us?

discover internet of things

One of the most common questions with the Internet of things is when it will finally be in our lives. The answer is that it has been for some months now.

Unlike some technologies much more popular among the masses, the internet of things has not found its focus of explosion in the consumer market. Perhaps the technology is still too green, or perhaps the sector’s big ones have not seen the right opportunity to pounce on. Still we have seen how Apple and Google have taken some discreet steps with technologies such as Home Kit and Android @ Home .

Anyway, it’s the private sector where the internet of things is becoming increasingly popular.

The mass production industry: the machinery that is in charge of controlling the manufacturing processes, assembling robots, temperature sensors, production control, everything is connected to the Internet in more and more companies which allows to centralize the control of the infrastructure.

Control of urban infrastructure: control of traffic lights, bridges, train tracks, urban cameras. More and more cities are implementing this type of infrastructure based on the internet of things that allows monitoring the proper functioning of their structures as well as adapting their operation more flexibly to new events.

Environmental control: one of the areas in which the internet of things is having more success, since it allows practically any information from atmospheric, meteorological, and seismic sensors to be accessed from virtually anywhere.

Health sector: more and more clinics and hospitals around the world rely on systems that allow health personnel to actively monitor patients in an ambulatory and non-invasive manner.

There are also applications of the Internet of Things for transportation, the energy industry, and virtually all commercial sectors. As we have said, the big slope is the consumer market, or what is the same, homes, a place that is probably a matter of time before we see the great explosion of the IoT.

How the internet service works

Internet of things and how does it work

The internet network has two main components:

Hardware: would be the “physical” component of the Internet, and includes all the devices that make up the network of networks: devices that can be divided into three main categories:

  • Final points: computers, smartphones and in general any device with which the user can surf the Internet.
  • Servers: the machines that store the information we search on the Internet.
  • Transmission lines: can be physical, as in the case of cables and optical fibers, or can be wireless signals from satellites, cell phones or 4G towers or radios.

Protocols: are sets of rules that machines follow to complete various tasks. Without a common set of protocols, communication between all the machines that make up the internet would be completely impossible.

Types of protocols

Two of the most important protocols are the transmission control protocol (TCP) and the Internet protocol (IP). They are usually named together as TCP / IP protocol. At its most basic level, these protocols establish the rules on how information passes through the Internet.

The TCP protocol allows two machines that are communicated to control the status of the transmission. For its part, every device connected to the Internet has an IP address. This is how one machine can find another through the massive network.

The websites that you visit have your IP address, however, for Internet users it would be difficult to remember (an IP is a series of numbers). That is why each website has a domain name associated with its IP, which is the one used to access it through browsers.

How information travels on the Internet

discover internet of things

When you type a web address in the browser, your computer sends an electronic request to your  Internet service provider (ISP) . The ISP routes the request to a domain name server (DNS) that will look for a match for the domain name you have entered (for example, clinic-cloud.com). If it finds a match, it will direct the request to the IP address of the appropriate server.

The request will finally arrive at a web server. The server will respond by sending the requested file (in this case a web page) in a series of packages. Packages are parts of a file that range between 1,000 and 1,500 bytes. The packages have headers and footers that tell the computers what is in the package and how the information fits with other packages to create a complete file.

When the packages arrive at your computer, it assembles them to create the page you see on the screen. As you may have seen, the whole process is a matter of microseconds.

Finally, the Internet of things is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that have unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data through a network , without require human-to-human or human-computer interactions.

One thing, in the internet of things, can be a person with a heart monitor implant, a farm animal with a biochem transponder, a car that has built-in sensors to alert the driver when the tire pressure is low , or any other natural or artificial object to which an IP address can be assigned and give it the ability to transfer data through a network.

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