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Internet of Things

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(Angel Island State Park, San Francisco/Bay Area, U.S.A. - Jeffrey M. Wang)


[Cisco]: The Internet of Things (IoT) can be defined as "a pervasive and ubiquitous network which enables monitoring and control of the physical environment by collecting, processing, and analyzing the data generated by sensors or smart objects."

In reality, Machine-to-Machine (M2M) can be viewed as a subset of the IoT. The IoT includes Machine-to-Human communication (M2H), Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Location-Based Services (LBS), Lab-on-a-Chip (LOC) sensors, Augmented Reality (AR), robotics and vehicle telematics. Many of these technologies are the result of developments in military and industrial supply chain applications; their common feature is to combine embedded sensory objects with communication intelligence, running data over a mix of wired and wireless networks.


Embedded and Distributed Intelligence Capability


The capability of embedded and distributed intelligence in the network is a core architectural component of the IoT for three main reasons:

  • Data Collection: Centralized data collection and smart object management do not provide the scalability required by the Internet. For example, managing several million sensors and actuators in a Smart Grid network cannot efficiently be done using a centralized approach.
  • Network Resource Preservation: Because network bandwidth may be scarce and collecting environmental data from a central point in the network unavoidably leads to using a large amount of the network capacity.
  • Closed Loop Functioning: For some use cases, the IoT requires reduced reaction times. For instance, sending an alarm via multiple hops from a sensor to a centralized system (which runs analytics) before sending an order to an actuator would entail unacceptable delays.

This distributed intelligence capability is known as Fog Computing, an architecture specifically designed to process data and events from IoT devices closer to the source as opposed to a central data center (also known as "Cloud"). In summary, Fog Computing is an expansion of the cloud paradigm. It is similar to cloud computing but closer to the ground. The Fog Computing architecture extends the cloud out into the physical world of things.


Pervasive Computing


Pervasive computing (also called ubiquitous computing) (means "existing anytime and everywhere") is the growing trend towards embedding microprocessors in everyday objects so they can communicate information. Pervasive computing devices are completely connected and constantly available. Pervasive computing relies on the convergence of Internet, advanced middleware, operating system, mobile code, sensors, microprocessors, new I/O and user interfaces, networks, mobile protocols, location and positioning and new materials.



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