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Iot Platforms- The Seat ofThe Interconnected World


ith technological advancement, our machines get smarter and more efficient. The world is getting transformed with new ideas and innovations springing to life from all corners of the world,with the help of internet. Connectivity has reached a new height. More and more devices are connected to each other with an easy access to collection and exchange of data. 


Generally we relate being connected in terms of laptops, smartphones, or tablets. The concept of Internet of Thingsbroadens the scope to every physical object around us.  Very loosely and broadly speaking, Internet of Things (IoT)refers to connecting everyday physicalthings to the internet and reaping the benefits. These “things” are embedded with software, sensors, and network connectivity that makes the collection and exchange of data possible. The things should be able to identify themselves to the other things. TheInternetof Things andIoTcan be used interchangeably

The Internet of Things (IoT)

On a technical level, the Internet of Thingsis a network of interconnected devices and objects (or things) that can exchange data over a network without any human to machine ormachine to machine (m2m)interaction. The devices may be mechanical or digital. The objects include animals and people who are connected with unique identifiers to transfer data over the network. The concept aims to automate everything from home appliances to large factories.

All things or devices that are connected to the internet are either able to collect, store, and transfer information or they receive information and respond by taking an action. Some devices may be able to do both.IoTis a network of devices and things that are embedded with sensors, software, and electronics for an easy exchange of data and information.

The British entrepreneur Kevin Ashton is said to have coined the termInternetof Thingsin the year 1999, though the concept had been there much longer. He realized that we were increasingly extending the internet to accommodate more and more things and thus came up with the term Internet of Things. Twenty years later, using this concept, we have entered an age of very

advanced connectivity of networks, devices, and systems. By 2020, there areexpected to be over 20 billion connected devices.

How Does IoT Work

The concept ofIoT can be applied from vending machines to vehicles to ATMs and even homes. Anything that can house a sensor or control technology can be connected to a wireless network. IoT refers to wireless communication whereas m2mis communication between any two machines, wired or wireless. All businesses realize the importance of machine to machine (m2m) communication. The main purpose of machine to machine technology is to access data from a sensor and transmit it to a network. This enables the system to monitor itself and automatically respond to any changes in the environment. The process allows an intervention by a human or any control device to assess the data and direct the system to take an appropriate action.

Internet of Things Platforms

When an application is developed, it is the platform that enables us to deploy and run the application. IoT platforms is a complete suite of services that facilitates services like development, deployment, maintenance, analysis as well as intelligent decision making capabilities to IoT application.
 A platform could be hardware above which operating system can reside, creating necessary execution environment for the applications to work. IoT platforms provide a comprehensive set of application independent functionalities which can be used to build IoT applications.

IoT platforms can be classified into four main categories:

·         Device centric IoT Platforms

These platforms are developed as hardware specific software platforms. They are promoted by companies that commercialize IoT devices and components and have a software backend often called the IoT platform. These backends serve as implementation sites for easy development of IoT solutions.

·         Connectivity centric IoT platforms

These platforms address the connectivity of connected IoT devices via the communication networks. Connectivity based platforms focus on providing innovative solutions for product manufacturers, which they can incorporate in their products and make them connected.

·         Cloud centric IoT platforms

These platforms are promoted by large cloud service providers with an aim to extend their cloud business into IoT. They offer various solutions such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) backend that provide hosting space and processing power for applications and services. The backend is optimized for other applications that are updated and integrated into IoT platforms.

·         Industrial centric IoT platforms

These platforms focus on addressing the challenges of industrial IoT and integrate extensive features as compared to consumer and business IoT solutions. The Industrial IoT platforms are driven by the large manufacturing companies. IoT connectivity extends to machines, sensors, devices, and processes in the industrial sectors. Increased efficiencies and better utilization of resources are the driving forces for adopting IoT models.


Conclusion

The endless possibilities ofIoT inventions are changing the world at its root.The Internet of Things have profoundly changed the way we live, communicate and work. The technological advancement in the Iot andm2m space holds out promise of managing our devices more effectively and productively. We are able to make better informed and timely decisions based on our continuous stream of data collected from our connected devices. Businesses can gain insights from the exchange of data and improve their responses to customers as well as make their procedures more cost effective.
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