IoT Overview

Internet of Things (IoT)




IoT stands for “Internet of Things”, it is a type of network where information transmitting equipment such as RFID technology, wireless communications, real-time localisation, and sensor networks links any physical objects to the internet to perform information exchange. It creates a world where physical objects are seamlessly integrated into the information network and become active participants in business processes. With a series of steps of managing, sharing and processing, such networking of interconnected objects can bring IoT into commercial use globally. As addressed by Premier Wen Jiabao, IoT will be an area with massive growth potential.

One of the key technologies in IoT is the RFID system and the enablers are physical objects, RFID or sensors, and information network such as internet or any kind of web services. Linked with wireless connection, data management technique and middleware, together with numerous RFID tags and readers, IoT deploying RFID technology is set to be a more powerful development than the Internet. The exciting feature of IoT is that it allows objects to communicate with each other. Objects’ data captured on RFID tag will go through automatic and real-time identification; as the data carries interactive information, any physical objects with RFID tags become active participants in business and information processes, where exchanging data including their identities, physical properties and information ‘sensed’ about their environment can be taken place, therefore interlinking the physical world and cyberspace. Through network transmission by realising intelligent recognition, positioning, tracking, surveillance and management, the automation of the work flow can be accomplished in any business process and supported in a wide range of activities. An invisible infrastructure will be created by IoT that serves the society and our information and decision-making needs in a more adaptive and dynamic ways.

Characteristics of IoT:
Autonomous process
Business process improvement
Participants forming a closed loop environment
When IoT becomes available, a wide range of applications could be developed, especially in the areas of transportation, environment, government organisations, global security, home safety, energy efficiency, industrial supervision and healthcare. IoT will not only make business progress more efficient with higher degree of productivity, other benefits include increasing efficiency in material handling and general logistics, warehousing, product tracking, data management, reducing production and handling costs, speeding the flow of assets, addressing counterfeiting, eliminating errors in manufacture, immediate recall of defective products, more efficient recycling and waste management, improved security of prescription medicine, and improved food safety and quality.Besides, smart technologies equipped with IoT such as robotics and wearable computing can enable everyday objects to become “things that think and communicate”, for example, a car tyre could warn if its pressure were too low, or if the road were icy. An example of home settings is illustrated as below:
1) Refrigerator detects empty bottle of milk
2) Send notification to owner’s mobile phone and grocery store
3) Owner starts the car when leaving the office, the car key is RFID tagged
4) Owner’s car communicates with owner’s mobile phone which notifies grocery store
5) Grocery store notifies the time of owner’s arrival and prepares the milk for pick up.