IoT: What You Need To Know About The Internet of Things
Author: Julie Eriksen
5 min read
The Internet of Things is a cluster of interconnected physical devices communicating via the internet. The devices share and collect data with other devices, applications, and systems. Over 50 billion IoT devices are deployed today, and the number keeps growing. The benefits are wide-ranging, from getting your coffee ready in the morning to remote monitoring in the healthcare sector. Simuli can help you learn all about this as a student or hobbyist and set up your own projects.
Why does IoT matter?
“The Internet of Things (IoT) technologies are heavily interwoven within every-day present life and tomorrow will impact even more. Predicting the next global tendency but need in society is key to IoT development.” – GLOBAL VISION: IOT TODAY AND BEYOND, IOT WEEK 2022
Since the IoT technology facilitates revolutionizing how our society and world work, it is integrated continuously on bigger and smaller scales to improve processes in our daily lives. This is a fundamental shift in technological development and is also often described as the forerunner to the next industrial revolution, known as industry 4.0. Therefore, an increasing number of companies are realizing the potential business application, even though most IoT devices are consumer-based (such as Smart Lamps or Smart Home Control systems). The IoT technology allows for better communication and increased automation, which contributes to shaping how important projects and necessary infrastructure develops. Cities worldwide are turning to technology and advanced networks to create innovative city solutions that will help them manage resource constraints. As population and urbanization rise, the idea of living in a smart city is becoming more comfortable among people. Smart cities use IoT devices like connected sensors, lights, and meters to analyze data and improve infrastructure and public services. This is something that is becoming increasingly more ingrained in our society. In the office, on the other hand, IoT can automate access systems and facilities to keep costs down. The market and demand for such technologies will rise rapidly in the next few years, especially as more people become aware of its benefits for broader society.
How does it actually work?
IoT resources can often be rather technical and difficult to understand. Therefore many people do not know how an IoT system works. As previously mentioned, IoT consists of 4 different components:
- Sensors/Devices Sensors and devices collect data from their environment, for instance, from our phones, watches, and laptops. Multiple sensors can be bundled together, or they can be a part of a device that does more than just sensing.
Connectivity to cloud The next step is to send data to the cloud, which happens through various methods. For example, 5G, WiFi, Bluetooth, or internet connection via ethernet.
Data Processing The software performs data processing once it reaches the cloud. This could, for example, be computer vision on videos to identify objects, such as an intruder in the house.
User Interface In the last step, this information is made applicable to perform the necessary tasks, such as alerting the house-owners via, for instance, text or notifications.
However, this is all broken down into simple steps to give a short overview and explanation of the different stages in IoT technology. Some actions might be performed automatically rather than waiting for the end-user to adjust or affect the system. If user input is needed, or they want to adapt or check up on their IoT application, a user interface will allow them to do so.
How to set up your own IoT project
We are living in an increasingly connected world. The art of connecting a physical object to the Internet to collect and share data is becoming increasingly important. With Simuli, you can simulate an IoT project consisting of a microcontroller connected to the internet for the first time. All our components in our device library are modelled at a hardware level, offering one-to-one device-level emulation without any need for custom code.
Simuli aspires to be an all-inclusive hardware prototyping platform by providing an IoT lab right within your browser. We provide you with an online workspace that allows you to:
- Learn embedded programming and create embedded systems
- Build fully integrated projects using Raspberry Pi
- Rapidly prototype ideas from your browser
- Collaborate on projects with friends and students
In one of our Arduino projects, we created an online dashboard to report current temperature and humidity values gathered by the SHT21 sensor. In addition, the data will be plotted on a graph to understand trends in the real-time environmental and weather data collection. This project utilizes Arduino Uno, along with the SHT21 Temperature & Humidity sensor, to create a simple weather station that sends data to ThingSpeak over MQTT.
There is an increase in the need for Smart Home products that can be remotely controlled through our phones and other devices. Simuli allows you to create a basic Smart Home System that controls different appliances via an app. Real-time sensor readings are also available. This is possible through a LED connected to the STM32 to demonstrate how the project works. To connect the app to smart appliances, we use MQTT.
Waste management is a vital function of a smart city. Therefore, we offer the smart trash can project to deal with the issues of overloaded and leaking trash, especially in warm environments. Measuring empty space remains the most practical and effective way to measure the fill contents. This also simplifies the design because all the circuitry can be contained at the top of the bin. Simuli uses an emulated Raspberry Pi instance together with an HCSR04 Ultrasonic distance sensor to measure this.
So what are you waiting for? If this seems interesting to you, start experimenting and create unique projects! Check out the projects we have mentioned above, together with many more, at https://docs.simuli.co/.
We are excited to see what you make with Simuli! Show off your projects on social media with the hashtag #madeWithSimuli and stands a chance to win a few extra credits!