What Exactly Is The Internet of Things #IoT?
What is the Internet of things?
Well, it’s been difficult to explain for most people. But the way I like to explain it, is to imagine that we’re really just talking about the world thats already around you. We’re talking about it in a way where things can now interact with each other when they weren’t able to before.
You can imagine that the machines around us used to be infants. They are just learning to speak a language that we can all understand. Right now they speak a language that their parents understand, but thats about it. So now that they can speak to more than just the system that they were designed to work with, we’ve been able to allow them to connect to the “Internet”. Yes, the same internet that provides most of us with with the way that we communicate on a day-to-day basis. Whether that is Facebook or Email or iMessage or What’sApp you’ve communicated through it’s generally gonna end up being pushed over the Internet. Even if the message itself is not pushed over the Internet to be stored somewhere on the Internet so truthfully this Internet is what allows all of us to communicate and now these machines, sensors, lightbulbs garage doors, thermostats, door locks and others, all thinking “I’ll talk to the network as well”. Since they can talk to the network now we can talk, all at the same time, like having a group chat or having a conference call.
A conference call usually waits for the “organizer” to arrive before beginning and allowing everyone else to join. At Which point the organizer kicks off the meeting and all the attendees give their reports. Each Meeting usually has a specific agenda, and only the people concerned attend the meeting. The Internet of Things in this case, would be like the attendees of a meeting, and you are the “organizer”.
In the case that your meeting topic is “Arriving Home Now” the things that will need to be in attendance are your
Home – connected gateway (the computer listening for the start of a meeting)
Home – connected garage door
Home – connected door lock (the one in the garage)
Home – connected thermostat
Home – connected speakers
Home – connected power outlets
Home – connected lights
In the case that your meeting topic is “Arriving At Work Now” the things that will need to be in attendance are your
Office – connected gateway (the computer listening for the start of a meeting)
Office – connected door lock (the one in your office)
Office – connected power outlets
Office – connected lights
In the case that your meeting topic is “Mentioned in Twitter Post” the things that will need to be in attendance are your
Home – Connected Lights
Office – Connected Lights
Office – Email Account
Personal – CellPhone
Web Service – Twitter Account
Web Service – Sentiment Analysis
There are number of different ways that we can use these text technologies to increase how we interact to the efficiency in which we interact with the world around us. Thats a super techie way to say: The Internet of Things should be used to to make our life more enjoyable. In my opinion it should also be to use the technology around us, or rather interact with the technology around us, in a way that’s more seamless and doesn’t require us to focus so much on the use of the technology.
The barrier to entry today for technologists is the fact that you need understand how systems or devices communicate with one another. Whether that’s over the web, or building app, or whether it’s been machine communications. If you were building an embedded system (fancy way of saying: if you put a microprocessor into normal everyday things – vending machine, dishwasher, etc…) there’s been a barrier to entry that required a LOT of learning. Now that these devices can speak to the network directly we can use tools like Octoblu to have drag-and-drop control over how these connected things talk to one another. This ultimately means that we don’t need to understand the machine at all in order to maximize the full use of what the developers gave us.
Now its easy to connect your washing machine to a moisture sensor in the bathroom. If you say wanted to make sure that your washing machine was not running while your shower was you could put a sensor on the door so that while the bathroom was humid, the washing machine would not run. Or, better yet, the washing machine would not run hot so if you’re running a cold load it could continue.
That’s just a very very basic simple implementation that adds a lot of value to many homes.
Now that you know little bit about the Internet of things we can start to talk about why a service like Octoblu the so incredibly important for anyone who doesn’t know how to make a washing machine talk to dishwasher. Machine to Machine communication is not exactly the easiest thing to go learn, or event the sexiest topic, so when the service like Octoblu pops up it becomes extremely important for people to understand the value in order for them to really get everything out of it.
In our case Octoblu is capable of doing almost anything that we want. You can think of it as universal translator between devices. If I were to go to any country that didn’t speak English, a translator would do me a good service. In this case we don’t speak the languages computers and washing machines speak.
They speak stuff called MQTT or CoAP and humans don’t speak those languages. Octoblu is a translator between the languages that machines speak & the languages that we speak. The Octoblu team built some tools so that we can manipulate what they machines say. We know that we want those devices and machines to talk to each other in addition to allowing us humans to talk to them. Octoblu also lets us translate what they say to each other.
If we know that we want to use a WiThings body weight scale and use that to trigger a sensor or door that opens to deliver treat, we can instruct those two things that don’t talk to each other how to communicate.
We could take it one step further to say if the readings of the scale are above a specific weight, send a link to the personal trainer, and get them to schedule an apt, and email us the time /place.