Investigations into the Internet of Things (IOT) technology
Internet of Things (IOT) refers to the network of physical objects provided with unique identifiers and accessible through the internet (Chaouchi, 2010; McEwen, 2013). The project relates to cloud computing where devices can access internet services from remote servers and remain connected to each other (Vermesan & Friess 2013). The objects can “sense and communicate”-transfer data over a network without human-to-computer or human-to-human interactions (Ning, 2012). Examples of “things” in IOT include a farm animal with a biochip, a car with some sensors that communicate to the owner about low tire pressure, a sensor on a chicken watering trough that alerts a farmer on their mobile phone when the water level drops below a certain point. IOT technologies are revolutionary, and when properly structured they portend to improve human life in a transformative way.
Background and problem statement
IOT dates back to the creation of the internet in the late 1980s. The technology gained recognition in 1999, when British technologist, Kevin Ashton-who helped to start Auto-ID center in Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)-coined the term “Internet of Things” (Steele, 2014). The internet had allowed people to share vast amounts of information across the world. However, the lack of wireless technologies limited the connection of things. People had to rely on wired connections through the Ethernet cords as they sought to communicate on the internet. Machine-to-Machine (M2M) interactions were extremely limited (Steele, 2014).
The advent of the Global Positioning Systems in 1998 followed by that of the invention of an internet-connected cell phone in 1999 and that of WiFi in 2000 signaled great progress in M2M interactions (Chaouchi, 2010; Evans, 2013). The last decade has seen an upsurge of wireless connections especially in the communications industry. These occurrences have aided the development of strong and reliable M2M platforms.
IOT brings about massive convenience –it can improve security, monitor systems, and reduce the need for close supervision by humans. Steele (2014) notes that in 2011, 50% of all internet connections or more than 15 billion connections were between things. In addition to these, there are more than 50-billion intermittent connections now. By the year 2020, the IOT field will have more than 20 billion connections and 200 billion intermittent connections! (Vermesan & Friess, 2013) In spite of the massive growth, IOT technologies and systems lack standards of practice, which has brought about security issues, lack of device compatibility, interoperability, and systematic scaling of the technologies (Chaouchi, 2010). Since more people will rely on IOT to keep track of businesses, systems and properties, it is imperative that this study addresses the loopholes in IOT technologies.
Current issues include lack of standards for communication whereby devices are only able to communicate to those of their brands which limits the usefulness of connected machines (Steele, 2014). For instance, the current sleeping monitors give results to the cell phones for users to analyze for themselves. Improvement of such a system to allow the monitors to give results to doctors or even alert the users of abnormal sleeping habits could increase the usefulness of the device. Progressively, the machine can also communicate with coffee machine (in case the system detects caffeine to hurt the user) or turn on or off thermostat, (in case the system detects temperature to have an adverse impact on the user’s sleeping habits) (Steele, 2014). The current state of device compatibility, system interoperability, as well as scalability and security impinges on the reliability of the systems and this hinders the realization of full benefits from IOT technologies.
The aim of this paper is to analyze the issues and common problems such as compatibility, interoperability, scalability, and security of IOT in order to ensure the reliability of IOT.
The objectives of this study are-
- Investigate the compatibility or the capability of IOT technologies to perform in harmony with other internet enabled things and devices.
- Investigate the interoperability in computing or the ability of IOT technologies to exchange and use information especially in a large, heterogeneous network made up of several local area networks.
- Investigate the scalability or the regulation, setting, measuring, or estimation of computing abilities according to some standard or rate.
- Investigate the security concerns associated with IOT technologies
- Recommend the ways of improving the compatibility, the interoperability, the scalability and the security of IOT technologies in order to improve the overall reliability of the revolutionary technology
The resources to be used in this study include textbooks on internet technologies, the internet, “Internet of Things” among other related topics from online libraries and the university library. The most critical books for the study will be-
- The Internet of Things: Connecting Objects by Hakima Chaouchi
- Designing the Internet of Things by Adrian McEwen and hakim Cassimally
Articles to be used will include:
- Internet of Things: Converging Technologies, for Smart Environments and Integrated Ecosystems by Dr. Ovidiu Vermesan and Dr. Peter Friess.
- The Internet of Things: How the Next Evolution of the Internet Is Changing Everything by Dave Evans-Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group
The most insightful website for this paper will be
Dylan Steele’s article titled a brief History and Future of the Internet of Things from http://www.startupsmart.com.au/technology/a-brief-history-and-future-of-the-internet-of-things/2014050912252.html
These among other relevant resources present great resources for use in this study
The overall deliverable of this study shall be a comprehensive study into ways of improving the overall reliability of IOT technologies. The specific deliverables are:
- A literature review that investigates each of the items stated in the objectives:-compatibility, scalability, interoperability and security of IOT technologies
- A methodology that addresses loopholes in compatibility, scalability, interoperability and security of IOT technologies
- A discussion on the suitability of the ways and means of securing IOT technologies while projecting the number of IOT connected devices to triple in the next ten years.
- A list of the appropriate steps or recommendations that stakeholders in IOT ought to take in order to ensure the reliability of the technology.
Vermesan O & Friess P 2013. Internet of Things: Converging Technologies, for Smart Environments and Integrated Ecosystems River Publishers
Evans D 2011. The Internet of Things: How the Next Evolution of the Internet Is Changing Everything by Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group. River publishers
Chaouchi, H 2010. The Internet of things: connecting objects to the web. London: ISTE ;.
McEwen, A. 2013. Designing the Internet of things. Chichester: Wiley.
Ning, H. 2012. Cyber-Physical-Social Based Security Architecture for Future Internet of Things. Advances in Internet of Things, 02(01), 1-7.
Steele, D. (2014, May 9). A brief history and future of the Internet of Things. Technology -. Retrieved September 30, 2014, from http://www.startupsmart.com.au/technology/a-brief-history-and-future-of-the-internet-of-things/2014050912252.html