Have you ever wished for things around you to act at your whim, or work the way you want without leaving your place to switch on the device?
Well, well!! I am quite sure we have all come across this situation wherein you are searching for your car keys, your phone charger, your AC or TV remote, and you wish if you could somehow ring them up as you would do in case your phone is lost. The good news is this is for real, and we have devices working the way we want even without being told.
Internet of Things or IoT is what is making all this happen. From smart appliances to smart security, smart meters to smart city technologies, IoT is revolutionizing the way the world works. We are in a hyper-connected world where things connect with each other with their, “smartness” and make life easy for us.
What is theInternet of Things (IoT)?
Before getting to this, let's make clear, what is implied by smart?
Smartness is often related to the ability to find correlations or patterns among the data you possess. Smartness has been appreciated, all throughout the ages. But the twenty-first century is taking a leap and incorporating smartness in the devices that surround us.
We are in the age of connected “smart homes,” a good example of IoT in action. Now it’s not just the humans doing the talking. The devices around us connect, talk, and make decisions making them smart and reliable.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical things with built-in sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of connecting & integrating data with other devices and systems over the internet. The IoT devices include personal computers, wearable technologies, vehicles to our quotidian household appliances. From ordinary household objects to sophisticated industrial tools, the Internet of Things has evolved due to the seamless convergence of the most advanced technologies which include real-time analytics, machine learning, commodity sensors, and embedded systems.
These famed IoT solutions are comprised of the following parts: devices, back-end services and the communication between the two. But the unsung heroes making all this possible is the APIs, which connect each other and make the smart work possible.
What is Azure IoT?
Among the multiple IoT providers including AWS, Google, and IBM, Azure Internet of Things is the second-largest IoT platform in terms of market share. Azure IoT ensures end-to-end data and device security, making it a reliable, yet feasible IoT solution vendor.
Azure IoT is nothing but a collection of Microsoft-managed cloud services that connect, monitor, and control billions of IoT assets. It is an ever-growing collection of integrated cloud services, used to build, deploy and manage applications through a global network of data centers, by developers or IT professionals.
Azure IoT enables highly secure and reliable communication between the IoT device and application, while the Azure IoT Hub dispenses a cloud-hosted backend solution that connects virtually any device. It sets up a security-enhanced communication channel, with per-device authentication, along with built-in device management, simplified IoT application development and scaled provisioning to add to the list.
We are now surrounded by consumer, enterprise, and even
industrial Azure IoT devices that interact and transfer data amongst them and
bring responsible and intelligent decisions to fruition.
Azure IoT Components
There is an entire range of IoT services in Azure. It includes both PaaS and SaaS services. The range of IoT services are as listed below:
Azure IoT Central is a SaaS solution which races your entry to the IoT world and simplifies the making of IoT solutions. This cuts down the cost of IoT management, operations, and development. With IoT Central, you select a template that fits your device and develops and test a basic IoT Central application that the operators of the device will use.
This is the best fit for organizations starting off their IoT journey, having fewer device models, more predictable scenarios, and limited IoT capabilities.
Azure IoT Solution
Azure IoT Solution Accelerators are customizable PaaS solutions that could be used to accelerate your development of an IoT solution. You start with what is provided which you could accelerate and customize based on your requirements.
This service connects your devices to the IoT Hub, which controls and regulates billions of IoT devices, useful in case of bi-directional communication between your IoT devices and your back end. The hub enables seamless communication and integration of data, creating a reliable flow of information and bringing about informed decisions.
This Microsoft Azure service enables data visualization by creating comprehensive models of the surroundings. It records the relationships and interactions between people, spaces, and devices and acts according to the need. For instance, with connected homes, your arrival back home by car sends out instructions to adjust the room temperature and lighting, keeping in mind the climate, and other factors.
Azure Time Series Insights:
This Azure IoT service uses IoT analytics capabilities to use real-time insights to drive operational intelligence. Time Series Insights improves decision-making based on real-time data delivered through visualization and interactive analytics.
The hyper-connected world invites vulnerability. This calls out the need to secure these IoT connected organizations, to protect data, privacy, physical safety, and infrastructure. Azure Sphere is a comprehensive IoT security solution for hardware, OS, and cloud which works by setting up individual identities and credentials for each connected device to retain the confidentiality of both cloud-to-device and device-to-cloud messages.
Using geospatial APIs, Azure Maps enables the sharing of geographical information to the web and mobile applications. This IoT service uses geospatial data with built-in location to deliver seamless experiences.
Azure IoT & the Future
Gartner statistics unfurls the truth in numbers. It says we are surrounded by an enormous 7 billion connected IoT devices as of now which will grow to a humongous 10 billion by 2020 and 22 billion by 2025.
The growing market reach of Azure IoT is bringing IoT to healthcare,
manufacturing, automotive and retail, and enabling them to make smart decisions.
Organizations are using Azure IoT to improve productivity and making use
of AI and machine learning to quickly process large amounts of data and bring
about intelligent decisions from all kinds of IoT devices.
With ever-increasing data surrounding us and influencing our decisions, Microsoft Azure IoT with its cloud computing and data analytics feature stands key to the future. Azure IoT offers all devices, tools, data analytics, and security capabilities, needed for you, irrespective of the industry to achieve your IoT goals. Being flexible, intelligent and trusted, Azure IoT will soon take over the IoT market.
Sumesh P U
Sumesh is the Lead developer at Ignitho Technologies, nearing a decade of experience in web app development. His logical thinking and problem-solving skills have been key to his career growth. His technical skills underlying his expertise include .NET, Angular and MS SQL. To add to this he has significant technical knowledge regarding IoT, with an urge to stay abreast of all latest technological advancements.
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