Communication Trends in Internet of Things

Communication Trends in Internet of Things

Bharathi N. Gopalsamy (Saveetha University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3686-4.ch014
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The central hypothesis of Internet of Things is the term “connectivity”. The IoT devices are connected to the Internet through a wide variety of communication technologies. This chapter explains the various technologies involved in IoT connectivity. The diversity in communication raises the query of which one to choose for the proposed application. The key objective of the application needs to be defined very clearly. The application features such as the power requirement, data size, storage, security and battery life highly influence the decision of selecting one or more communication technology. Near Field Communication is a good choice for short-range communication, whereas Wi-Fi can be opted for a larger range of coverage. Though Bluetooth is required for higher data rate, it is power hungry, but ZigBee is suitable for low power devices. There involves always the tradeoff between the technologies and the requirements. This chapter emphasizes that the goal of the application required to be more precise to decide the winner of the IoT connectivity technology that suits for it.
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The portrayal of Internet of things(IoT) becomes the Internet of Everything which includes public individuals, locations under monitoring, electronic gadgets, medical devices and the list is ever increasing. The notion of Internet of Things is conceived by Kevin Ashton who is one of the pioneer and executive director of the Auto-ID Center at MIT and the vision in a RFID journal in 1999 on IoT as “We need to empower computers with their own means of gathering information, so they can see, hear and smell the world for themselves, in all its random glory. RFID and sensor technology enable computers to observe, identify and understand the world without the limitations of human-entered data”. The IoT has started to reside its foot prints in almost all domains (Selecting a Wireless Technology for New Industrial Internet of Things Products 2016). The IoT analytics has released the top ten IoT applications which are ranked based on people search and talk on Internet and social network. The list has its top ranker as smart home followed by wearables, smart city, smart grids, industrial Internet, connected cars, connected health, smart retail, smart supply chain and smart farming. The two key concepts that forms the backbone of IoT are the smartness and connectivity. Although a device works in a more smarter way, it relies on the strength of the communication technology to reach the rest of the world.

The Internet of things emerges the communication between living things and inanimate to sight this world as completely connected ecosystem in which anyone can access anything from anywhere through any device at any time. The vision of RFID community on IoT as “The worldwide network of interconnected objects uniquely addressable based on standard communication protocols”. The definition of IoT European Research Cluster is “The Internet of Things allows people and things to be connected anytime, anyplace, with anything and anyone, ideally using any path/network, and any service”. The impression of the International Telecommunication Union on IoT is “From anytime, anyplace connectivity for anyone, we will now have connectivity for anything”. Essentially any object which is monitored using sensor and controlled through Internet connectivity is a part of IoT. The communication technology roadmap as shown in Figure 1, eventually influences the IoT domain. It starts its journey with host to host communication and matured as communication between hosts and world wide web, communication includes mobile phones, communication using social network with people involvement and finally communication reaches IoT which connects everything in this world.

Figure 1.

Communication technology roadmap inclined to IoT


The successive sections are elucidating the communication technologies that are competing to reach the peak of IoT market. The following communication technologies such as ZigBee, Thread, Sigfox, LoRa, Weightless, Bluetooth, Zwave, Near Field Communication (NFC), Cellular and Wi-Fi are discussed with its architecture and capabilities to support IoT (The Complete List Of Wireless IoT Network Protocols, February 08, 2016).. Finally, the top ten IOT application domains that are shortlisted by google based on the search by people are listed with their supporting communication technologies and its decision factors.

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