To assist existing buildings, homes, spaces with intelligent controls, enhanced security and preventive maintenance programs (just to name a few), many are turning to the Internet of Things as a solution. IoT is made of up three main components: Hardware, Middleware and Presentation (Domdouzis, Kumar et al. 2007). The hardware is made up of sensors and actuators. The middleware is data storage and computing tools for data analytics. And, the presentation is the visualization and interpretation of the data through an online interface or web-based platform (Domdouzis, Kumar et al. 2007, Gubbi, Buyya et al. 2013).
The Hardware: The hardware communicates with the middleware through Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Wireless Sensor Network (WSN). RFID is a wireless sensor technology that reads or captures information stored on a tag (Gubbi, Buyya et al. 2013). A RFID system includes three components: an antenna, a transceiver and transponder (Domdouzis, Kumar et al. 2007). Applications of RFID can range from supply chain visibility to item level inventory to race timing. A WSN is a network made up of sensor-equipped devices that use sensors to monitor the physical and environmental conditions (Lee and Lee 2015). WSN can communicate with RFID systems for better tracking on location, movement and temperature (Lee and Lee 2015). For more check it out here:
The Middleware: The middleware is the software application that allows software developers to connect the hardware and the presentation interface together (Lee and Lee 2015). This particular component of IoT allows software developers ease of access to all hardware, conduct cloud computing or data analytics of the raw data acquired through the hardware prior to providing relevant information through the presentation interface. (Gubbi, Buyya et al. 2013, Lee and Lee 2015).
The Presentation: The most important component of IoT is visualization of the data acquired and the analytics computed. This information, through the use of visually appealing graphics, can be presented through multiple means to an audience such as an online interface or a web-based platform (Gubbi, Buyya et al. 2013).
As IoT is becoming an integral part of daily life, there is an emergence of various technology based services within the market place. The hardware component service is available through Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) providers; the middleware component for raw data computing and analytics is now available through Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) providers; and the presentation component for visualizing is available through Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) providers (Domdouzis, Kumar et al. 2007, Gubbi, Buyya et al. 2013, Lee and Lee 2015).
Figure 1: Components of Internet of Things as a Service
Domdouzis, K., et al. (2007). "Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) applications: A brief introduction." Advanced Engineering Informatics21(4): 350-355.
Gubbi, J., et al. (2013). "Internet of Things (IoT): A vision, architectural elements, and future directions." Future Generation Computer Systems29(7): 1645-1660.
Lee, I. and K. Lee (2015). "The Internet of Things (IoT): Applications, investments, and challenges for enterprises." Business Horizons 58(4): 431-440.