The modern world will never be the same. It was divided into the Internet of people and Internet of things. This trend of the new Millennium, is the fourth industrial revolution — a total introduction of cyber technologies in all spheres of life. And Internet of Things (IoT) is one of its flagships. Toothbrush, coffee maker and refrigerator, shops, transport and urban systems, industrial enterprises and housing — literally everything closes on the Network and working through it. But the expansion of the Internet of things has just begun.

Its essence is that any device (be it basic household appliances or factory complex technology) work, communicate among themselves with minimum human involvement, and even without it. Thus embodied the most daring fantasies and predictions of writers and scientists of the past centuries. And current fantasies also no limits — almost everything can be connected to the Network. Only three obstacles stand in the way of creation “the universal mind of things”: the lack of efficiency of batteries, the lack of common communication standard and implementation Protocol of the 5G standard. But it is.

Ubiquitous IoT
“The Internet of things through technology. It’s not just the sensors, methods of data transmission and data processing. It all together, plus the need to make a decision. The sensors collect information, transmit it to the software platform where it is processed and then made some decisions in the form of technical or managerial action”. So in simple words explained the “Profile” the essence of technology Deputy head of competence Center Internet of things, SKOLKOVO Institute of science and technology Victor Lobachev.

In most cases, the layman does not even suspect that faced with the Internet of things. For him, the most obvious example is the system of smart home which combines sensors and electronics for comfortable daily life. For example, a smart thermometer depending on the temperature gives the command to turn on and off the air conditioner, the same with humidification. Modern smoke detectors are able to not just set the alarm, but also send notification to the user and to call the rescue service — all in automatic mode. A smart water meter is theoretically able to send readings.

Smart home technology today, working on the biggest technical companies in the world. Apple brings together several dozen devices from third-party manufacturers in the system HomeKit. Google focused on multimedia content, and unites into a single network of computers, mobile devices, televisions and music speakers. The Chinese company Xiaomi, step by step, make smart whole house: the range of a toothbrush and the toilet seat. However, while they are not connected to the Internet, is the next step. In 2018 the Russian market of the smart home went “Yandex” multimedia device “Station” voice assistant “Alice”. And in 2019, the company introduced a smart outlet, light bulb and a remote control for air conditioners.

Slowly but surely the IoT enters the large towns, forming the environment of smart cities. The essence is the same: the sensors and devices are combined in the digital clusters only at the city level. The inhabitants of the planet can already see some of the projects created on the basis of the Internet of things. In the USA, Finland, Australia and other countries over the last two years running commercial services for the delivery of goods using drones. The user can only track the delivery through the app. Company StreetLine has developed the concept of smart Parking, in which sensors constantly monitor the number of cars, the presence and availability of vacant seats. In Russia in the test mode, running the application “Supertech”, which in the future will allow customers with a smartphone to self-scan barcodes and then pay for the goods by credit card.

One of the main prospects of IoT in cities is transport. Now the user with the app can order a taxi and track the ride or find a car service car sharing. Google and Yandex is testing unmanned vehicles on the roads therefore the United States and Russia. According to rumors, they were to join Apple. In many cities (Dubai, Copenhagen, Madrid) was running an automatic subway trains, and the company Ilona Mask Boring Company in 2018, showed the first tunnel for automatic transportation vehicles. Such systems are also included in the Internet of things, but an ordinary citizen about this may not know.

Smart homes now few people are surprised, these technologies have taken root. On stage — smart cities, their construction is already underway around the world

Stanislav Krasilnikov / TASS

The concept of smart city sensors, which analyze traffic flow, level of illumination depending on the weather and time of day, level of contamination, etc. Software and service companies collects data, processes them, and depending on the result may, for example, to adjust work of traffic lights (to reduce traffic), the degree of illumination of the streets (to save power). Yandex, in particular, collects data on the number of enabled mobile devices on the road and forms the current situation of traffic jams, and smart algorithms offer drivers the fastest routes.

The most widespread to date, the Internet of things got in the industry. According to Strategy Analytics, McKinsey Global Institute and other companies, 40.2% of all IoT devices have on business and production, to 30.3% for medicine, 8.3 per cent on retail. It is in these segments is used by most RFID tags, robots and algorithms that allow to optimize production and logistics, to reduce human effort.

“The most significant example is medicine, explains the relevance of IoT-technologies Lobachev. — There is a lot of data: ECG, pulse, temperature, complaints of the patients medical history. All this is going with the help of sensors, something pokachivaetsya from the database. It remains only to make a diagnosis and prescribe treatment. In the future, this method may be more effective because of the lack of human factor”.

The drone of the highway…

AFP / East News

One giant brain

The concept of a wireless network connecting people and devices across the Land, anticipated the even the scientist-inventor, physicist and engineer Nikola Tesla. In an interview with Colliers magazine, published in January 1926, a scientist described a fantastic time by the standards of the picture. “When wireless technology will be used as efficiently as possible, the Earth will turn into one giant brain. (…) We will be able to communicate with each other in real time regardless of distance. (…) The tools with which we will be able to do this will be amazingly simple compared with the phone and will fit in a waistcoat pocket”. Thus, Tesla predicted the development of the Internet, smartphone and Internet of things.

…delivery using drones — the smart thing to gradually replace not only old technology, but also the person. But this is only the beginning of global expansion of the Internet of Things

Imaginechina / AFP / East News

Be the first IoT was the toaster. In 1990, John Romka, one of the developers of TCP/IP (which is the basis of the Internet), connect the appliance to the Network on a dare. Via the Internet to the toaster could only supply power until the signal goes, toast, fried.

The concept and term was defined in 1999 by software engineer Kevin Ashton at mit. In a presentation titled “the Internet of things,” he called the main feature of that system — the presence of radio frequency identification tags (RFID). Later in the same year Ashton founded the Center for automatic identification (Auto-ID Center), where he developed various types of such labels. The most primitive were only allowed to read data at distance, and the complex was equipped with its own memory, sensors, batteries.

The year 2008 marked a symbolic milestone: the number of Internet-connected devices exceeded the world population — 6.8 billion at the time. The list includes not only the objects of the Internet of things as such, but in General all network-connected electronics, including computers, mobile phones and smartphones.

Today, the industry is actively growing. According to research by Strategy Analytics, in 2015, IOT devices in the world, there were 15 billion by the end of 2018, their number almost doubled to 28 billion In the company’s forecast, in 2025 the figure will reach 38,6 billion and 50‑billion dollar mark will be broken in 2030. According to the service Statista, the global market for IoT in 2018 amounted to $164 billion, and by 2025 it will grow 10 times to $1.6 trillion. A study by McKinsey Global Institute is even more optimistic: from $4 trillion to 11 trillion in 2025. IDC Russia reports that in 2018, the volume of Russian IoT market reached $3,67 billion and its term to 2022‑mu $of 7.61 billion

Forecasts should be approached with great caution. Modern technology was too little developed in order to fully realize the full potential of IoT. Moreover, if there’s sufficient evolutionary time, which happens all the time, at least in one area will require its own technological revolution.

Electricity from the air

We are talking about batteries. The efficiency of modern lithium-ion and lithium-polymer battery is hardly enough for smartphones (requires charging once a day), laptops (1-2 times per day), electric cars (every 300-500 miles) and drones (every 20 minutes flight). This is a low autonomy, but the problem is solved with the help of portable batteries and charging stations: the main thing — do not forget to “feed” the device.

With the Internet of things is not so simple. Assume that in one network, such as smart home or city will be a huge number of objects. Keep an eye on them, but I can’t charge each — a big logistical challenge. Well, if the device is stationary and connected to the mains: it’s not always convenient, but not critical. For unmanned drones and vehicles to install the charging station. Will require investment in infrastructure and special software that will monitor the battery and regulate the charging process, but in General, too, nothing is impossible. For example, in Sweden in April 2018 was open test section of road 2 km long with rails for recharging electric cars on the go. One kilometer of such a road costs 1 million euros, which is 50 times cheaper strip Swedish tram line.

But when it comes to the really widespread introduction of IoT in aviation, selkhozpromexport, rescue services, etc. — the question of autonomy and energy rises acutely. A large number of devices and sensors will require a lot of energy, “to produce” which quickly and in the right amount or very difficult and expensive or even impossible. Engineers and scientists are working on solving the problem in two ways: increasing battery capacity and advanced ways of charging. For the most part, however, to no avail.

Current technology can only slightly increase the energy efficiency of the batteries, and experimental alternatives do not give the desired effect. The best hope the industry imposes on graphene: it is assumed that he will be able, among other things, form the basis of a thin, light and has superb battery. However, over the 15 years that have passed since first receiving this substance, to establish industrial production of high-quality graphene and failed.

In 2010 was announced the technology of producing electricity directly from radio waves. In the mid-2010s, there were rumors that large companies, including Apple’s present commercial devices that charge “Wi-Fi”, that is get energy from the loudspeaker at a distance of several dozen meters. This year, the company Spigen has promised to present the case for smartphones Cota Real Wireless Power that will allow you to obtain energy through the air at a distance of 10 m from the source. If the technology is working, in the long term this will solve the power problem for mobile devices, including IoT, once and for all. Meanwhile, scientists are working to maximize the sun’s energy, air, vibrations of the earth — everything that is available away from cities and large power networks.

For the effective operation of connected to the Network, many IoT devices need updated Internet. And the widespread adoption of a new Protocol, 5G is not far off

Mike Nelson / EPA / Vostock Photo

The tower of Babel IoT
Current wireless standards, enough for everyday tasks: chatting, watching video, working in the “cloud services”, etc. However, the IoT involves the rapid increase in the number of Internet-connected devices. Victor Lobachev says: “For active development of the Internet of things will need to implement the Protocol of the 5G standard will lead to far more effective to work with a large number of devices. This is already being done in the world.” Over the past year in the world was deployed a few test 5G networks, and one of the largest conferences on electronics, MWC Shanghai 2019, was almost completely devoted to new generation networks and applications for the Internet of things.

Alternatively, developing a standard LPWAN — variation of Wi-Fi technology, implying the direct interaction of the devices with the base station wide range. Unlike Wi-Fi (restricted to 100 m), LPWAN can provide coverage up to 15 km, and the advantage of the standard before cell towers — high efficiency (on the same batteries will work longer). However, developers have to solve the main problem — low throughput since large number of devices require a wide communication channel.

Since we are talking about devices manufactured by companies from different countries for the international market, automatically raises the question of the standard of communication between them. Devices Apple HomeKit, Xiaomi and “Yandex”, most likely, will not work together, and in one network of a smart home, not to mention interaction solutions to enterprises and medical institutions.

Companies such as Open Connectivity Foundation, the Internet Engineering Task Force, Zigbee Alliance, have their own standard protocols, but yet can not agree. In may 2019, the technical Committee “Cyber physical systems” at Rosstandart of the Russian Federation received the status of co-editor of the international standard ISO/IEC technologies of the Internet of things. On 24 June the Committee submitted a preliminary draft of national standards, until September, they are available for public comment, after which will be presented in ISO/IEC.

“There is also no qualitative decisions on the part of the platform, — complains Victor Lobachev. — When data is collected and processed, they need to apply. In production — to take specific management decisions in medicine to make diagnoses and prescribe treatment. Here from the point of view of the Internet of things full of action, there are partially implemented. However, developments in this direction are actively conducted.”

What dreams may come

Where will lead us the realization of the prophecies of Nikola Tesla about “stemna the brain” is impossible to predict. In addition to the introduction of the Internet of things in existing cities, a number of Arab and Asian countries plans to build the city, where all infrastructures will be combined into a single digital network. China alone is planning to build up to 500 of these policies. In 2017, the crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman has announced plans to build the city of Neom cost more than $500 billion, the first phase of construction expected to be completed in 2025. But while this is more fantastic projects than the reality of tomorrow.

The only thing by far, analysts agree: the market of the Internet of things will continue to grow. Only one mass launch of 5G networks in the coming years, significantly stimulates. But today, according to Aruba Networks and other companies, about 90% of all large enterprises in the world have implemented IoT solutions at least on a pilot level. In Russia, according to various estimates, the figure is around 70%, again with the prospect of growth.

In other words, the revolution revolution: turmoil will be exactly, and what will, only time will tell. On your smart watches.

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