The Term and Understanding of Internet of Things

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The phrase Internet of Things (IoT) is a buzzing word in today's business world as it becomes the mandate for every industry to adopt it. IOT is defined as the system of interconnected physical objects like sensors, RFID and other electronic devices and devices that use wireless and wired networks to transfer data and perform operations. Most of the modern industries have developed an interest in the IOT since it has the potential to reduce costs and help to increase the efficiency to provide the best service to their customers.

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The term Internet of Things first came to attention in 1999 the MIT Auto-ID Center proposed the concept of IoT, that is, to all the objects, the information through the radio frequency identification sensing device connected to the internet, to managed and identified intelligently. Auto-ID centre launched their initial vision of the Electronic Product Code (EPC) network for automatically identifying and tracing the flow of goods in a supply chain in Chicago in September 2003. In November 2005, the 7th series of reports on the internet titled “Internet of Things” “Connecting everyday things embedded with electronics, software and sensors to the internet enabling them to collect and exchange data”. Was published by the international telecommunication union.(Press, Jun 18, 2014)

The idea of Internet of thigs (IOT) was introduced in 1999 from the material connected with ubiquitous sensors communicates with the computers to exchange the information/data flow. Slowly IOT started to develop and now we are in phase where not only a particular material but anything like people, data can be connected to sensors and networks based on the particular applications.

There are a lot of definitions for IOT. A recent definition of IoT by highlights the increasing variety of “things” being connected to the Internet: “consumer products, durable goods, cars and trucks, industrial and utility components, sensors, and other everyday objects are being combined with Internet connectivity and powerful data analytic capabilities that promise to transform the way we work, live and play.

Internet of Things is nothing but the combination of the smart systems like sensors and actuators through internet connectivity and enabling to communicate with each other to make a process more accurate easier and more effective. IOT becomes very useful in handling large amounts of data from the connected objects through sensing, actuation and making communications to make intelligent decisions for effective outcomes.

The end value of using the Internet of Things highly depends on the communication from the connected devices to creating the human value and making the world smarter. And the special part of the Internet of things is that they can be used in any of the industries and also on commercial terms. IOT is like hierarchy cloud-based storage of the data and the Industrial Internet of things (IoT which is used in Manufacturing) is a part of it. It is not possible to benefits from the IOT without the utilization of the Business Intelligence and data analytics techniques. And if you speak about the internet of things in general, we can classify them into 2 main categories based on applications through smart systems.

Consumer Internet of Things: This type of the internet of things deals with the commercial application like smart homes, smart parks etc. and their corresponding services.

Industrial Internet of Things: As name suggests, the IOT has also its wider range of applications in the production and the manufacturing and food industries to enable and undergo efficient businesses.

Internet of Things (IoT) is considered as one of the biggest trends which will be affecting the industrial business in future. Industries need to adapt themselves to the revolving technology to gain a competitive advantage over their competitors and in order to satisfy their customers. These technologies not only will help to increase the efficiency and the cost of the industry but also will help them in a wide range of the decision making in optimizing their processes.

Nowadays Internet of things is the important ongoing concept in various companies to improve the forms of communication. 30 years before it was like human to human communication but now it's completely changed. Every company using IOT not only for human interaction but also have objects or devices that are interacting. Because of this, things started communicating with themselves as well as with humans, which has led to a new pattern of communication: human-things, Things-things.

Technologies and Applications

The technologies that are used to obtain the required solutions are smart devices, wireless sensors (WSN), Near field communication (NFC), Radio protocols, Radiofrequency identifier (RFID), cloud computing with various forms and providers, Block chain, Cyber security, additive manufacturing and others. Internet of Things (IoT) has the wide range of applications such as Supply Chain, logistics, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing industries, smart cities, aerospace, agriculture and also food industries. The globally widespread wireless mediums are RFID, IEEE, Barcode&QR code, ZigBee, Sensors, Actuators and Bluetooth wearable.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

It is used to transmit data. They are having two types of tags, Active and Passive tags which are used to communicate with the RFID readers. It is smaller in size (chip) and deployment to any area irrespective of the environmental condition. Transport and logistics group make use of this RFID technology.[4] RFID technology is employed in many industries to perform tasks like inventory management, Asset tracking personal tracking, controlling access to restricted areas, ID badging, supply chain management, counterfeit prevention(In the pharmaceutical industry) (Woodford, 2018). There are three main types of RFID systems are there Low Frequency (LF) High Frequency(HF) and ultra-high frequency and one more is Microwave RFID is available. Frequencies vary greatly depends upon the region and country. RFID would simplify many activities that we do in our day to day life. (Rouse, 2017)


It is widely known as Wi-Fi. It’s wireless networking protocol that helps to communicate with the device without internet cords. (Pinola, 2018) Nowadays everyone in this world experiencing this technology It is now a default amenity available in every modern smartphone, Desktop, Laptop, Television etc. Simple and low cost installation and also for the maintenance of Wi-Fi devices have boosted their usage over the years. Nowadays it’s common to see a Wi-Fi network in public places, schools, colleges, hospitals etc.

Barcode & QR code

Nowadays you can see barcodes in the products we used to buy every day from grocery store and in the retail shops very often. It’s a symbol that attached to every object that could be read only through the barcode scanner. There is no technological difficulty in implementing or using the Barcode. Barcodes are relatively low cost product and easy to maintain and it helps to improve speed, efficiency and profitability. It is used most commonly in shipping to enable greater accuracy and improve the speed in getting packages delivered. An updated version of Barcode is the QR Code. To read the Barcode we need Barcode reader but in the QR Code, a mobile phone camera is enough to capture the information about the product. (Campbell, 2013)


It is a wireless technology which needs both hardware and software components. Nowadays you can see these features on all Smartphones, smart watches, phones, earphones, glass and shoes. It is kind of a master-slave relationship. For example, a phone and a wireless speaker get connected to one of the devices is the master and the other one is the slave. Master always sends information and slave listen to the information from the master(McClelland, 2017). It’s a low cost technology and it’s a short-range radio frequency we don’t need any data cables or wires to connect with each other. devices such as notebook PCs, handheld PCs, PDAs, cameras, and printers and effective range of 10 - 100 meters[5]. It is good for Industrial Internet of things(IIOT) For the Industrial purpose we don’t need higher bandwidth. It is also used for smart homes. The setup cost is too low when compared to Wi-Fi.(McClelland, IOT FOR ALL, 2017)


It is a low power version of Wi-Fi. It is a secure network connection with very long battery power backup power. One of the important features is the low cost it is cheaper than wifi and Bluetooth[4]. It’s a protocol enhancing the features of the wireless network. It is used in home automation, digital agriculture, industrial controls, medical monitoring and power systems and other low-power low-bandwidth needs. Industrial automation, healthcare, telecom, retail outlets etc are seeing tremendous growth in ZigBee. Zigbee-based IoT devices can communicate via line of sight at distances between 10 and 100 meters.

Actuators and Sensors

Actuators and sensors are devices which are used to interact with the physical world. These technologies collect a large amount of data, which can be very useful and valuable to an enterprise after it has been stored, organized, and process. The actuator is a device which is used to convert an electrical signal into a physical output. Actuators are used widely in Industrial and manufacturing applications. Three types of Actuators are in the markets which are very much in use today they are Electrical, Hydraulic and Pneumatic. Actuators are devices that are used to handle the physical environment, such as the temperature control valves used in smart homes. (Moné, 2018) In IoT sensors are the devices which are used to collect information. It is a device which converts a physical parameter to an electrical output. There are many different types of sensors. Flow sensors, temperature sensors, voltage sensors, humidity sensors, and the list goes on.(Little, 2017 )

NFC (Near Field Communication)

NFC means sending data over radio waves. It is a wireless data transfer method working without the need of Internet connection. This device transmits data at relatively low rates, resulting in reduced energy consumption. This device can transmit data within the range of typically less than 20 centimetres. It is easy to use and much convenient and can transfer small amounts of data between two devices. It can be transferred data when held a few centimetres from each other. It doesn’t require any paring code to join with another device because it uses a chip to run at low power. It is more efficient when compared to other wireless communication types. (Faulkner, 2017) It is faster than Bluetooth. It is used in smart business cards, to turn on the phone hotspot, smart direction, organize your notes and so on.

IOT in Supply chain

Supply Chain is all about how fast we move the information, materials and the status of the materials. The rapid advances in information technology (IT) have always resulted in innovation, such as the Internet especially in terms of its potential as a channel for collecting, transmitting, and storing information. The Internet is used as one of the important information flow bases in today’s Supply Chain. To make decisions promptly and to accelerate material flows via the integration and sharing of information flows and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of a supply chain execution. Internet of things (IOT) is the booming technology, which is transforming the supply chain into another level. The different definitions of the IoT have one thing in common: they all project the IoT as a revolution of the information and communications technology. It is important to recognize this aspect when exploring the implications of IoT for supply chains. The important role of information in the management of supply chains has been examined in the scholarly and practitioner-focused literature. From the supply chain management perspective, the IOT may allow machine-enabled decision making with minimum or no human intervention. It deals with integrating and enabling information communication technologies including RFID, wireless sensor networks, machine-to-machine systems, mobile apps, etc. Most of the companies want to make use of IOT because it reduces risk, improves the process quality and reduces cost due to the process transparency scalability, adaptability, and flexibility.

There are several types of IOT applications that are used in several sectors to improve the quality, efficiency and transparency of the supply chain. Exposes that the most important problem in the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain is the no- transparency with the information in the movement of the product from the manufacturers to the end-users, No transparency causes unwanted and some time creates a big issue. To avoid that, they propose the application of RFID and Internet of Things in supply chain information transmission.

Example: Monitoring the quality of the products in fresh agriculture and strict food security: The application of IOT allows getting the product information throughout the whole process involving raw materials supply, production, processing, circulation and sales. So the consumer can make use of this information and decide whether to buy products. In food supply chain we can see the real-time, accurate information sharing, which realize the intelligent recognition, location, tracking, monitoring and management for food can improve the efficiency of food supply chain and the degree of food safety.

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