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Pocket dictionary of IoT Technology: Industrial and Home Automation

The impact of IOT in the Automation Industry is profound.With internet of things the concept of connecting zillions of devices to a common network has become a reality. This has opened a Pandora box of opportunities for industries like Home Automation, Industrial Automation, Healthcare, Retail and more.

This dictionary is compiled with a motive of including the commonly used terminologies in IoT in a more comprehensive and understandable manner. If you are a product manager, software or hardware developer or just an IoT enthusiast, this dictionary will help you build a solid understanding of IoT technology.

Frequently Asked Question & Answers


What are Smart Devices?Smart devices are those which can connect to other devices or network of devices (generally a wireless one) for sharing data. They also provide the user with some extent of independent functioning and interactive ability.


What is an IOT Sensor?The electronic components whose input is a particular physical change in the environment like heat, movement, light and sound and output is a response or indication. Sensors are available both in wired and wireless modules.


What is an IoT Gateway?IoT Gateway is the network hardware system that interconnects two separate networks having different network protocols. IoT Gateway standardizes the mode of communication between the networks.


What is a Cloud Server?A cloud server is a space on the web where the data can be stored, computed and analyzed. In IoT ecosystem, cloud is an an integral part of the complete data processing and data analytics.


What is Real-time Analytics?The real-time analytics refers to the dynamic analysis of data which delivers an immediate response to the user after analyzing the data. It is based on the ability to use and analyze the data as soon as it enters the system (which is cloud, in-case of IoT).


What is IFTTP?‘If this then that’ is a logical looping process that helps the user interact with the devices through the UI in more productive manner. It is the predefined sets of condition based outcomes that the logic will produce.


What is Big Data?Big data refers to a voluminous and complex set of data which maybe structured, semi-structured or unstructured, that can be stored in a potential database for processing and analysis. Behavior analysis and Predictive analysis are some of the terminologies used to refer big data analytics.


What is Machine Learning in IoT?Machine learning is an advanced application of big data analytics. Here the algorithms take the data from the stored database and compute it in batches.

The algorithms also learn and alter according to the change in pattern of data. This kind of learning process of the system based on pattern recognition, without being programmed for a particular output is called machine learning.


What is Industrial IoT?The IIOT is the network of interconnected machines in factories or industries. Industrial IoT involves data storage and exchange of data via wired or wireless communication channels for remote access in automated industrial process.

IIoT leverages technologies like big data analytics and machine learning for pattern recognition and system learning.


What is Hadoop?To handle, manipulate and analyze huge terabytes of data, Hadoop is used as a programming framework. The data to be processed and analyzed is collected from the IoT sensors.


What is MQTT?The Message Queue Telemetry Transport is an ISO standard compliant messaging protocol for transferring the data to/from remote locations.


What is Predictive maintenance?The technique of predicting the vehicle or equipment failure that might occur on a definite timeline, using IoT sensors and cloud computing, is known as predictive maintenance.

It is a preventive service provided by the manufacturer for the ease of planned maintenance to be availed by the user before the actual breakdown or damage occurs.


What is Predix platform?Predix is a software platform which is a product of ‘General Electronics’. It works based on cloud technologies to acquire and analyze data for providing software as service towards intelligent and optimized working of the industrial control systems.


What is SCADA?The Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition is a framework for capturing data for analysis, remote monitoring and controlling of devices and systems. SCADA has an interactive UI for the user to exercise control, monitor and handle the process efficiently.

It helps in the building of an intelligent and proactive system/device maintenance and support.


What is Industry 4.0?It is a cumulative terminology used in a contest of ‘smart factories’. Generally used to describe automation and data communication in industrial processes which branches out to IoT and cloud computing.


What is Connected Car?It is a technologically upgraded car which is connected to the internet via a wireless channel which helps in surveillance and health check of the vehicle.


What is TCP/IP?Transmission protocol or Internet protocol is a set of communication protocols that connect the system/computer to the internet. It facilitates end-to-end data communication and also mapping of data through the network.


What is Zigbee?Zigbee is a set of modern wireless communication protocols used to create a secured wireless personal area networks (WPANs) which require less power and proximity for data communication.

Most reliable applications of Zigbee vary from home automation, traffic management, Industrial automation and many more.


What is Bluetooth 4.0 or BLE?Bluetooth low energy was first commercially launched as a primary connectivity feature of iPhone 4s. This wireless module is designed for smart devices to attain low power consumption and works for small range or PAN (personal area network) connectivity.

BLE are mostly used for health care devices like Blood glucose monitors


What is cloud computing?Cloud is a cluster of remote servers that can store and manage data instead of storing it in personal computers or hard disks which are vulnerable to permanent damage.

Cloud computing is a process of storage, manipulation, and analysis of the data in those remote servers. Cloud computing is ideal for big data analysis because of the ease of processing of the enormous scale of data.


What is Connected Home?The connected home is a schema of interconnected devices via the network to cloud server. This model is effective to provide real-time remote access to the home appliances through mobile or web applications.


What is Data Center?Similar to cloud servers, data centers are commercially managed data processing abode for storage, manipulation, processing and analysis of large-scale industrial data.


What is Data Driven Decision Making (DDDM)?Data Driven Decision Making is a business logic implementation in which the decisions are driven on the analyzed and verified historic data. Various business intelligence tools for data mining and data interpretation comes into the picture while making data driven decisions.


What is Application programming interface (API)?The application programming interface in computer programming is a set of commands or protocols that helps for building application software to interact with the operating system or device.


What are Automatic Identification and Mobility (AIM) technologies?Automatic Identification and Mobility is a cluster of technologies which facilitates identification, tracking, storing and communicating of the essential data involved in business transactions such as products or customer details.

For example, Barcode is one such technology which can be used by different service industries for various products and services.


What are Companion Devices?Companion Device is just the opposite of standalone devices which works on its own. Companion Devices generally have a wireless connectivity such as Bluetooth and work as a subsidiary unit of a parent device.

These are wearable devices, for an instance, a fitness band worn by an authenticated wearer, unlocks the PC (by clapping), while near it. This device is known as Window Hello Companion device.


What is EMI Protocol?EMI or External Message Protocol is primarily being developed with a motive to be used to connect to SMS (short message service) centers to send, receive, store and transform messages.


What is Energy Harvesting Technologies?Energy harvesting technologies or power harvesting technologies support the process by which a small wireless device functions on the energy derived from a small source of energy in proximity.

For example, RF-enabled data platforms can be implemented for data communication across wide range of connected sensors. These devices can harvest power from radio waves to enable communication.


What is EtherCAT?Ethernet is a well know network protocol for real-time data transmission/ communication and CAT stands for Controller and automation technology.

Therefore EtherCAT is a fieldbus protocol developed for short data update time and synchronization used especially for automated control systems.


What is FOTA?Firmware over-the-air is a mobile software management technology which is a firmware in a mobile device which can be upgraded directly by the service provider. Devices can range from mobile phones, set-top boxes and many more.

Also, with the growth of software in automobiles the need to software upgradation has become inevitable. Therefore the updating car ECUs Over-The-Air is also one of the FOTA applications.


What is a Firmware?
Firmware is a software code written in the read-only memory (ROM) of an embedded system. The code written helps the user program to run on the hardware platform.For example, in a smart home, a firmware is required to help the user interact and operate the home appliances.


What is Near Field Communication (NFC)?
Near Field Communication is a wireless connectivity standard for short range devices.It is a set of communication protocol that uses two nearly placed devices, one of which is usually portable, to communicate via magnetic field induction.


What is Statistical Analytics?
The sensor data accumulated by wired/wireless sensors can be utilized for statistical analysis.The application of statistical analysis for proactive or predictive maintenance purposes can help in detecting equipment failure points or anomalies.

For example, the statistical data analysis in an electronic ICU helps the health care professional to monitor the patient’s consistent blood pressure, breathing, etc. In the case of any deviation from the normal parameters, an alert signal is sent.


What are Smart Cities?
Smart City is a vision to build an asset provisioned city which is connected through IoT technology and entrenched with Information and communication technology.The quality of service such as schools, libraries, transportation systems, hospitals, power plants is encouraged to be improved by utilizing information technology.


What is Video Motion Detection (VMD)?
Video Motion Detection is the technique of sensing/detection of the physical movement of an object.The live image of the object captured by the IP cameras compares it with a reference frame and any significant change will trigger an alarm.


What is Mesh Networking?The mesh network topology is based on shortest path building algorithms for a more efficient node-node communication.

For example, certain wireless communication modules like Zigbee protocol can spontaneously adopt a mesh network topology.


What is Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI)?Serial Peripheral Interface is a serial communication bus protocol for short distance transmission of data between sensors and microcontrollers.

The SPI communication is typically implemented in full-duplex mode which has a higher data rate.


What is Domotics?Domotics is a layman term used for Home Automation. Domotics is an amalgamation of two words ‘Domestic’ and ‘Robotics’.

It refers to home automation system, domestic robots, audio/visual system and much more.


What is Telematics?
Telematics is generally used in Information Technology industry to indicate a long distance communication of data, a hybrid of telecommunication and informatics.The application ranges in industries like telecommunication, automotive, industrial instrumentation and so on.


What is Identity of Things (IDoT)?
The association of metadata to devices through unique identifiers in a network to communicate amongst each other is known as Identity of Things.Metadata is a bunch of useful data that stores the information of other data.


What is Transparent Computing?
It is a process of computing, in which smart devices or computers are ubiquitously responding to the need of the user.The devices respond without any conscious intervention or interaction of the user with the device.


What is Social Internet of Things?Social Internet of Things is a concept that the smart devices or objects can establish a social relationship with other devices connected through a communication module.

For example, pairing of Bluetooth devices is a socializing of devices where the device recognize and pair with an identified or ‘friend’ device.


What is Operational Technology?Operational Technology is a term refers to the technology associated with the process of monitoring or direct control over physical devices, through software and hardware.

For instance, Supervisory Control and Acquisition System (SCADA), Distributed control systems (DCS) are a few examples of Operational Technology.


What is Datakinesis??Datakinesis is a term used in Smart Factory, which refers to an action taken in cyberspace resulting in damages caused in the physical world.

The Industrial control system is more prone to a datakinesis attack by hackers which can cause damage to the physical equipment such as sensors.

For instance, one such malicious software program is Stuxnet.


What is Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP)??Advanced Message Queuing Protocol is an open-source and standard application layer protocol for business message communication.

The main features of AMQP are orientation, queuing, routing, reliability and security.


What is Nagios?Nagios is the open-source computer software used for monitoring of IT infrastructures (computer systems). It runs on Linux operating system and is useful in immediate problem detection.


What is System-on-chip (SOC)?A system integrated on a single chip that necessarily contains all the important circuits of the system.

For example, a wearable device will include all functionalities within a single chip, such as an analog-to-digital converter, logic control, Input-output and much more.


What is Pervasive Computing?A. Pervasive computing refers to the computational ability embedded in microcontrollers. It is also known as ubiquitous computing.

Pervasive computing aims at transforming the conventional electronic devices into smart devices to enable them to collect and process data through a network of sensors.

For example, Apple Watch allows the user to attend a call through the watch without the need to take out the phone.
Pervasive Computing facilitates an ecosystem of smart devices, which can learn and understand its environment, thus enhancing the human experience.


What is Serial Port Profile?A. Serial Port Profile (SPP) is a fundamental Bluetooth profile which is used when a serial communication interface is replaced by Bluetooth.

The devices communicating through SPP can transfer a large data over a span of 100 meters. It is almost equivalent to sending and receiving data by connecting Tx and Rx ports between the devices.


What is Hadoop Distributed File System?A. Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) was first introduced by Apache software foundation as a sub-project of Apache Hadoop project. HDFS is fault-tolerant primary data storage, which stores data reliably even in thecase of NameNode failure.

HDFS consists of NameNode to manage the file system for Hadoop applications and DataNode to store data.


What is Single Board Computer?A. A Single Board Computer(SBC) is a complete functioning computer system with Input/Output, memory and processor build on a single circuit board.

The SBCs unlike PC(desktop personal computers) has no dependency on separate expansion slots for connecting to peripherals. It has built in expansion slots.

For example, Intel’s Curie is a 320MHz Quark processor equipped IoT SBC, specially designed for wearable devices.


What is Machine Type Communications?A. Machine Type Communications(MTC) is defined as the machine-to-machine communication of data without any human intervention.


What is a Software-Defined Network? A. Software-Defined Network is an architecture that allows the information to shift from hardware to software network control. This controls the amount of wireless data flow and thus is potential strategy for IoT networks.


What is a Virtual Sensor? A. Soft Sensors or virtual sensors state the condition or property of a particular product. This prediction is made based on the mathematical modelling of the data gathered from other physical sensor.


What is Business Logic?A. The algorithm or code written to enable communication between the database server and end user in addition to encoding the real world functional details of the business rules.


What is Digital Data Storage(DDS)? A. Digital Data Storage is a data storage technology, first launched by Sony in 1989 based on Digital Audio Tape (DAT) format. It was developed with an intention to store data offline so as to generate backup copies of the real-time data.


What is Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)? A. Build for vehicle and Indoor comfort, HVAC is a technology that provides thermal comfort necessary inside residential structures. These Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning systems can be easily converted into smart IoT devices by connecting them to sensors and network gateways.


What is Industrial Control System (ICS)? A. ICS (that stands for Industrial Control System) is a hardware and software system that helps in monitoring, controlling and maintenance of various Industrial processes.

Some examples of ICS are Programmable Logic controllers (PLCs), Distributed Control Systems (DCS) and Supervisory Control and Data acquisition (SCADA) system.


What is Penetration Testing? A. Penetration Testing or Pen Test is a method of evaluation of system security. The test includes gathering of data on possible entry points to break into a system and then further evaluation on ability of the network defender to block the penetration attempt.


What is Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)? A. Advanced Encryption Standard is a standardized method of encryption chosen by the U.S government in 2001, to protect sensitive data. This technique is now followed across the word, in which a special encryption text is implemented into the software.
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