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What is IoT Architecture and How Does It Enable Smart Cities?
Smart cities are a hot topic these days, but not many people are talking about how they’re possible. IoT architecture is a key part of creating smart cities, so it’s important to understand how it works. Here, you’ll learn more about the Internet of Things and its architecture so you can better understand how it enables smart cities.
What is IoT Architecture?
The Internet of Things is more than just a network of information. With the myriad of information available, you need a way to pull it all together. Hardware, software, resources, and systems all must be consolidated into a single system framework. In order to do this, you’ll need IoT architecture.
There are multiple parts to the IoT architecture and you should be aware of how they all work.
Layer One: Things
This layer consists of all the connected devices and sensors that are the collectors of data for the IoT system. Sensors may be set up on their own on surfaces throughout the city or they can be included within a device. However, sensors also require actuators to take action without human intervention.
Layer Two: Gateways
Data that has been collected by the sensors is filtered and managed, then stored in the cloud. There are massive amounts of data churning through the gateways at any given point in time, so it’s essential this layer be as efficient as possible.
Gateways make it easier to use the information that is collected by sensors simply by transforming it into formats that are readily usable by other system parts later on. The gateways are also a major part of the IoT architecture security, preventing data leaks and potential attacks.
Layer Three: Edge Analytics
Edge devices are best used for larger projects, such as smart cities. They are much faster than cloud programs and can handle data rapidly and efficiently. Not only is this faster, but it’s also lower cost in terms of power and bandwidth.
Layer Four: Data Center
The cloud platform used to host the IoT data functions like a brain. It collects huge amounts of data and makes it possible for intelligent decisions to be made. This is also where any AI will reside.
The IoT architecture is designed to keep data safe and make it simple to choose the best options for any given decision.
How IoT Architecture Builds Smart Cities
Thanks to applications using the IoT, it’s possible to monitor and manage devices and city structures from remote positions. The Internet of Things allows city designers to use sensors throughout the city, depending on the data that they wish to collect. The sensors then connect via the internet for remote data collection and control.
Active use of the IoT in smart cities provides a number of benefits for the cities and their residents.
More efficient utilities
Sensors can monitor the use of utilities and provide the necessary information and statistics required. The city may then take adjust the usage of these utilities to prevent overuse and make them more efficient. For example, it’s possible to provide bonuses for watering gardens in the evening or morning when you need less water.
there are many situations where you might want to have facial recognition. If a crime is committed, you can collect the image from local cameras and do a search to track the criminal throughout the city. Likewise, if someone goes missing, it will be easier to find them with this technology.
Parking lots can notify drivers where there are free spaces, so traveling around the block multiple times will no longer be an issue. This can save drivers an enormous amount of time.
Every city requires light and smart cities are no exception. Applications to control the lights mean fewer resources wasted on lighting the streets. If it’s a bright night out, the lamps may automatically adjust their strength, for example, or turn on when clouds block out too much light.
Public transportation management
In any city, public transport is a valuable part of how people get around. Buses and trains are the most common option and their efficiency has a major impact on the city. The IoT architecture allows for keeping track of timing and capacity of the various methods of public transport to make them more effective.
Communication is also far simpler with IoT. Residents walking past a specific building may be notified of a service being provided there. Announcements and information from the government can also be sent directly to residents of the smart city.
Lower ecological impact
Thanks to the use of sensors and applications that allow AI algorithms to better manage everything from traffic to energy use, the impact of the city and its residents on the environment is reduced.
Areas that have poor visibility or other dangers to those driving can be made safer through remote monitoring. You’ve likely heard of self-driving cars, which use the IoT in order to drive safely through the city or other areas . . . this is just one option.
Central city monitoring
Thanks to the Internet of Things, it’s possible to monitor the entire city from one central location. Many smart cities use AI to make more efficient decisions.
Changing traffic flows
Traffic sensors allow planners to determine where the traffic is heaviest. This means traffic lights can be adjusted to make traffic flow more efficiently.
Early emergency warnings
Sensors throughout the infrastructure of the city will allow for early detection of an emergency situation. Help can be dispatched immediately and automatically. In cases where a fire has broken out, sensors can automatically trigger the necessary emergency response, as well as take measures to put the fire out.
Every smart city is highly focused on information technology integration. Data is collected and decisions are made based on the data to create a more efficient system.
The Internet of Things is definitely a part of smart cities that will never go away. With the right architecture and structure, it’s a valuable way to monitor and manage the many systems that are in place in any good smart city. The smoother the system runs, the more likely you are to have happy residents and to save time and money on just about everything within the city.