At a glance
The Internet of Things consists of a multitude of smart products, applications, data and services. IoT platforms bring all these networked things together, e.g. to implement a complex control system consisting of many different individual components.
Central platform for IoT things
The idea behind such platforms is that the devices and things from a related system can be managed at a central location - even if they are arbitrary things of different origin.
Tasks of an IoT platform
An IoT platform thus serves the networked things as a kind of central point of contact and can often be understood from the user's point of view as a control center from which all data and devices can be bundled and monitored or rules for automation can be set up.
Controlling and managing devices
IoT-enabled devices are now available in almost every conceivable form, from wirelessly controllable light bulbs to complex, networked industrial plants. In many cases, it is advantageous if all these devices can be identified and managed in a central location. In this way, all devices are available to create an automated control system for certain scenarios, for example.
Collect and prepare data
In addition, it is an important part of most IoT applications that data from various networked sensors and devices are continuously collected and analyzed. An IoT platform therefore also offers various possibilities in this area.
Integrate IoT applications
There are many different providers offering networked devices and the corresponding IoT applications. Therefore, many IoT platforms offer the option of integrating the services and applications of various manufacturers in order to be able to combine as many things and services as possible in one place. Especially in the private sector, where there are many different providers, a platform is particularly valuable if it supports a large number of these things and services. Of course, there are also highly specialized scenarios in which only a selection of specific manufacturers, applications or devices is relevant.
Interface for human users
Often the collected data and the current state of the networked things are also relevant for human participants. In the smart home, for example, there are sensors that monitor values such as temperature, humidity or air quality and wirelessly controllable lamps, thermostats or household appliances. An IoT platform can
- make current data visible in real time (How warm is it in the bathroom right now?),
- Collect data and make it available for evaluation (How has the humidity in the living room developed in the last 24 hours?),
- Provide an overview of the status of networked devices (Is the light still on in the bedroom?) or
- enable the control of networked devices from a central location (switch off the light in the bedroom and set the heating in the bathroom to 22 ° C.).