The Building Blocks
To start off, IoT service chain can be separated into 5 key building blocks. The enabling technologies, smart objects, communication platform, ingestion & analytic platform and finally the information consumption and interaction platform.
Smart Objects and ENABLING TECH
The smart objects themselves can be classified into the following type of capabilities (following the works of . Kortuem, G., Kawsar, F., Fitton, D., Sundramoorthy, V.: Smart objects as building blocks for the internet of things. Internet Computing, IEEE 14(1), 44–51 (2010) :
WPAN AND LPWAN for IOT
Most IoT deployment currently favors the use of Bluetooth low energy and Wifi for connectivity purpose. Hard wiring will be uncommon except for perhaps stationary use cases. As the LPWAN technology matures, more geographical dispersed IoT devices will also be deployed.
Chances are smart objects will not be interacting with human counterparts directly but other non-human entities such as a FMD or application system. This being either unidirectional or bidirectional is as follows:
As shown on the table above, there are 2 main types of D2D, e.g. FMD-IoT, IoT-IoT or FMD-FMD. D2D communication will typically be established by way of WPAN communication technologies such as Bluetooth and Wifi. It is also possible that management of IoT devices be delegated to an application service rather than through an FMD, this is useful for the case where security, automation, multi-device management and higher intelligence are required for IoT action input. This D2S (or S2D) scenario requires application server service - be it on cloud or on private setup or. The choice communication technology and path will have dependency on actual use cases.
DECOUPLED VALUE CHAIN
As in the case of OTT, the value chain for IoT is separated between the physical and digital information generated. Hence, the 'sensing' only smart objects are really just 'dumb data generators'. The aggregate information presented will be used in combination with other data to provide higher level intelligence and usefulness - making the digital part of the chain more valuable.
Most early smart object deployments in the near future will be in very primitive forms - i.e. offering sensing only capabilities. This meant that other platforms are required for the data generated to be processed, useful information produced and finally delivered for consumption by a person or machine. This decoupled value proposition is necessary where the 'dumb' IoT devices itself lacks sophistication to provide intelligence and therefore requires higher plane services such as:
IoT POSITIONING CANVAS
Example of currently available Smart object offerings are highlighted in the Smart Objects section.