To design a sensor-based system, we work collaboratively with out clients to establish what is required in terms of the data that needs to be collected, how to encode such data, and how to transmit it to the end-system that is to deal with the data. At high level, there are several aspects of the design that need to be established before the finer details are to be dealt with.
We follow a sequential three-layered design approach to the provision of IoT services.
This layer contains all sensors and hardware that forms the basis of the device.
A simple example could be a temperature sensor that displays the ambient temperature on a LCD display. These hardware components can be battery or main power operated, as required.
Where communication of produced data to external entities is not necessary (maybe all we need to do is display the data on a LCD), this layer can constitute a product in itself, without reliance on any other external components.
In its simplest form, this layer translates the data generated by the Hardware layer into a format that the Application layer can understand.
In instances where communication from the application layer to the hardware layer is required, this layer also acts as the translator from one protocol to the other.
This layer is in charge of linking the Protocol layer with the Application layer. It could include one or more communication media, cabled or wireless.
The following diagram provides a general overview of how a complete deployment might look like.
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