IoT Use Cases and Technologies

January 22, 2021 | Updated: June 14, 2022
Author: F. John Dian, R. Vahidnia; BCIT

The phrase “Internet of Things" (IoT) alludes to the billions of physical devices connected to the Internet in order to exchange raw data and analyze the information. This book introduces the IoT use cases and technologies. It uses practical examples to demonstrate the effect of IoT and its potential to change our world, and it discusses the existing wired and wireless communication technologies that have enabled IoT. The book also includes multiple choice and review questions to support student learning and reflection.

Subject Areas
Computer Science, Systems

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IOT cover by F. John Dian and R. Vahidnia is under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/).

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Reviews (1) Avg: 3.9 / 5

Ouldooz Baghban Karimi

Institution:Simon Fraser UniversityTitle/Position: LecturerCreative Commons License

Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary

The book provides a good brief and high-level introduction to IoT use cases followed by telecommunication technologies to support IoT connectivity.

To provide a comprehensive coverage of technologies related to IoT, it could benefit from including details on different layers/tiers of technology and protocols involved, and addressing the complexities in management of IoT devices, networking, data gathering, security, and data analytics. It would also be helpful to include relevant concepts such as fog computing and IoT connection to the cloud, and expand on some current well-known IoT technology names such as MQTT (IoT messaging protocol).

Some of these suggested topics, and discussions to connect the current telecommunications technology contents to IoT use cases are provided throughout the book. Examples include the last paragraph of section 1.3.3 talking about data volumes and data lakes, last sentence of second paragraph in section 3.3.2.3 to connect to IoT design, or example 3.1 to connect the explained telecommunication technology to an IoT use case. However, these references could benefit from further details, and a better integration to the overall flow of the book.

Introduction to concepts such as edge, gateway, and event-driven nature of IoT traffic was also discussed briefly. I believe they could use a more detailed definition and further exploration on the functionality and complexities in design and deployment of IoT devices.

Comprehensiveness Rating: 3 out of 5

Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased

The book is heavy in usage of specific details such as numbers and referrals to standards. There are minor mistakes that might be due to fitting a heavy content in a brief format. For example, the first sentence of the fourth paragraph of section 2.3.1.3 suggests 802.11g offering capabilities of 802.11a and b, that is not completely accurate due to frequency range differences (2.4GHz/5GHz). The sentence could be true for 802.11n as suggested in the next paragraph.

Content Accuracy Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement

The book is about IoT technology, a field with a fast pace of development. However, I believe the text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement.

Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used

While very brief, the contents of the book are clearly explained. The diagrams are very clean and clear, and overall presentation of the book is clear.

The following suggestions might be helpful in improving clarity:
- It might be helpful to structure section 1.3 according to the proposed classification in section 1.1 to further clarify purpose and usefulness.
- Definition of “node” before using in sections 1.2, 1.3.5, etc. or replacing it with IoT device could help clarity.
- Section 2.2.2 names some technologies and details the names of modulation techniques, for example Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM), but does not provide further details or relevant content on them. I believe they could be removed without hurting the main body of the book (just mentioning the versions of the standard and differences in capabilities), or explained in further detail if kept.
- In section 2.2.1, further explanation of use of VLANs, connecting the definition to the application, and using a diagram to show the protocol fields for PCP and VLAN tag could be helpful.
- Tables, in general, could use some further details in description. For example, some of the abbreviations in the tables are not defined (e.g., while PSS and SSS are defined, NPSS and NSSS as used in table 3.5 are not defined and therefore the significance of the information provided is not clear)
- Example 3.1 is very helpful and would be great to have more examples throughout the book. However, the presentation of the example could benefit from further context and connection to IoT use cases.
- While the references are listed at the end of the book, it might be helpful to see the reference where the content is covered so that the reader can follow easily for further details.
- Usage of explanations (or adding small descriptive or defining sentences with footnotes) could improve clarity. For example, in quickly defining some words such as “path loss”, “interference”, “spread spectrum”, “spreading factor”, and “attenuation”. Using footnotes could also help clarify significance of some names used such as “Semtec”.

Clarity Rating: 3 out of 5

Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework

The text is consistent in definition of the sections and their relevance to the other sections and the overall structure. The consistency could be improved in covering the contents within the sections.

Initial sections of the book can benefit further details and going beyond the high-level coverage. Sections of chapter 2 and 3 can benefit from removing coverage of some of telecommunications technology details such as modulation, preemption, VLAN tagging, time synchronization complexities that are neither fully explored nor connected to the topic, and further connect to the IoT and relevance of the technology discussed for IoT.

Consistency Rating: 3 out of 5

Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.

The text is well-organized in chapters and sections, and the provided contents meet the modularity requirement.

Modularity Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion

The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion.

There are a few areas where the flow of presentation could be improved:
- The last paragraph of section 1.3.3, on data lakes and structured and unstructured data, touches lightly on the topic. The depth of the contents and the connection to the rest of the content and flow could be improved.
- Some paragraphs, such as Section 2.2.1 go into details that are valuable, but given no further discussion about them is provided, feel a little out-of-context. For example, in the sentence “The value of PCP and VLAN tag are application oriented”, PCP and VLAN tag are used without mention of traffic, or protocol field, or VLAN/VLAN-tag definition details. Therefore, it might be hard for student to connect the protocol fields to the application, and how these can be application-oriented.
- The coverage of chapter two could be improved by helping the reader connect IoT use case to need for bandwidth, timing, quality of service, definition of application, need for security, and then map them to the named technology. This could improve the consistency (and relevance) in presentation of information.
- I am not sure if organization of 3GPP Working Groups and figure 3.1, or the information in section 3.3.2 help flow of presentation in section 3.3 and the relevance of information to IoT use cases and technologies.

Organization Rating: 3 out of 5

Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader

I believe the text is free of significant interface issues.

Interface Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text contains no grammatical errors

The book is well-written. There are minor mistakes. For example, first line of third paragraph of section 1.2, “as” is missing in “such as”, and “part” is used instead of “parts” in description of figure 2.1.

Grammar Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds

The text includes examples of diversity and inclusion in use cases, for example in section 1.3.10.
It can further improve by reflecting diversity and inclusion in the use cases. For example, section 1.3 can further emphasize how smart city, smart work, and smart area solutions can improve accessibility with more inclusive use of these technologies. It could also benefit from caveats and mentioning consequences of failure in inclusive design of these technologies.

Cultural Relevance Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?

I would recommend using this book as a single introductory module on IoT in a third- or fourth-year undergraduate course for telecommunications engineering students.