Aim: Today, Internet of Things (IoT) applications are extended from smart homes to ehealth,
cyber security, data analytics, logistics and management of assets. There are many upcoming
IOT solutions and platforms like ThingWorx, Xively, and Yaler. However, the existing eco-systems
are not vibrant because of the high entry-level barrier and low potential for any stakeholder. Especially,
the academic community requires a comprehensible way to create IoT services, develop their skillsets
and build applications around them. In this regard, this work presents an affordable and scalable
IoT eco-system with an easily programmable hardware platform, a private web server on the cloud
and a user-friendly mobile application.
Background: Home automation controls the devices and appliances in the home environment to increase
the comfort and convenience. To design a typical immune home automation system, we need to
incorporate different sensors, wireless networking and a central node that can collect data and act as a
gateway for the internet connection.
Objective: Delivering an IoT solution involves the use of multiple technologies that cut across traditional
engineering stream boundaries - sensors, microcontrollers, wireless networking, network protocols,
web programming, and mobile app development. The open challenge is to put the entire ecosystem
together either through new development or through configuartion of existing components.
Methods: In this work, we incorporated a suitable hardware platform that can be easily programmed.
The platform is open so that new sensors and actuators can be added as per requirement. The existing
web services are used to post and retrieve data from the cloud. In addition, mobile apps can be developed
to make data available to the user.
Results: A custom-built GISMO based IoT cloud system is developed with sensors and nodes to form
an infrastructure. The framework will assure standard design that establishes a functional link between
hardware, software and web applications. A private web service using HTTP server and MQTT broker is
designed with access from anywhere with a public IP. The web services are coded in PHP and since it is
an in-house development, the addition of new services and maintenance of existing services are easy.
Conclusion: The IoT eco-system developed provides a platform for a quick out-of-the-box implementation
of an IoT project. Other sensors such as a PIR sensor, an RTC module, an ultrasonic sensor, a
soil moisture sensor have been interfaced to the GISMO module using the IOs brought out onto the
expansion header. The GISMO thus can serve as a generic hardware platform for sensor/actuator interface
in the IoT scheme. The eco-system can be replicated in other institutes and can serve as a base
to implement applications like sensor-to-cloud interface, cloud-to-actuator interface, cloud-based
alerts and notifications, HTTP and MQTT protocols usage.