Personalized Building for Smart Living


While leaving a room, Mr. X forgot to switch off the lights!!! Another person Mrs. Y left the gas stove on while leaving for a party!!! Like these two persons, many others might have made such blunders in their daily life. What if your building becomes smart enough to cope with such botches? To quantify individual comfort in terms of energy consumption and its impact on the environment is very difficult. For such scenarios, the user should be educated enough to interact with intelligent and smart devices. The concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) is used to simplify such impacts. In our everyday life, including our homes and workplace, gadgets have become an imperative part of our life.

We are moving towards “anytime anywhere anyone connected to anything” connectivity. With the emergence of advanced technologies like IoT, we are in a “connected” mode to the things around us. Such advancements have crept into our daily lives very sturdily. Through IoT, real-world objects are a part of the Internet, seamlessly combining physical and digital world. With all this, without a second thought, we can say that IoT is the “Future of the Internet”. Benefits of IoT are indisputable in every part of life. Development of IoT in current environment foresees many advances in smart cities, smart homes, digital health and other areas.

IoT can make everyday ‘things’ smarter. These ‘things’ can be a network of your daily life appliances supplemented with sensors and relay information to make decisions.

IoT applications for smart living
Fig. 1: IoT Applications for Smart Living

IoT Architecture

IoT architecture
Fig. 2: IoT Architecture

Each architectural layer is briefly described as: The perception layer consists of different types of sensor devices viz, RFID, ZigBee, QR code, etc. to deal with overall device management and to collect specific information by each type of sensor devices. The network layer transfers information from perception layer to upper layers and keeps sensitive information confidential from sensor devices. The middleware layer has two functions viz, service management and storage of lower layer information into the database. The application layer manages IoT applications such as smart health, smart transportation, etc. The business layer covers entire IoT applications and services management.

IoT Protocols

In a telecommunication connection, endpoints use a special set of rules and regulations to communicate with other endpoints in a network. Some of the IoT data protocols are discussed briefly.

MQTT runs over TCP/IP that provides ordered lossless connections. It is a client-server messaging protocol which delivers messages with minimized transport overhead. There are three quality of service (QoS) for MQTT protocol viz, ‘at most once’ which ensures that messages are delivered according to the availability of the operating environment, ‘at least once’ which ensures message arrival and ‘exactly once’ which ensures message arrival exactly once. MQTT has an astonishing mechanism of notifying an abnormal disconnection.

For constrained nodes and constrained networks like low-power network, CoAP is used as a specialized web transfer protocol. Constrained nodes often have the 8-bit microcontroller with miniature RAM and ROM whereas constrained network often have high packet error rate. Request response interactive model is provided by CoAP and supports built-in services and resources. CoAP meets web requirements like multicasting, minimized overheads and simplicity.

smart homes
Fig. 3: Smart Homes

Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AQMP) is message-oriented middleware open standard application layer protocol. Features of AQMP are message orientation, queuing, routing, reliability and security.

Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) is a protocol for real-time communication and is used in applications like instant messaging, multi-party chat, voice and video calls, etc.

Smart Buildings and their Components

There are three components of smart buildings: The first component is the electronics which need to be integrated into the appliances to make them intelligent. The second component is the built-in learning mechanism to control the appliances so that the appliances are well learned about the user preferences. This learning helps the user in controlling the appliance. The third component is the building and its interaction with the environment. Hence, smart buildings may be personalized to according to user’s needs. In future, Mrs. X will be able to tell her smartphone to turn off the gas stove to prevent fire. Also, smart walls will turn on the lights and air conditioner temperature according to humidity and user preferences. Thus, life can be made a little bit smarter by monitoring the connected appliances and make them work accordingly.

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