Monday, November 9, 2020

Internet of Things - Easy to understand for all

 The Rotary Club of Dombivali East recently invited me to speak on Internet of Things. I was to bear in mind that while some of the viewers would be entrepreneurs with technical background, most would have no engineering background at all.

Hence I made a 25 minute presentation on the topic and thankfully all the attendees loved it. They involved pupils, home makers, bankers, retailers and businesspeople.

I realised that this is a topic very relevant in today's scenario as we will be using IoT in India. Especially during this Covid-19 crisis, I'm sure IoT can help!

Hence I'm enclosing the webinar here ( - 

I'm sure that people with no technical background will have no difficulty understanding the Internet of Things if they view this 25 minute presentation.

Please feel free to comment below if you have questions, I'll reply to each and every comment!

As I mentioned in the webinar, the link in the last slide gives you access to the presentation, reference document & my speaker notes -

If you would like to invite me to speak, please contact me using the contact information at - or

Now, here're my speaker notes - 

Slide 1 - 

Welcome Friends to my introductory presentation on the Internet of Things. I thank the Rotary Club of Dombivali East to invite me to your meeting & give an opportunity to speak with you.

On to today’s topic, the subject is slightly technical but I have made the presentation in such a way that people of all kinds of background and calling will find it interesting. I’ll be taking questions at the end of the presentation through this call. If you face problems connecting over voice, please type those in this Zoom chat or email me.

We will be seeing today - 

What exactly is the Internet of Things & Why it’s relevant to know? I’ll be showing an easy example that you can quickly relate to. Then we will be seeing at some common uses of the Internet of Things. I’ll also be discussing how IoT can be useful in present-day circumstances. We will then see some extreme IoT applications that have already been successful even for sensitive applications like surgeries. 

Then we will look at trends in this sector and some practical scenarios. I will then discuss some common IoT use cases based on my knowledge & experience. Although you can Google much information on this topic, not everything you will see is accurate. I have distilled that information for you and added from my own experience to give you precise information in the simplest way & shortest amount of time.

Then we will quickly see what IoT edge devices you can use in your factories, process plants, laboratories & in transport vehicles if you are managing a fleet or a supply-chain. I’ll also give you a detailed explanation of IoT usage in your factory since many members of this prestigious club are running factories in the Dombivali MIDC area where we are located as well!

Following we will touch IoT usage  for rural area & see how big this revolution is going to be. We will also finally try to speculate on a subject you will love & think about, which is ‘Super Intelligence’ that you might have seen in movies like 2.0 or The Matrix.

This presentation, with all the images, links, data & even my speaker notes will be available to you through a link I have put in the last slide. So, you need not take notes - Just sit back, relax & enjoy this short intro to IoT.

Slide 2 -

Now, let’s start by understanding IoT using an example.

Say you have a machine that performs some tasks, especially that includes movement and reading measurements using sensors such as a thermometer.

This machine, such as your washing machine or air-conditioner comes with a computer in it for controlling the work.

Such a computer in these machines is not fundamentally different from the computer in your laptop or phone. Just that the software and its peripherals are designed for a particular use only. 

Now when you want to control your machine from a remote location, you need to somehow connect to that computer that controls your machine.

So you use any secure internet connection to connect your smartphone to that dedicated computer. It’s obvious that both the devices - 

The computer you are using as an user interface - such as your phone or laptop 

And the machine’s computer need to be connected to the internet to communicate with one another.

Thus when we use the internet to control many automatic devices, we can say we have an Internet of Things.

You may think that this probably is usable in industries or businesses. But I will give you an example where you will really want to have IoT!

How about using your smartphone to water your plants while you are on a vacation!

You just need an inexpensive device that can turn on & off a water valve connected to your home-wifi. With a basic camera, you can see your plants from wherever you are.

In fact this is also much cost-effective as compared to using a fully automatic system! Besides you don’t have to rely on your maid who might inadequately water your plants to save her time.

Slide 3 -

Here are some more examples of popular IoT Applications.

  • You can turn the AC of your car On minutes before reaching the car

  • Or your Car can alert you by ringing your smartphone when someone tampers with the door lock

The second 2 examples on screen are from our past projects.

Many of us might be living in smart cities here in Dombivali such as Palava or Regency. In coming years you will use more IoT enabled machines than normal machines in such neighbourhoods.

We will be seeing the insides of such an IoT application shortly in this presentation. But before that let’s appreciate our present conditions in the next slide.

Slide 4 - 

Friends, we are living in an extraordinarily difficult time.

People were living & travelling normally till March of this year & suddenly we were stuck at home. On the other hands many migrants lost their jobs & were stuck away from home. Front-line workers and government employees were stretched thin & had to deal with brutal challenges for which no one of them was adequately trained or prepared. In such conditions, even if the smaller but frequent tasks are automated with the ability to remotely monitor the machines using a friendly dashboard, it saves tons of worker fatigue. When we let the computers do the trivial jobs, we can spare ourselves to do the important ones.

How many times does a nurse have to travel 3 floors up to monitor the vitals of critical patients in rural areas? How many doctors had to travel on false alarms?

When we use inexpensive sensors connected to data aggregators on the internet, we can use the same team much more effectively. I”ll give you some quick illustrations!

Slide 5 - 

I don’t want you to imagine how tough it would have been a century earlier fighting the pandemic. But even in recent times when we had a basic GSM phone, things would have been much, much tougher to deal with this pandemic. I’ll give my personal experience. Just recently, my family doctor who was very near to my home, shifted to Pune. I had a small reaction from a pain-killer and I could share the picture on WhatsApp with him, who immediately sent me a prescription - problem solved!

Slide 6 - 

Imagine what IoT can do!

Now we can not only share multimedia information to-and-fro but also actually do things, move robotic arms, turn valves on or off and much more over the internet. Just imagine what the future holds on the basis of a real-world example of what already is done.

A surgeon in France performed a surgery over 6000 kM away from the patient successfully. While ‘Operation Lindbergh’, as it’s famously known, used the most expensive fiber optics communication to ensure reliability and success of the first telesurgery; the follow-on procedures in Canada used standard public internet.

All of this & much more will be commonplace when we get on 5G and successive technologies.

Slide 7 - 

Beyond speed improvement, 5G is expected to unleash a massive IoT ecosystem where networks can serve communication needs for billions of connected devices, with the best ever speed & minimal latency.

Apart from a strong connectivity, the key parameters here are speed and latency. While the advantage of speed is obvious, the requirement of having a minimum latency is often overlooked by designers in my experience. This is a bit technical, but it’s important to know especially when you run a factory, plant, lab or fleet. This is also where many hobbyists who make things at home, stumble.

By latency I don’t just mean how fast packets of instructions reach the recipient. That would be speed. An IoT system’s latency however, should be defined as how quickly an action is taken from the point in time when the trigger is made. 

In practical scenarios, the computer with the IoT system which is away from you might be conducting some tasks there or waiting for inputs or actions to be made by some other sub-system. In such cases, when you give a command, inspite of having a very strong & fast connectivity, you might not be able to make the action happen instantly. This is why, when your team designs an IoT solution for you, they need to choose an architecture that guarantees near zero latency whatsoever. 

Slide 8

As bandwidth, computer speed, memory cost, software & hardware improve & help improve each other, And - boost each other’s performance - An exponential growth is bound to happen.

Major players like Apple, Jio, Google, Philips, Microsoft, PTC, Whirlpool, Samsung, Sony, Toyota and others are planning to adapt IoT as a feature in their products & services.

You can expect many New players with innovative products coming up.

A massive benefit will be coming from IoT, combined with Renewable Energy & Artificial Intelligence to the Housing & Realty sector.

For Industrial, Laboratory & Transportation sector - IoT will enable automation and better human efficacy we never thought possible.

Slide 9

Security is a crucial aspect in IoT. Recently an insurance company objected to giving insurance to the famous new MG Hector Internet Car raising concerns of the car being hacked while in speed.

But this isn’t a deal breaker. Because the internet evolved over time, security software & protocols are rich & powerful by now, since they were developed as and when problems were faced. We live in an age in which we do digital transactions daily & hold crypto currencies on a phone. So far there aren’t major breaches. 

Besides a second safety valve is a hardware level security with fail-safe protocols.

Slide 10

Friends, a simple Google search on IoT use cases will show you thousands of websites. Some of these are impressive while some are not so accurate. As an industry insider, I’m broadly touching the topic.

In healthcare, after the general acceptance of 5G or better, we may see - 

  • Remote Health care - where, The connectivity will allow healthcare professionals to assist patients with prescriptions, medication, and also measure their biometrics using sensors and remote equipment. For instance, patients can connect any wearable device to the cloud and update the data in real-time. 

  • We can expect surgeries being performed by robots, assisted by expert surgeons who are apart geographically

In manufacturing, we are already seeing early adoption of Industrial - IoT. My company, SureView Instruments focuses not only on IoT parts but also on Industrial IoT solutions. Since a lot of you run manufacturing units in the Dombivali MIDC area, I’m showing typical products that are for you in the next slide. We have a blog dedicated to Industrial IoT at the link shown in bottom right of the slide - which is 

  • The first use of IoT in Industries is Predictive Maintenance. Manufacturers have expensive assets working for them in a process plant or assembly line. Nowadays, sensors are dramatically low-cost so many companies deploy temperature, strain & vibration sensors with their assets. A simple, straightforward software determines unusual variations in say the vibration signature coming from the machine which alerts the supervisor to do manual maintenance tasks which saves cost of down-time & machine repair.

  • Second comes, as in many IoT use case, the remote control. Especially in times like now where the Covid-19 situation requires us to travel as less as possible and maintain social distancing, you can remotely control all your machines using a simple attachment like the one I’m going to show in my next slide. Importantly, please note that you do not need to buy new assets in order to make your units IoT-enabled. You just need to fit it with what is popularly called as an ‘IoT Edge Device’ that will make your existing assets smart!

There is also something known as a digital twin - I request you to take a look at the home-page of my blog for info on digital twin - and also individual blog-posts if you own a process plant or manufacturing unit.

In logistics, IoT has an important place. Say a situation where you are transporting ice-creams from your factory to all over the country, a low cost monitoring device on the container will ensure that the truck-driver doesn’t reduce the temperature setting in-transit, to save him on fuel-cost. You don’t need me to emphasize how companies like Amazon, Flipkart, FedEx, UPS etc. are using connectivity to track everything to ensure customer satisfaction.

In the oil & gas, and chemical industry - they have started using IoT for tracking malfunctions & deviations. This is similar to what we discussed for the manufacturing industry.

In all our examples, if an employee such as a service engineer or production supervisor quits his job, a lot of information & knowledge is lost with him. Using software & IoT, it’s possible to record data that can be used with analytics to help the person who takes his or her place.

There are multiple dimensions here. Apart from what is discussed so far, there are innumerable benefits of IoT in various domains. Take an example of vending machines. There are Water filters and vending machines that are spread so vastly that they are difficult to track. Say a service engineer is in a particular area servicing some machines, it is logical for him to pay a visit to other machines nearby, which are pin-pointed for troubleshooting by your software.

In all such applications, your vendor will give you a web based dashboard and mobile Apps which is your interface with your assets. Have a look at who is a leading vendor for all sorts of IoT.

Slide 11

For Industrial IoT, your first investment might be an ‘Edge Device’.

Edge device is something that connects your existing equipment or plant to the cloud. The device on the screen is such an Edge device. Basically you are able to connect any sensors directly on to the edge device. Whichever of your existing devices that need to be connected to the cloud, can be connected to this edge device with USB, Ethernet or Bluetooth. This edge device will collect data from all sources and upload to the cloud. If you want some control mechanism in the IoT, there is a computer available in this. Since these devices are for industrial, lab & plant users mainly, I will not spend time going in the technical details. Please see the links to know more..

Slide 12

Friends, we have covered some basic information about IoT. IoT is indeed going to be a lovely field to work in, for the youth in present times & future. 

For investors, it’s far more exciting than the ‘Apps’ & internet companies. This is because most app & service users who are their early adapters, expect the App or service to be free. Then it’s quite a task for the company to convert free users to paid subscribers. I think this might not be the case in IoT. Since IoT normally involves physical products, the companies will have a revenue model from the very beginning..

Slide 13

Friends, we in India have started using smart-phones, which can be a real role-model for most other countries. The government, right from the beginning, has made it a priority to make bandwidth & devices available to every nook and corner of the country. And, because we have so much untapped talent available to make solutions for us, we will be amazed what Indians in rural India will do in this & the next decade.

To aid the talent in India, we have huge computing power, massive bandwidth and array of tools like Udemy, Khan Academy & Youtube available at a very low cost. This is why the IoT revolution will be led by youth in India, more than any other country. Owing to a friendly & steady business environment in this country, there will be vast opportunities available to those who join the IoT revolution.

Now, just before the lock-down we were working on the design of a hydroponics application with IoT. What we discovered is that 100% of the IoT required for agriculture can not only be made in India but also is extremely easy to do. The only constraint here was the best quality soil sensors which were imported. I’m hopeful some entrepreneur might develop those in India too. Before I digress, let me come to the point in slide..

This month, a very informative web based meeting was conducted by the central government named as RAISE 2020 - an acronym for Responsible AI for Social Empowerment 2020. Since Artificial Intelligence will be an ingredient in IoT, we will be in a better position than companies from other countries to lead in IoT, since we already have the software backbone to power AI.

The future really belongs to India!

Slide 14

Quickly, let’s take a glimpse inside an IoT system in work. The top left of the slide is a sample machine - in this case an injection moulding machine.

This machine can be connected to an edge device like the MultiFly 4G towards the bottom left of the slide. This device communicates with the machine’s computer to know in real-time what the machine is doing. In addition, it reads the vibration & temperature of the machine with sensors, without interfering with the machine’s operation. This device has a powerful controller software on it which will run emergency procedures if needed & stop the machine - even if the internet fails.

In normal conditions, this machine will upload all data to a server on your company’s LAN or on the internet like Microsoft Azure. 

If there are several machines in your factory, you only need 1 4G or WiFi component to upload data of all machines.

This data can be monitored over the internet by production supervisors. In case they need to make changes to the machine’s operations, they can do so remotely using a browser like Google Chrome. The production manager or vice-president who not only overlooks the operations of this factory but also other factories, will have an App that will alert him of key indices.

This is all very easy & quick to set-up!

Slide 15 -

Friends, I hope I have not overloaded the talk with more information than you need.

If you find this interesting, I encourage you to visit my blog & other companies in this space like PTC & NI.

Of course, you can always email me when you wish to discuss something. 

Any technical discussion always comes to a point where you wonder what comes next in the future..

So we will touch related topics including those which academics are now intrigued with the next slide

Slide 16 -

In the link I’ll be sharing in the last slide, I have put together a document where you can see what’s happening in the computer industry. These topics are beyond the scope of today’s discussion. But it will help you in adapting upcoming technologies at work & in your areas of study if you read about those stuff like Augmented Reality, Machine Learning, Google Glass, Captology, Blockchain etc.

We are right now in early stages of Artificial Intelligence. If you have used Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri or Microsoft Cortana you have seen what AI can help you with. But there is so much more to it.. Let’s see an example. The co-founder of Google, Larry Page had proposed that all medical data of all human beings be made accessible anonymously to all doctors. If this is combined with Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence in the coming years, it will work miracles in health care at a cost that the poorest in the remotest villages can afford. In 2014, in a talk on named “Where’s Google going next”, Larry Page demonstrated how well a machine learning algorithm could understand a subject by only using videos on In the same talk, Larry Page notes that the present day computers are a mess! I’m sure those of you who don’t like computers will agree!

There will be a point in time where humongous data-sets & computers will be working in so close conjunction with human minds using interfaces we never imagined, that we will usher in a brand new universe of Super-Intelligence.

Thank you for your patience & having me here in your club. We will now take questions!


And here is the reference document I mentioned in Slide 16 - 


  • Industry 4.0 (same as cyber-physical systems or smart-enabled machines)

  • Augmented Reality

  • Artificial Intelligence

  • Machine Learning

  • Analytics

  • Big Data

  • Computer Vision

  • FitBit

  • Cloud Service Like Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS or Jio Advanced Web Services

  • Blockchain

  • Digital Marketing & Captology

  • Encryption

  • IP Television

  • Kubernetes

  • Google Glass

  • Natural Language Processing

Articles - 


An Introduction to Industry 4.0 - Blog home -

The MultiFly 4G IoT device shown in presentation -

What you can do with it -

Industry 4.0 from us - 

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