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Author: Sven Kruse


IoT architecture: The layers of the Internet of Things

An introduction to the different layers of IoT architecture and how they work together to connect the physical world with the digital world.

The Internet of Things The Internet of Things (IoT) is a technology that makes it possible to connect objects in an unprecedented way. The data collected as a result enables us to make better decisions or automate processes. However, the IoT is not a single technology, but many technological layers that interact to form the Internet of Things. In this article you will learn more about the architecture of the IoT and its different layers.

The layers of the IoT architecture

The Internet of Things is multifaceted and comprises a number of components and technologies that work together to enable the networking of objects. We roughly distinguish between layers in the physical world and layers in the digital world. In between there is a connectivity layer that connects the two worlds. In the following, we will go into more detail about the levels and the associated components and technologies.

Physical world

In most cases, additional hardware is needed to network an object and thus integrate it into the Internet of Things. This hardware is attached to the object in order to network the physical world, i.e. all real objects.

Physical objects

At the beginning there is always an object to be networked. In the industrial context, this is usually vehicles, transport containers, devices and tools, production machines or conveyor belts. Networking these objects enables better monitoring and control of processes as well as optimised maintenance and servicing.

Sensors and actuators

In order to collect data from a physical object or its environment, sensors are required, which are either attached to the objects in the form of trackers, data loggers or beacons or are already in the electronics of an object. Depending on the requirements, the sensors can record various physical parameters, from temperature and humidity to movement and vibration.

Actuators are components that trigger actions, i.e. control objects, on the basis of recorded data. The actuators can take on different forms depending on requirements. For example, they can be used as a switch for activating the air conditioning at a higher temperature or as a motor that closes windows when it rains.


The connectivity layer is the layer that networks the devices with each other or connects them to the internet to transmit the data. Depending on the application, various network protocols such as WiFi, Bluetooth , NB-IoT or LoRaWAN is used. The aim of this level is to connect the physical with the digital world and to ensure reliable as well as secure data transmission. Some solutions have the option of sending data via the mobile network themselves. Other solutions use intermediate instances such as smartphones or gateways for this purpose.

Digital world

The digital world of the IoT architecture enables the processing and analysis of the collected data. This enables companies to gain useful insights and derive measures from them, which in turn optimises processes, saves costs or identifies new business areas.


Analytics or data analysis is an important part of the IoT. This is because useful insights and valuable data are extracted from the large amounts of data. These insights are then used to make decisions or predict trends.

In order to use analytics successfully, the data is first collected, stored and cleaned in a data store. Then, algorithms and methods from the field of machine learning and artificial intelligence are used to identify the maintenance needs of machines or predict failures, for example.

Digital services

The final level of digital services brings together the possibilities of the previous levels, structures them and presents them in so-called IoT platforms. The data is usually presented in clear dashboards in web applications or apps. This is where the actual customer benefit is generated. This is where the customer gets a complete overview of his networked objects. For example, the locations of vehicles are visualised here, machines are controlled remotely or data is visualised in order to recognise trends and patterns. This information can then be used to optimise the processes concerned, develop new products and services and ultimately make better decisions.

Dashboards enable a quick and clear presentation of the most important key figures and trends

The IoT architecture - complex and critical to success

The Internet of Things is an exciting field that offers many opportunities to automate processes and make decisions based on real-time data. However, the IoT architecture with its various technologies and components makes the Internet of Things a complex ecosystem. Since only a few companies have the necessary expertise, cooperation with an experienced IoT partner and careful planning and coordination are essential for a successful implementation.

What is a tracker and how does it work?

James Bond, the famous fictional British secret agent, used GPS trackers in several films. For example, in the film "A Quantum of Solace"a GPS tracker to track the whereabouts of a stolen hand grenade. It is clear that the technology shown in films usually has nothing to do with reality, but what was long considered fiction is now reality and ubiquitous. Whether in fitness, to find the pet or to track the car, the little helpers can be found in many areas of our lives. But what are trackers actually and how do they work?

A tracker is a combination of software and hardware that collects and monitors data to track movements in the real world. There are many types of trackers that can be used in different environments. For example, they are used to track objects, display real-time location information or monitor vehicles.

How does it work?

A tracker is basically a hardware combination consisting of sensors, telematics and an energy supply. The sensors record physical parameters such as temperature or acceleration. Corresponding telematics modules ensure that the data can be forwarded, while the energy supply in the form of a battery or accumulator ensures that the device can be operated wirelessly.

In most cases, the data is forwarded to a cloud platform via a receiving station. Receiving stations can be a server, a smartphone, a Gateway or any other device connected to the internet. The cloud platforms then store and analyse the data in real time and visualise the data in clear dashboards.

The type of tracking solutions varies depending on the provider and the use case. Some solutions offer basic functions such as monitoring location data or movement records; others are very powerful and offer real-time visualisation and detailed reporting functions. Choosing the right solutions thus depends on the use case - so it is important to check which function is best suited for your specific case.

Was ist ein Tracker? Eine Hand hält einen etwa 40x40 mm kleinen Tracker vor die Kamera. Im Hintergrund ist unscharf eine Baustelle zu erkennen.
The LoRa tracker for monitoring devices and goods from SenseING

What is a tracker used for?

Trackers are useful for many different purposes, including:

  • Tracking of goods and deliveries;
  • Preparation of traffic statistics;
  • Detection of accidents;
  • Locating vehicles;
  • Review of progress in achieving specific goals;
  • Documentation of temperature;
  • Precise timing for sporting competitions, etc.

Basically, it can be said that they help to increase resource efficiency and improve employee productivity - which can ultimately help to uncover cost-saving potential and boost sales figures. Therefore, they have become indispensable in many ways.

Now that you've learned more about what trackers are and how they work, you're probably curious about how you can use trackers in your business. Whether you want to document temperatures or track items, there are a variety of applications for trackers.

Contact us now to find out more about our trackers.

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Five reasons for the digitization of the construction industry

Digital processes are changing all areas of our lives at an incredible speed. However, one area in which digitization is still making slow progress is the construction industry. In this article, we will show you why you should not miss out on digitization in the construction industry and what potential it holds.

The signs are pointing to change in all sectors, but in the construction industry, the shift toward automated processes and real-time reporting is off to a slow start. This is the finding of the PwC 2021 study "Digitalization, Sustainability and Corona in the Construction Industry" . According to the study, the gap between potential and capabilities has narrowed for only two out of seven digital solutions. For example, the potential for real-time reporting or IoT solutions on the construction site has also increased - but the capabilities in the construction industry have not.

What is the reason for the reluctance in the construction industry?

In other industries, digitization has long been part of everyday life. But what is holding back the digital transformation in the construction industry? The survey of construction companies revealed that the lack of technical expertise was the top concern. There are also fears that there is a lack of internal acceptance for the use of new technologies. Closely followed, in third place among the challenges, is security on the Internet. (Source: PwC 2021 study "Digitalization, Sustainability and Corona in the Construction Industry")

Integration and security

At first glance, the use of new technologies seems very complex. In addition, the large number of suppliers does not exactly provide a better overview; they often only offer components of one system. But they have been around for a long time, the providers of simple sensor systems that can be easily integrated into the existing infrastructure. No specialist knowledge is required for the integration or the evaluation of the data. In addition, the communication of the digital solutions is always encrypted and offers no attack surface for the security of the companies.

Five reasons to digitize your construction company

The extensive inventories and, above all, the parallel processing of many projects quickly lead to a loss of overview. It is also clear that sources of error can never be completely ruled out in the construction industry, even if work is carried out with great precision. However, the use of digital solutions can help to significantly reduce sources of error and inefficient use of resources. The following five points speak in favor of digitization:

Reduction of error sources: The use of IoT solutions relieves employees and replaces analog processes. For example, delivery bills or invoices can be automated. This saves time and costs.

General overview: An overall view of internal and external processes becomes possible. For example, the inventory can be displayed in real time and updates of devices between different projects can be displayed transparently.

Steigerung der Effizienz: Digitization ensures transparency and the efficient use of equipment.

Time and cost savings: The increased efficiency ensures faster service delivery and thus creates a more economical handling of projects. In addition, historical data can be used to optimize the inventory as needed.

Digitization can change relationships with customers. Customers who already work digitally will look for partners who are also digitized. So in order to continue to exist and grow in the market, technologies for digitization are indispensable.


Whether in planning, administration or construction - analog processes still exist in abundance. But all these analog procedures offer potential for partial or complete digitization. Obtaining information with just a few clicks, automated processes in the background, and fast communication - these are all things that make everyday work in the construction industry much more effective and efficient. Digitalization is by no means a short-lived trend, but a long-term task. Right now is the right time to join the digital transformation and get started in your company.