IoT and PHP Frameworks

Internet Of Things

The network of computing or digital devices connected over a network to share information is called the Internet of Things or IoT. These devices or things are capable to work without any external human intervention. The heart monitor implant to monitor the patient’s heartbeat, diabetes implants to alert the doctor or patient, and digital houses are examples of the Internet of Things. Nowadays, IoT is becoming more popular among people because of the low-cost computing, minimal human intervention, and cooperation of the physical world with the digital world to perform tasks efficiently.

Technologies Used in IoT

Following are the technologies that made the concept of the Internet of Things practical:

1.    Machine Learning (ML)

The advancement in machine learning to make informed decisions and being able to process and store a large amount of data in cloud-based platforms has made it possible to make decisions and gather insights rapidly.

2.    Cloud Computing

Cloud computing platforms have enabled organizations and individuals to efficiently scale their applications and technologies without any difficulty or external effort.

3.    Artificial Intelligence

The concept of neural networks and the advancement in their models have made conversational AI possible using natural language processing. The developers have used this to make IoT devices such as virtual assistants, namely, Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant.

4.    Connectivity

The connection between various devices and internet networks with each other and the cloud has made it possible to connect objects over a network to communicate and respond efficiently.

5.    Accessible technology

Now the technology is accessible more than ever with relatively cheaper and low-power sensors, cloud storage, and devices to make IoT devices.

IoT frameworks

Following are the popular IoT platforms to build smart devices using various programming languages:

1.    Amazon Web Service (AWS)

The developers can use the AWS platform to connect sensors for various applications such as light bulbs along with device identification and software development kits.

2.    Microsoft Azure IoT

The developers can use Azure IoT and cloud services for device registration, identification, and monitoring. Moreover, its Stream Analytics allows real-time data processing.

3.    IBM Watson

It is one of the most popular IoT platforms and comprises various features such as data storage, secure communications, device management, and real-time data sensors and service. The users can create real-time GPS sensors for their mobile devices by publishing the tracking information constantly on the cloud and tracking the location in the web browsers by connecting the PHP application to the data stream.

4.    Cisco IoT Cloud Connect

The developers use this IoT platform for mobile operations such as data and voice connectivity, SIM management, and IP session control.

5.    Oracle Integrated Cloud

This platform provides features such as device virtualization, real-time big data analysis, data management, and quick messaging.

IoT and PHP Frameworks

Php is a server-scripted language mostly used in web development to develop interactive and dynamic websites. Therefore, the developers use this language to do server-side data and image processing, and combining it with the client side ensures a robust design and seamless user experience.

The Internet of Things (IoT) generally enables objects to perform their tasks independently and make intelligent decisions when needed. Therefore, PHP can help developers operate the server side of things and track or monitor those IoT devices using mobile phones.

Even today, running PHP directly on microcontrollers is not easy and is only reserved for hard-to-handle systems. Therefore, most developers use PHP to develop web interfaces for IoT. Following are the two hardware platforms to built IoT devices using PHP:

1.    PHPoC

PHPoC stands for PHP on Chip, made in the Republic of Korea to build IoT devices with PHP. This chip gives a hardware platform to the users to make things intelligent with only a few steps. Moreover, it contains a microcontroller with a PHP language interpreter along with server and expansion cards for other mainstream microcontrollers such as Arduino Mega.

Additionally, PHPoC allows developers to write programs in PHP and develop intelligent IoT devices that can access the internet and communicate over the network.

Components of PHPoC

The following are the primary components of the PHPoC platform:

1.     Hardware

This segment embodies various network protocols and interfaces.

2.     Firmware

This segment works as a network center, driver, web server, and PHPoC interpreter.

3.     PHPoC scripts

These are user files meaning the developed programs written by programmers for the PHPoC board.

Use cases of PHPoC

The following are the primary uses of the PHPoC platform:

  1. USB debugging
  2. Email sending
  3. Sensor monitoring
  4. Working with databases
  5. Controlling servos, motors, and relays
  6. Full duplex communication

Working of PHPoC

The developers can use classic PHP along with some adaptations for the embedded systems to write PHP operations. This platform also provides in-built functions to interact with devices easily, such as I2C, counter, UART, and RTC. This RTC (real-time clock) helps in devices synchronizations with controllers. Additionally, this platform can support various internet protocols to build secure IoT devices. Otherwise, attacking IoT devices is relatively easier, and hackers can make the devices follow their commands or stop working completely.

Furthermore, PHPoC has basic interfaces to communicate with devices, sensors, and network interfaces. However, the developers can create their own customized web-based interface or PHP application to control and track their IoT devices using PHPoC.

Writing PHP scripts for IoT Devices

The developers write PHP scripts and upload the program to the PHPoC as a .php extension to program the IoT devices. Moreover, they explicitly tell which files should run on their own and which will handle the HTTP requests to give responses.

2. Arduino

Arduino is used in designing and building devices to interact with the real-world such as a self-driven car. Moreover, it acts as the server for the devices and is very beneficial in building IoT devices. It does not encourage any programming language and supports Php for development. Therefore, the users can write scripts in Php and connect with devices to make them perform their assigned tasks automatically. Moreover, they can create custom serial communication channels between their Arduino and PHP using controlled components of other programming languages such as C++.

Even though Arduino Uno and Arduino Mega are among the most popular and common hardware platforms for developing various applications, it lacks built-in features provided by PHPoC, such as real-time debugging, RTC, and WebSocket server. Finally, as discussed above, PHPoC provides advanced security and network protocols, while Arduino does not provide them.