On this blog we also want to post reviews of books covering the Internet of Things and Machine to Machine (M2M). We have a nice bookshelf covering a wide range of topics from Making projects with Arduino to implementing new protocols like 6LowPAN or MQTT. Most of the books are edited either by Wiley or by O’Reilly . This topic is very hot recently and for example if you go to Safari books online and you search for books related with Internet of Things, you get over 10.000 items. Well perhaps that search is not working fine but if you search for M2M you get at least 98 items!
The first book we are going to talk about here is published by Wiley with the support of ETSI. If you are not familiar with ETSI you should know that this European Telecommunications Standard Institute is responsible for globally-applicable standards for Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), including fixed, mobile, radio, converged, broadcast and internet technologies. For example GSM was developed by ETSI. ETSI produces a lot of good quality documentation to help you track the future of ICT.
Price on Amazon : Kindle Edition 71$; Paperback 91$
Wiley book description here.
We bought this book back in December 2011 when it was published. The book is very technical and aimed at engineers who want a broad overview of which protocols are used in the Internet of Things and M2M world and their applications.
The book is structured in 5 parts:
- Part I: Covers IEEE 802.15.4 (low-rate wireless personal area network) and Power Line Comunications (PLC) for M2M.
- Part II: Focuses on legacy protocols for building and home automation. The protocols described are BACnet, Lonworks, ModBus, KNX, Zigbee and Z-Wave.
- Part III: Covers Legacy M2M protocols for Utility Metering. The protocols M-Bus, ANSI C12 and DLSM/COSEM are reviewed in the context of Smart Metering.
- Part IV: Covers the Next Generation: IP-Based Protocols. Finally we talk about INTERNET PROTOCOLS for IOT! This part covers 6LowPAN, Zigbee Smart Energy 2.0 and ETSI proposed architecture for M2M.
- Part V: Talks about SmartGrid and the business case of charging Electric Vehicles.
This is our opinion on each part:
Part I is interesting if you want to understand how for example ZigBee works on the Physical Layer. The PLC chapter is not so interesting since this technology has a grey future (in our opinion).
Part II is very interesting if you are involved in Building Automation projects and you need to understand which technologies are available and how they work.
Part III is not very interesting really, unless you want to deal with legacy projects in Utility Metering.
Part IV is strange. The explanation of 6LoWPAN is nice but very technical and aimed at describing the standard. The Chapter on Zigbee Smart Energy 2.0 covers concepts like HTTP REST technology and describes the version 2 of Zigbee (while version is not yet even largely deployed). ZigBee 2.0 redesigns ZigBee SE 1.0 by making it independent from the physical layer and using IP networking and a RESTful design. This approach is very interesting although very similar to existing HTTP RESTful APIs like the one we provide in Carriots. The Chapter on ETSI M2M Architecture is an overview of another interesting book published by Wiley and ETSI covering a very high level architecture proposed by ETSI to address the IOT. This is the book and we are going to review it in another post because it has some very interesting concepts.
Part V is disappointing. The use case of Electric Vehicle Charging is worth reading. But it is the only real example of an IOT implementation on a book that claims to address applicationS. Note: Don’t judge a book by the cover.
Our Conclusion: A very good book to overview and understand layer 1 and 2 protocols used in M2M and IOT, but the applications described are only for the Energy sector (Smart Grid and Electric Vehicle). In fact since the book was published, the cover page has changed to “Applications to the SmartGrid and Building Automation”. Despite the high price the book it is worth buying if you need to understand which protocols have been used and which are the future protocols proposed. As a critic this book, it seems to be very influenced by the French electric lobby. Many other standards used in the world are left behind and more projects of the Industrial Internet could have analysed.