What does the phrase Internet of Things mean? It depends a lot on where you stand in the supply chain. Many have tried to define it, and the definitions are often colored by the needs of their own industries and their own agendas. But, as a hardware or software engineer, you already understand the essential element: to build products that are interconnected. And, embedded systems will play – and are playing – a crucial role in the development of the IoT.
From what I see today, there are four main components of systems that support the Internet of Things:
As you see, there are four separate areas:
- The Thing itself (the device)
- The Local Network, which moves data in and out of the device. This may include a gateway to translate proprietary communication protocols to the IP family of protocols.
- The Internet itself
- End user devices (desktop, laptop, smartphones) or enterprise data systems that receive and manipulate data (backend data analytics)
IoT is not complicated in conception, but it is complex in its execution. Each individual component is simple, but there are many required components for IoT. What is important to understand is that even if new hardware and software are still under development, we already have all the tools we need now to start making IoT a reality.
This article will look at the end devices in an IoT system from the embedded developer point of view.
To read more of this external content, go to Thinking About the Internet of Things (IoT)