The term Internet of Things or IoT continues to build momentum in technology circles with new publications, trade shows and marketing pieces throughout numerous technology industries. However, many still have the same question, “What does it really mean?” Part of the confusion may be that so many levels of processing and communication are actually involved between the sensors collecting data and the cloud services where it can be analyzed and acted upon. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the evolution off of an older concept known as machine-to-machine or M2M communications. In M2M, there would be a connection between the machines that would allow them to communicate. Now, with IoT introduced, it has added another level in the machine-to-machine process to make the M2M information and devices available on the internet, thus the internet of things.
The Internet of Things has a limitless capability to influence and advance the way we conduct daily living, whether that is in a professional or personal sense. The main commonality between all IoT applications is that it is based on involving cloud services and complexes of sensors that gather ever increasing data. The interaction between the cloud, sensors and machines allow for huge amounts of data to gather to the cloud. Using internet cloud services gives the users the ability to access the information remotely.
Collecting data from sensors will not complete the circle that is the Internet of Things unless there is an application via the cloud to read and make use of the data. These applications can range from the simple items such as checking your thermostat from your smart phone while away to complex predictive analysis of industrial production lines to prevent downtime. Cloud based applications analyze the data and allow the development of new efficiencies, great access to information and improved reliability.
There may be multiple embedded systems in an Internet of Things solution. Starting at the sensors themselves, where the information about the environment is first collected to microcontrollers or single board computers. In industrial settings, the data is often collected from several smaller embedded computers into an industrial gateway device or embedded computer that collects the information and connects to the internet. Some IoT applications even have embedded systems to provide a local GUI and user interaction at the equipment to display feedback from the cloud based analysis so the operator can make changes locally or remotely.
Now, enter in WINSYSTEMS. The embedded systems products that WINSYSTEMS offers will assist customers in completing their circle of IoT efficiency to make smarter projects. Our Sales team will work with engineers to evaluate and evolve designs in order to improve the accessibility and reliability.
Applications of IoT can truly be applied in any area that has sensors accumulating data and a cloud-based application transmitting that information into useful analytics to machines that can carry out instant responses. The Internet of Things implemented through the exponential deployment of embedded systems will continue to change our world.