Loosely defined, "Internet of Things" commonly referred by the acronym IoT, refers to systems of interrelated computing devices, machines, or "objects", provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human "assistance".
A thing, in the Internet of Things, can be a fridge with a barcode reader, person with a heart monitor implant, an elephant with a GPS collar, a house with light sensors for opening/closing the window curtains - or any other natural or man-made object that can be assigned an Internet address and provided with the ability to transfer data over a network.
Some of the main features an IoT device include: computational intelligence, sensing, and network connection. IoT can be looked at as "small" computers designed to deliver on "specific purposes", meaning they will not have the same computational ability of a computer but are designed to optimally handle "specific functions". Advances in technology has led to these computing devices becoming cheaper, smaller, less heavier with reduced power consumption. Improved computational ability as well as wireless capabilities continues making these devices more appealing to the masses.
As demand for the IoT device increases, more offerings are coming into the market with different features and capabilities. Some of the common brands include; raspberry pi, arduino, beaglebone black, banana pi, Intel Galileo, among other development kits and single board PCs. Hopefully, these developments will transform the way and mode of data collection in GLOBE Program...
(Next post: Sensors for IoT devices)