Writing for Business Insider, Marcelo Ballve notes that the Internet of Things (IoT) will make many of the familiar objects in our lives connected, as well as accessible via smartphones and tablets.
“This shift to connectivity in once-inert things — the logical next step in the growing ubiquity of the Internet — will force companies large and small to transform dramatically,” said Ballve. ”But how are the ‘things’ in the Internet of Things actually put together? What elevates an object or device from normal status to a sensor-laden node in the soon-to-be-massive Internet Of Things?”
As Ballve notes, a recent BI Intelligence report lists the following 6 primary attributes that will help make “things” a part of the rapidly evolving IoT:
- Sensors – IoT devices and systems include sensors that track and measure activity.
- Connectivity – Internet connectivity is either contained in the item itself, or a connected hub, smartphone, or base station.
- Processors – IoT devices will obviously pack some form of computing power.
- Energy-efficiency – Many devices may need to be able to operate for a year or more using a minimal amount of energy, waking only periodically to relay data.
- Cost-effectiveness – Objects that contain sensors will need to be relatively inexpensive to purchase and deploy.
- Quality and reliability – Some IoT devices will need to operate in harsh environments (outdoors) and for extended periods of time.
- Security – IoT devices may need to relay sensitive or regulated information such as health-related data, making data security critical.
As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, the Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a future world where all types of electronic devices link to each other via the Internet. In 2009, there were 2.5 billion connected devices; most of these were mobile phones, PCs and tablets. By 2020, there will be over 30 billion connected devices of far greater variety.
According to Reza Kazerounian, Senior VP and GM of the Microcontroller Business Unit at Atmel, the IoT is a combination of multiple market segments, tens of thousands of OEMs and hundreds of thousands of products.
“It is seen by many as the next wave of dramatic market growth for semiconductors. If you look at the different estimates made by market analysts, the IoT market will be worth trillions of dollars to a variety of industries from the consumer to financial, industrial, white goods and other market segments,” he told EEWeb in February.
“Companies that provide cloud-based services, service providers and semiconductor companies will also benefit from this market. The number of small or new companies that are showcasing connective devices has increased – there will be 50 billion connected devices by 2020. These nodes will have characteristics such as low-power embedded processing, a human-machine interface and connectivity.”
Reza also pointed out that Atmel views microcontrollers (MCUs) as an essential building block for every PC, consumer device, industrial machine, home connectivity device and automobile. To be sure, MCUs are playing an increasingly critical role in the lucrative space.
“As the semiconductor industry has transitioned from PCs to mobile, IoT will now rise to become the predominant market,” he added. ”This transition will favor ultra-low power and integration of microcontrollers, wireless connectivity, security, touch technologies and sensor management products.”
Interested in learning more about the IoT? You can check out Atmel’s recent IoT SoMa panel on the subject here, Patrick Sullivan’s EELive! 2014 presentation and our extensive Bits & Pieces IoT article archive here.