1.1 Getting Started: About Cloud-Enabled Devices
Technological Trends That Are Enabling IoT
There is certainly a lot of buzz about the "Internet of Things"
these days. But looking past the hype, there are some powerful
technological trends at play that are changing the way we interact with
- Cheap, small, & efficient processors: Demand from the
smartphone industry has driven down the cost, size, and power
consumption of embedded microprocessors.
- The Cloud: The maturity and commoditization of cloud
infrastructure has made it easier than ever to build scalable,
highly-available cloud-based services.
- Improved Wireless: New technologies like Bluetooth LE,
6LOPAN, and Thread are simplifying RF communications and bringing down
the cost and power consumption of wireless interactions.
The Result is IoT
These trends together are fundamentally changing how consumers interact
with products. It continues to become cheaper and easier for
manufacturers to create "smart" Internet-connected products. The
incremental cost to build a "smart" product vs "traditional" product is
trending towards zero. When you add the cloud and apps to the picture, it is
easy to imagine a world where nearly every device has a
physical interface (mechanical) as well as a virtual interface (software).
The Cloud's Role
The cloud is an important piece of the IoT puzzle because it
enables remote control and monitoring of devices over the web. Without it,
only local/proximal interactions are possible.
IoT "Design Patterns"
There are many paths an IoT device can take to get to the Internet. Some examples:
No matter how the device reaches the Internet, there needs to be something
there for it to talk to. That's where Canopy comes in.
Canopy is at it's core a cloud service that sits between IoT
devices and IoT apps. Canopy helps you create a cloud-based virtual
interface for your device.
- Device → WiFi router → Internet
- Device → Zigbee hub → Wifi router → Internet
- Device → GSM cell tower → Internet
- Device → Bluetooth smartphone → cell tower → Internet