Internet of Things

Internet started as a network of computers talking to each other. As evolution goes, each network defined it's own languare for effective communication (targetting a specific purpose) leading to a plethora of protocols like FTP, telnet, SMTP, POP3, IMAP, SNMP etc. This was fine till there were only a handful of hosts providing these services. But how could one talk to hosts if one didn't know about their existence? With number of hosts growing, a need to organize the information was felt. Hence came Archie, gopher and WAIS. However, it wasn't till HTTP or the World Wide Web (WWW) that Internet reached its full potential. Before that, as popular perception goes, computer, and by extension, Internet was only meant for Geeks / programmers.

So what was it about WWW that changed how people looked at computers.
- It is easy to get started
One need not remember the host. One get started from a portal like Yahoo or search engine like google and reach their destination.
- It is easy to use
A simple mouse click starts the convesation with other computer. Keyboard comes into play only when more information needs to be entered.
- Openness
The HTTP standard is open. Proprietary protocols are unlikely to get widespread adoption.

Internet of Everything (IoT) is a network of miniature computers called microcontrollers (MCUs). A typical such device will have

  • 8-bit to 32-bit devices (refers to word size used for processing)
  • 375B to 128KB Flash (for holding program logic)
  • 16B to 4KB RAM (scratch area for intermediate work)
That's where the problem starts - how do you give these tiny devices the same or similar amount of intelligence as one would expect from a computer? Make no mistake - these devices are highly efficient for their sizes allowing you to sense and control using limited logic powered by only a coin cell. I believe the history of Internet has a lot of learning about the path Internet of Everything (IoT) will take.


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