What is Internet of Things ?
The Internet of Things is a network of physical objects vehicles, machines, home appliances, and more that use sensors and APIs to connect and exchange data over the Internet.The IoT depends on a whole host of technologies such as application programming interfaces (APIs) that connect devices to the Internet. Other key IoT technologies are Big Data management tools, predictive analytics, AI and machine learning, the cloud, and radio-frequency identification (RFID).
The Internet of Things is the environment where gadgets equipped with smart sensors collect data and exchange it over a network.
Thus, the system operates on three levels:
Hardware (various objects enhanced with firmware/embedded systems and smart sensors).
Infrastructure (a piece of software that receives, analyzes and stores sensor data; it runs in the cloud or on a corporate server).
Apps (applications for smartphones, tablets and PCs that connect hardware to the infrastructure and enable users to manage smart gadgets).
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Hardware Design Stages
This phase involves concept development, budget planning, cost optimization and technical requirements specification.
Our engineers and designers create Printed Circuit Board (PCB) layout schemes and visualize the gadget's interior in 3D CAD.
A hardware device manufacturer has to create up to ten PCBs, 3D prints the cabinet, debugs them and makes corresponding changes to the BOC.
Successful prototypes are transformed into pre-production models (PILOT) which use different materials for the device case. Various types of tests are then conducted, including climatic, electrical safety, pre-certification and user tests. During this phase, critical errors might be detected, and the prototyping process starts all over again.
Innovative IoT solutions usually go through three to five iterations until they are ready to be passed for mass production.
Network: The Internet of Things won't work without a highly scalable wireless network infrastructure, low latency and high speed connections. IoT connectivity is usually enabled by means of short range wireless (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC), cellular and low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) solutions.
Middleware: If you're planning to incorporate a ready-made 3rd-party gadget into your IoT ecosystem, you might need middleware - a piece of software which functions as an interface between IoT components, thus connecting devices that fail to communicate otherwise. According to Intel,
85% of all IoT products on the market are not designed to talk to each other or connect to the Internet.
Cloud-based: Here we talk about storage solutions and software that boils down gigabytes of raw data to what's truly meaningful. The Internet of Things start-ups typically leverage smart gadget connectivity and data analysis through PaaS solutions built by Intel, Amazon or Microsoft.
There are several types of certificates you might need for your product, including:
This is required for all electrical devices sold in the United States and might be significantly more expensive for devices using wireless connectivity.
This is the European Union analogue of FCC and UL.
RoHS certification confirms that a product does not contain lead.
Environment and electrical safety
(including the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive and Energy Star compliance, as well as tests for issues like overheating and electric shock).
(before you label your gadget as Bluetooth-compatible, you have to test it in certified labs).
Electromagnetic & radio-frequency interference
(you need to prove the performance of your device won't be affected by other connected devices within Wi-Fi/BLE/cellular network range, while the device itself conforms to the electromagnetic radiation exposure standards).
(such as skin tests required for devices which come in contact with the skin).