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In March, at the 2016 IPC APEX EXPO show in Las Vegas, the next big thing everyone was talking about was the Internet of Things (IoT). Equipment manufacturers were standing in line to tout their machines as IoT-capable and just waiting for the industry to catch up. But the IoT has been at play in our personal lives for quite a while…
The universally accepted dictionary definition of the IoT is “A system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.”
Steve’s plain English definition is “Machines talking to machines.”
A thing in the Internet of Things can be a person with a heart monitor implant, your puppy with a biochip, the built-in sensors in your car that alert you when tire pressure is low, or your manufacturing equipment sending data, information and instructions to other machines. Basically a thing is any natural or manmade object that can be assigned an IP address and provided with the ability to transfer data over a network.
Our Connected Devices
The first smartphone was introduced in 1993, and today you would be hard pressed to find a single person in a crowd who doesn’t have one on their hip, in their purse or glued to their ear. They are technical marvels, a computer in your hand, and most certainly the poster child for our IoT lives.
Editor's Note: This column originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of The PCB Magazine.