Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About the Internet (of Things)

Gene Frantz of Octavo Systems walks readers through various technical elements of the Internet of Things, and provides his perspective on the past, present and future of IoT technology.

  • The IoT, defined

    The IoT, defined

    It was several months after I had heard the phrase “cloud computing” and, in fact, it was the concept of the Internet of Things which cleared up my working definition of cloud computing.

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  • The systems that make up IoT

    As I see it, the Internet of Things is a system of systems. Each of its three components (the cloud, the aggregator, and the smart sensor) are, in their own rights, systems.

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  • How many systems are there in the IoT

    the IoT is made up of three systems: the cloud, the aggregator, and the smart sensor. But then, there might be a case where the aggregator looks more like a smart sensor than an aggregator.

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  • What is an aggregator?

    At first glance, the aggregator appears to be the unnecessary component in the IoT.

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  • What does an aggregator look like?

    What does an aggregator look like?

    The simplest description of an aggregator is that it is a self-contained computer system.

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  • How does an aggregator talk to the rest of the IoT?

    How does an aggregator talk to the rest of the IoT?

    The continuing shrinking in size of the aggregator will happen as we learn to improve on power efficiency and wireless communications.

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  • The cloud – or, rather, the clouds

    The cloud – or, rather, the clouds

    Should the term “cloud” should be singular or plural? It would seem that geography, language, and culture would separate the clouds.

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  • The “Aha!” moments of my cloud understanding

    The “Aha!” moments of my cloud understanding

    The term "cloud" seemed to trivialize all the technology I had spent my career working on and the sophistication of the system I had come to deeply appreciate.

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  • Bandwidth, performance, and security: What we expect of the cloud

    Bandwidth, performance, and security: What we expect of the cloud

    The cloud seems to provide us with infinite communications bandwidth, infinite performance, and total security. All these assumptions are lies.

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  • "Infinite" in the context of IoT

    "Infinite" in the context of IoT

    I began to tell people that we were advertising "infinite performance, infinite bandwidth, and total security, all of which were over-stated.”

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  • Clouding the issue of the IoT

    Clouding the issue of the IoT

    When thinking about the IoT systems, I conclude that each of the three systems – the cloud, the aggregator, or the sensor – will have a different class of components.

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  • The Ps and Qs of smart sensors

    The Ps and Qs of smart sensors

    How do smart sensors fit into the IoT ecosystem?

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  • An early smart sensor concept: Smart Dust

    We were intrigued with the concept, but the concept of smart dust begged several questions about the idea of a smart sensor.

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  • What are the components of a smart sensor?

    What are the components of a smart sensor?

    The ultimate goal of a smart sensor is that it be completely autonomous. That means it sources its own energy, performs all of its functions and communicates with the outside world wirelessly.

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  • Smart sensors: The reality of Sci-Fi

    Smart sensors: The reality of Sci-Fi

    It surprised me when I realized that as much as I was trying to convince people that power dissipation was important, I was being ignored.

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  • Warming up to body heat

    Warming up to body heat

    My last request of them was to get their input on how we could create devices that ran on “body heat”. I believe they were catching my vision while privately labeling me as crazy.

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  • Smart sensors, from smoke to RF

    When discussing wireless communications, I often ask people what the first wireless communications system was. I seldom get the answer I am looking for, as most do not understand my question.

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  • Beyond IoT

    Can you guess how much performance gain could be realized by using analog signal processing? How much lower power dissipation? Just how crazy do you think I am?

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  • The Return to Analog

    It seems we are conducting ourselves similar to that of a junior high dance where the signal processing people are on one side of the gym and the IC architects are on the other side of the gym.

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