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How low-cost, low-performance computers are shaping the future of IoT

IoT systems are everywhere from industrial to consumer solutions. As computing and electronics are getting cheaper we will soon see a new generation of applications called Internet of Everyday Things.

There are many technologies which can push IoT to new fields such as printed electronics. The field is expected to become widespread as low-cost, low-performance computers can power a vast number of applications. For example think of how logistic procedures can be improved with active labels on temperature-sensitive food or medicine.

Business Apps
Thomas Saunders

Smart labels are going to bring dramatic increase in transportation efficiency. Once price of these intelligent labels can be squeezed down to a dollar, we will see a massive growth of applications.

Printed electronics can also improve product performance. Imagine if you can add a large number low-cost computers and sensors to your complex system. By having a large number of readings the product can respond to the environment. Pairing the readings with a high-performance computer which handles data analytics, will create a powerful machine. From engine management systems to product placement in retail there are no limits in applications.


Printed computer vs conventional electronics
Source: Wikipedia

As these complicated applications provide more data, we need to process them efficiently and make decisions accordingly. This is what we call “system of systems” (SoS). In other words the concept of SoS is to collect the data and resources of dedicated systems to create a new system which offers higher performance and extended functionality.
It is a fairly new subject and there are many challenges across all fields where understanding SoS is essential.
For example it’s hard to tell happens when a large number of autonomous vehicle are driving down the highway. Individual cars can drive by their own AI rules without problems. However, when thousands of self-driving cars are sharing the same road it’s impossible to predict their behaviour. Problems like this can be solved with implementing SoS solutions.

In conclusion, thanks to the ever decreasing price of computers, we will see plenty more IoT applications. From simple to extremely complex systems it’s a field which has a huge potential and IoT is currently going through the same revolution the Internet of Computers went through in the ‘90s.

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