January 31, 2019
| By: Christine Young
Blogger, Maxim Integrated
Looking at how the incorporation of sensors and intelligence has transformed electronic devices over the years, it’s hard not to think about how strange our world has become. You can now get a response after asking, “Mirror, mirror on the wall?” If you’re so inclined, you can enjoy a fully immersive experience from…your toilet. Got a cat who tips the scales? Maybe your corpulent kitty would benefit from a smart treadmill.
Smart, connected mirrors, toilets, and the treadmill are just a few of the latest internet of things (IoT) products showcased at this year’s CES in Las Vegas. If Gartner projections are correct, by next year, we could have more than 20 billion IoT devices in use in the world. More than half of these products fall in the consumer category, with the rest on the business side. That’s a lot of things that can sense, make decisions, and even communicate with each other without human intervention.
Smart mirrors, which were among the IoT applications displayed at CES 2019, could give us a wealth of information at a glance.
Even if we have the means to turn a “dumb” product into a smart one, it doesn’t mean that we should connect everything to the internet. Do you really need a smart toilet paper dispenser to tell you, via an app, when you’re running low? Often, the zanier things garner the headlines and buzz, but the more substantive products really highlight the awesomeness of their underlying technologies. Where the IoT shines is when it presents a better solution to a real problem, or when it allows us to do something (something worthwhile, of course) that wasn’t possible before. There are plenty of good examples on both the consumer and business sides. Consider home security, where a WiFi-enabled video doorbell can send feed of activity near the front door to the homeowner’s smartphone. Or manufacturing, where automated, intelligent factory equipment can improve productivity and uptime, completing repetitive tasks efficiently and adjusting on-the-fly to changing requirements. Or healthcare, where wearable devices that continuously monitor vital signs can help patients better manage chronic diseases.
IoT Design Resources
Whether strange or substantive, every smart, connected product shares some common characteristics. On its All Things IoT website, Mouser Electronics highlights these characteristics, providing a portal with resources on the underlying technologies that enable them. Maxim is featured on this IoT portal, offering ICs for each of these areas. Let’s take a closer look:
In addition to featuring relevant vendors on its All Things IoT portal, Mouser also provides resources including ebooks, blogs, and a video hosted by Grant Imahara. If you’re a Mythbusters fan, you’ll know Imahara from his decade as one of the hosts of the popular Discovery Channel show. So, next time you’re looking for security, connectivity, processing, power, and sensing solutions for a smart, connected design, browse through Mouser’s All Things IoT portal for insights and resources.