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Join us on Wednesday, December 23 at 2 p.m. for a fun filled session of Advanced STEM Club where we will learn even more about The Internet of Things (IoT) and get to do a fun project together! 

 Register here!

What is The Internet of Things?

The following information is from Britannica and Kids Code CS

The Internet of Things (IoT) connects dumb devices like refrigerators to the internet and uses software to connect them to our daily lives.

Can a car talk to a house? In the future, your car might tell your house that you are five miles away and please turn on the lights and warm up the house.

This is an example of an idea called the “Internet of Things” or IoT. Because wi-fi networks have become so common, dumb objects like refrigerators, washing machines, and cars can include internet access with software to make use of the internet connection.

For example, if you scanned in your groceries as you put them in the refrigerator, and pulled them out for use, each item could tell the refrigerator what it was, its expiration date, and other useful information. The refrigerator could collect and organize this information to send you. You might get emails with recipe ideas, for example, based on what food you have. Or an email with a grocery shopping list.

In the bigger less personal world, imagine water and gas pipes that notified your town when they had a leak. Or sensors in the woods that notified firefighters of a fire.

The Internet of Things has at least these elements:

  • Sensors to detects inputs from the world around them.
  • Software to look at sensor data then follow rules to make decisions about how to respond to data.
  • Software to manage the operation of a device which includes one or more sensors.
  • An internet connection to transmit and receive data and instructions from other devices.

For example, your refrigerator might have:

  • A barcode scanner (sensor) to scan all food you put into it.
  • Software to evaluate scanner data about food stored in the refrigerator and make decisions about expiration dates, recipes, shopping lists, and other useful tasks to save you time.
  • A basic operating system to run the barcode scanner and the software evaluating data from the scanner.
  • An internet connection to help the software evaluate data and follow rules to make decisions about the barcode scanner data. For example, the refrigerator might use the internet to look up recipes or email you a shopping list based on when food expires.

How It Works:

The IoT uses data and information in diverse ways and then communicates via wired and wireless protocols, including Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Near Field Communication (NFC). That framework allows people and systems to share media and content as text, audio, or video; monitor and control events remotely; and interact with others through mobile devices and other systems, such as gaming devices. The IoT has introduced capabilities as diverse as monitoring the brakes on a train from a central dashboard many miles away to booking a dining reservation or summoning a taxi through a smartphone app.

Two basic types of connected devices exist: digital-first and physical-first. The former consists of machines and devices specifically designed for built-in connectivity, such as smartphones and streaming media players as well as agricultural combines and jet engines. Digital-first devices generate data and communicate with other machines, a link that is often referred to as machine-to-machine communications (M2M). Physical-first devices consist of objects that include a microchip or a sensor with communication capabilities. For example, a book or a key chain may contain a chip that allows a person to track it as it moves. In addition, people communicate through the IoT, using social media, crowdsourcing, and other voice- and data-communication methods.

To learn even more about The Internet of Things join us on December 23rd for Advanced STEM Club where we will be doing a fun activity to learn more about IoT.

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