Jean-Sébastien Breault
By Jean-Sébastien Jan 29, 2024

Tech Report – Exploring IoT and Embedded Systems: A Deeper Look with Our Experts

Did you know that by the year of 2025, around 75 billion of devices will be connected to the Internet of Things (IoT), creating a global network of smart objects that can communicate and interact? But where exactly do embedded systems fit into all this? Designed specifically to perform dedicated functions within electronic devices, they are the silent engine behind many technological innovations. Although IoT and embedded systems are often confused, they are far from being identical. So, what sets them apart?

Whether you’re a tech enthusiast, an experienced industry professional, or someone simply curious to understand these two key concepts, this article is sure to enlighten you. From the widespread connectivity of IoT to the targeted precision of embedded systems, our experts will guide you through the features of these technologies, illustrating how they not only coexist but also complement each other.

Branches linking several facets of the Internet of Things (IoT)

Understanding Internet of Things in A Real-Life

Imagine a ship sailing across the Atlantic Ocean for a moment. This ship has lots of sensors keeping an eye on things like how much fuel it’s using, the condition of the engine, as well as the weather. All this information is sent in real-time to the person operating the ship. It helps them keep a constant watch and make quick, smart decisions. That’s what IoT is about: connecting everyday things to gather and analyze data, making operations smarter and more efficient.

To put it simply, Internet of Things (IoT) is changing how devices and machines connect to the Internet, creating vast opportunities for collecting and sharing data. In fact, it’s a crucial part of Industry 4.0, the new era of automation and data exchange in manufacturing. With IoT, companies can keep a close eye on their operations in real time, making them more efficient and productive.

As a real-life example, imagine your alarm clock telling your coffee machine to start making your cappuccino once you turn off the alarm. This is made possible by IoT! By linking regular devices to the Internet, we essentially give them “eyes and ears,” allowing them to interact with the world around them.

Close-up of hardware in the context of embedded systems

The Subtle Presence of Embedded Systems in Daily Life

Take your state-of-the-art electronic washing machine as an example. Its only task is to wash your clothes (no need for the Internet here!). Hence, an embedded system. This specialized computer is directly integrated into the appliance it manages and is dedicated to performing a specific task. Operating independently, it remains focused on its dedicated mission. In other words, it is embedded within the device and operating autonomously.

Created with a single focus, an embedded system is designed to excel at a specific task. Tailored for optimal performance, these systems stand out for their compact size, speed, energy efficiency, and exceptional reliability compared to broader IT systems. Found in everyday items like microwaves, vending machines, and car braking systems, their specialization makes them indispensable across a wide range of applications.

While IoT focuses on connectivity and data exchange, embedded systems prioritize performance and efficiency. These systems are created to operate reliably and consistently, often in harsh conditions for extended periods.

Comparative Analysis Between IoT and Embedded Systems

So how do IoT and embedded systems compare? To better understand how they differ, picture a square and a rectangle. A rectangle can be a square, but only if it meets specific criteria such as all its sides being equal. Similarly, an embedded system can be integrated into IoT, but only if it is connected to the Internet. Without this connection, the embedded system remains an autonomous device, dedicated to a specific task. Once linked, it becomes part of IoT, capable of communication and interaction within a broader network.

Returning to the example of your washing machine, imagine connecting it to the Internet through IoT. This integration would enable you to receive notifications on your phone, informing you when the washing cycle is complete. An appliance with an embedded system linked to the Internet… that’s IoT!

Jean-Sébastien Breault, author of the article and IoT professional working

Your IoT and Embedded Systems Professionals

Ultimately, both IoT and embedded systems play distinct roles, but they each find their place in the technological landscape. IoT stands out for its connectivity and flexibility, enabling a multitude of innovative applications. Embedded systems, on the other hand, prioritize reliability and efficiency, executing specific tasks with unmatched precision.

It is important to note that the development of these technologies requires specific skills. At Uzinakod, we take pride in our advanced expertise in developing connected products, embedded systems, IoT, artificial intelligence and business intelligence. We understand the complexities and challenges associated with each technology area, and we’re ready to guide you through these complexities.

Wondering whether you should invest in IoT or embedded systems for your next project? Our specialists are here to help. Contact them and they’ll help turn your ideas into reality.

Note: We don’t believe that all embedded systems should be connected to the Internet. A microwave… really? 😉

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