What is Internet of Things (IoT)? IoT refers to the connection of everyday objects to the internet and to one another, with the goal being to provide users with smarter, more efficient experiences.
These 'smart' devices can be anything from mobile phones, fridges, or washing machines to wearables, medical equipment or jet engines.
These two videos are part of the resources for Session one and explain the benefits and potential risks of IoT:
'The Thing' is something that is present, physically in the real world (e.g in your home, your workplace, your car, or worn on your body). This means that it can receive inputs from your world and transform them into data which is sent onto the internet for collection and processing.
Microcontrollers are processors. They process inputs and produce outputs in a similar way to any other computer. The microcontrollers used in this course are micro:bits or Arduinos (resources for Crumble boards are planned for later in the year).
Sensors are the way you get information into your device (input) by finding out things about your surroundings e.g. light or temperature sensors, push buttons.
Actuators are the outputs for the device e.g. lights, buzzers, motors which let your device do something in the outside world.
Internet - the internet allows the flow of information so that it can be processed and combined with other sources of data.
As an example:
- the ‘thing’ is a coffee maker in your kitchen
- a movement sensor in your bathroom detects you entering room first thing in morning (input)
- this info then is sent via your wi-fi to the microcontroller in your ‘home help’system
- this then tells coffee machine (actuator) to start making coffee (output).
For the Internet of Things course we will be exploring the use of the Internet by devices and creating prototypes but will not be connecting these prototypes to the Internet (unless you are using an internet enabled Arduino board such as the Arduino).