The Internet of things is a term that was coined to refer to connected devices that communicated with each oter and with a central control via wireless connectors. This new phenomenon is what may be seen in the new Nest thermostat, an innovative thermostat that connects to the Internet and allows you to communicate with it wirelessly over the Internet.
A simple user case would be leaving the house and forgetting to reset the air conditioning. All you do is log into your home network and adjust the thermostat remotely. The gadget will even be able to notify you when temperatures reach certain predefined ranges. But the Internet of things has had a huge challenge so far, and that is energy.
For these connected devices to work efficiently and to really make this paradigm shift a reality, microprocessors, which are what make these devices connected, must be able to be energy efficient enough to merit installation and deployment. A good user case is the Nest thermostat, which has to be connected to a power source in order to work.
On the other hand, if you installed chips in let’s say your dog’s collar, they would need an independent power source that could last for a long time. Other more radical uses include embedding chips on roads for wireless communication with self-driving vehicles, which also points to energy requirements.
To address this, chip-maker ARM has launched a new microchip that uses up to 2/3 less energy than standard ships in the market. Furthermore, the chips are capable of communicating via Bluetooth, something that will increase battery life from a few months to years.
The Cortex -M0+ micro-controller enabling architecture will allow chip builders to create ultra-low energy micro-controllers that will be embedded in the 50 billion plus connected devices that Ericsson estimated will populate the planet by 2020. If you want to find out more about the Internet of things, head over to Wikipedia or view this great video on YouTube.