1) Introduction to the Internet of Things
What is the internet of things?
The Internet of Things commonly known as the Internet of Everything or simply as IoT refers to the connecting of devices to the internet. These devices can share information with each other. Mobile phones, smart refrigerators, computers, smart TVs are considered to be IoT products. So how does it work?
IoT devices generate a massive amount of data which can be stored in IoT Platforms such as servers and clouds. Using a common language, these data and information can be shared and transferred between other IoT devices and products. This, in turn, will eventually improve the user experience and help facilitate and ease a lot of applications and tasks.
Why is the Internet of things so important?
The Internet of Things does help users with many applications and activities. Here are some benefits that IoT offers:
- It helps smart devices to better communicate with each other thus having better end results and higher quality.
- Obviously, physical devices in a home or workshop that are wirelessly connected to the internet will provide a great deal of automation and save considerable time and cost.
- Monitoring of machines and robots in big factories can be a complicated and tedious task; however, with the Internet of Things, it gets a lot easier to monitor the health and state of each machine.
2) Introduction to Prototyping
what is Prototyping?
Prototyping is the last step of a design before its manufacturing as the final product. Prototyping is simply the creating of a model with the purpose of representing how the final product would look like, how it would function and how it would look like in general. There are several types of Prototypes such as:
- Film Prototype: It is a movie or video clip aimed at demonstrating how the final product looks like and what its application is.
- Rapid Prototype: It is a model that is quickly made using a 3D Computer-aided design software.
Benefits of Prototyping
Prototyping is extremely important thanks to the many advantages it brings to the table. Here are some pros one will benefit from prototyping:
- Prototypes help customers to better understand how the final product would both look like and function. On top of that, the customers will have a general idea on the cost of the final product, thus helping the designers and engineers to make necessary changes and adjustments according to the customers’ requirements.
- Prototyping helps the engineers and designers to find and fix design errors that could not be detected unless there is a physical model.
3) Internet of things Prototyping
What is an IoT prototype
Prototyping an IoT device is creating a prototype model of the final product. Below describes some of the main steps for making an IoT prototype:
- The very first step in prototyping an IoT device is to simply gather enough data and information on how the final product should look like, how it would function and how it would behave under normal conditions.
- The second step is to answer vital questions after gathering the needed information. These questions could be:
- How would a smartphone communicate with the product?
- How to store enough Data?
- Who are the target clients?
- The third step is to answer the previous questions by choosing which technology should be used, what materials and equipment are available…
- The final step is to start building the model all while keeping in mind the information and gathered data in the previous and the first step.
Below are the minimum requirements that are important to know before starting the prototyping:
- The basic knowledge of how the internet works,
- Experience in dealing with a CAD software,
- A knowledge on how to program a processor for IoT devices such as Arduino or RaspberryPi,
- And finally some form of education and tech background in electronics and mechatronics.
Advantages of prototyping the Internet of Things
As stated before, while prototyping is extremely beneficial for any design, it is even more beneficial when it comes to an IoT design because IoT is still considered to be as a new field and it is much harder to develop a product that can communicate with other products and devices than a regular traditional machine. Therefore, it is a necessity to prototype an IoT device before realizing the final product.
In conclusion, the internet is getting bigger and bigger every day with more people and devices tuning in. Since every day an immense amount of data is transferred creating large internet traffic, a lot of engineers and developers are encouraged to develop new devices and improve what our machines and devices can do.