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12 The PCB Magazine • November 2015 It is often surprising how closely our science fiction novels and movies model the future. The Internet of Things (IoT) and big data may prove to be an excellent example of this phenome- non. Coined in 1999 by Kevin Ashton (the RFID standards pioneer), the IoT is one of the least descriptive monikers of all time for something very important in the history of technology. At its core, the IoT (or IoE or IoX) is a catch- all grouping for a network of interconnected devices across multiple technologies that span everything from smartphones, to utility sys- tems, medicine, to vehicles—all of which will collect data and communicate with the cloud and with each other to make "intelligent" de- cisions about their operation within the total context of the network. Add to this an astounding proliferation of sensors measuring everything from tempera- ture to vibrations, chemicals, and magnetic fields. Drop in some big data analytics, make the leap from traditional neural nets and genet- ic algorithms written in LISP or Prolog to more modern programming languages like Python or Haskell, transition to distributed parallel ar- chitecture and a bunch of Google programmers lead by Jeff Dean, Geoffrey Hinton and Ray- mond Kurzweil, and you begin to have some- thing that looks very much like James Cam- eron's mythical "Skynet" from the 1984 movie "The Terminator." What exactly are these devices that will be connected? In 2015, with 13.4 billion connected devic- es, we are close to saturation on human com- puter interface devices such as tablets, mobile phones and personal computers. The connected device landscape that is being predicted to drive the IoT will see significant growth in other seg- ments which will span everything from medi- cal devices, such as glucose sensors and blood by Jason Marsh InSulectro PuttiNg it all together What is the Internet of Things and Why Should it Matter to Us? FeATure ColuMn

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