Planning your IoT device 📲

All about IoT devices and how you can plan on creating your own
May 26, 2023

‍Internet of Things or IoT is when we connect physical objects to the Internet to make devices smarter and more efficient. It could be anything! We connect physical objects to the internet so they can be smarter and therefore, makes our lives easier!

What is Internet of Things:

So what does it mean to make a physical object smarter?

Let’s use your phone as an example. Before it was connected to the internet, it was pretty useless (compared to what we can use it for today!) - you could only play songs you put in it, and you could only call people you had in your contacts book.

Then one day, we had the brilliant idea of connecting it to the internet.

Now, you can download any app anyone has put online, have hundreds of communication channels, and have access to information no library, or Terabytes of data could ever fit. This is what it means to make physical objects smarter by connecting them to the internet!

Internet of Things is all about expanding the power of what anything could have, to use the data we get to our advantage and in the best, most efficient ways.

Why build an Internet of Things device:

Whatever the benefit of the IoT can bring you, is the reason why you should connect your objects to the internet! It can be anything - connecting your water bottle to track how much you’re drinking every day, or even just farmers wanting to check on their crops without having to walk a whole kilometre.

With the Internet, everything happens in real-time! And you can already see it disrupt many (if not all) industries. Like:

  • Self-Driving Cars
  • Smart Homes
  • Industrial Securities
  • Home Automations
  • Smart Locks for City Bikes 😉
  • Wearables like Fitness Trackers & Smartwatches
  • Autonomous Farming
How you can start to build one:

So how can we connect physical objects to the Internet?

There are 4 main building blocks of any IoT project:

IoT Hardware Device

  • IoT Hardware Device: any physical device that interacts with users or the environment
  • Connectivity: what links your device to the internet / the cloud!
  • Product Cloud: what takes your data, processes it, stores in databases, gives and receives commands and performs based on analytics.

IoT Hardware Device:

This would likely be the most complicated part of an IoT product, because each can be very unique based on specific needs!

Hardware has processor/controllers that act as a brain, and sensors and actuators that can collect data and perform on commands.

There are a variety of microcontroller-based boards and microprocessor-based boards you can choose from:

Microcontrollers based

  • Arduino: Easy to develop, lots of pins to add and connect features, perfect for prototyping
  • ESP: has WiFi and Bluetooth connectivities, inexpensive (ESP8266 is ~USD$3)
  • STM: complex to develop, but production and manufacturing-friendly, easily most used in production

Microprocessor-based :

  • Raspberry Pi: great support community, easy to develop, can run Operation Systems like Linux, windows

Pick a board that fits your requirements. Using pins help you connect any sensors or actuators you like, such as:

  • Pressure Sensors
  • Proximity Sensors
  • Gas Sensors
  • Temperature and Humidity sensors
  • Smoke Sensors
  • Alcohol Sensors
  • Motors


To connect your physical object to the internet/cloud, there are a few of ways of doing so, all of which also depend on what it will be used and how you need it!

  • WiFi: for indoors like home and office IoT devices
  • RFID/NFC: mainly used for cards
  • GSM/GPRS: for outdoor standalone devices
  • Bluetooth: mostly used in IoT, controlled using a smartphone, can create Bluetooth mesh for multiple devices
  • LoRaWAN: for industrial and public infrastructure products, can have a range of 3–5 km
  • NB-IoT: for cellular communication technology, very low power

Product Cloud

The Product Cloud is where all the gathering, processing, analysis of databases and information is stored.

When the cloud receives raw data from devices, it can transform the data to readable data, apply business logic, store data usefully, and power the features of the IoT product.

Here are a few cloud solutions you can use:

  • Microsoft Azure IoT Suite
  • Watson IoT Platform
  • AWS IoT Platform
  • Google Cloud’s IoT Platform

We hope this helped you understand the very basics of creating an IoT product! Go ahead, learn it, and try it for yourself! Let us know what you build ;) Or let us know how we can help you!

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