Smart Objects

How do smart objects work?

An intelligent object embeds its own microprocessor to process the data collected and exchanged. For example, a smart camera can autonomously recognize profiles of people in its field of view. It does not transmit all video streams to the central monitoring system, but a simple alert, when necessary.

Smart object and connected object often designate a near reality. These objects collect data, transmit it and receive it. The difference is in processing capacity: from a simple threshold crossing test to running complex and evolving algorithms.

Smart objects connect to other objects or integrate a set of devices, also called an IoT network or the Internet of Things.


Definition of a smart object

Would the smart object be a learning connected object?

In the composition of a connected object, the processing part, carried out by the microprocessor or microprocessors, can take an increasingly important part, providing the object with computing and processing power equivalent to a microcomputer. The object thus becomes more and more "intelligent".

The only limit to this development and its use will be energy autonomy. This is especially true if the object is to be battery powered for mobile use. On the other hand, if the object can be electrically powered, nothing stands in the way of making the connected object increasingly "intelligent".

The object can also be considered intelligent, if it becomes a learner through the use of artificial intelligence. This is the case, for example, with voice assistants which improve their technologies and capabilities over time, or even abnormal vibration detectors as part of the preventive maintenance of industrial machines.

A connected object is characterized by several main functions:

  • Collect data through sensors: temperature, pressure, location, vibration, air quality ...
  • Communicate with an IoT platform for possible recordings and processing processing
  • Take action if necessary: turn on the heating, send an alarm signal, unlock a lock ...

An intelligent object is also capable of connecting with other objects or equipment such as the smartphone of a home automation system user for heating regulation, lighting, home security, etc. or even the rugged terminal of a maintenance technician for the supervision of a production line, quality control ...

In the agricultural world, take the example of an irrigation system for market garden crops: the watering will be intelligently regulated according to multiple parameters, such as the nature of the crops, the temperature, the atmospheric pressure, the humidity and the nature. soils, etc.



How a smart object works

An intelligent object is characterized by its sensors, microprocessor, communication interfaces and applications.

The object allows the analysis of its environment thanks to numerous sensors capable of measuring the data necessary for the use of the object. Examples: temperature, movement or displacement, speed, light intensity, humidity, etc.

Communication interfaces are generally wireless: WiFi network, Bluetooth, RFID, etc. They allow data to be transmitted to a dedicated computer server.

The smart object processes the information received by a pre-programmed algorithm, often interacting with other elements of the IoT infrastructure. Data collection and processing will be carried out via IoT platforms. These platforms will interact with so-called "big data" analysis tools to facilitate interpretations of large volumes of data from objects.

Decisions and actions can then be triggered by the object that acts on the world around it: via switches, valves, motors, alarms, etc.

The management of the resources of the autonomous object concerns its energy supply, its computing capacity, its storage resources, etc. The energy source can come in different forms: power supply, battery or cells, energy sensors.


What are the applications of smart objects?

Digital services and solutions are unlimited thanks to the Internet of Things and the deployment of mobile networks. The deployment of 5G will further accelerate the development of new connected objects and systems.

When it comes to individuals, smart objects provide more convenience in everyday life. They save us time, energy and sometimes money. Examples: connected watch, connected thermostat, connected light bulbs, smart refrigerator, voice assistant ...

Smart objects make it possible to imagine the new cities of tomorrow (smart cities) in a different way: connected cameras, sensors for measuring air quality, regulation of traffic according to affluence, management of public lighting with a light sensor , waste container filling sensors to optimize rounds ...

Geolocation makes it possible to provide real-time information on arrival times for public transport (bus, tram, train). Signage on smartphones is possible to find an available parking space, a bicycle or an electric scooter.

In industry: predictive maintenance sensors on equipment, asset tracer, robots. Imagine a machine capable of transmitting its operating status to teams in real time in order to ensure maintenance and prevent any risk of breakdown.

In agriculture: weather sensors, connected weather station, soil moisture level, connected animal collars. The IoT enables better consumption of resources, especially in water management.

In the health sector: connected blood pressure monitor, augmented reality headset, connected imaging devices.

In commerce (retail): smart labels, inventory chips, connected lighting, physical distancing badges, etc.

Today, IoT projects have no limits. The only obstacle to their development may be security : security of the object, the network and the data exchanged.


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