Transducers, Computers and Power supplies
The physical components that make up "things" in the IoT world can be broken down in a variety of ways, however focusing on the following three can be a useful division: transducers, computers, and power supply.
Sensors and actuators are the two types of transducers. Sensors perceive the world around them, as their name implies. Your nerves are sensors that turn diverse data, such as light into color or heat into feeling, into impulses that your brain can understand. Digital sensors work in a similar fashion to analogue sensors, except they transform analogue signals into digital codes that a computer can comprehend.
The Apple Watch includes a compass, global navigation, altimeter, electrical and optical cardiac sensors, accelerometer, gyroscope, ambient light sensor, microphone, and pressure sensor, among other analogue and digital sensors. The majority of these sensors, such as the compass, accelerometer, and gyroscope, are small combo chips. Or, in the case of worldwide navigation, a single chip can handle various systems such as GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and QZSS. From weather sensors to smart home scales, IoT devices are frequently used to collect data. Sensors that are connected to the internet are the fundamental components of these gadgets.
Actuators are the polar opposite of sensors in many aspects. While sensors are in charge of computer input, actuators are in charge of how a computing device interacts with the outside world. Inputs are handled by sensors, while outputs are handled by actuators. Few IoT devices exist just as actuators.
IoT gadgets are nothing more than small computers. Boring old machines with microprocessors for computing, RAM for memory, NAND flash for longer-term storage, and a Wi-Fi shield for data transmission. Although not all of these components are required, they are popular in IoT computers. The majority of IoT computer hardware has been reduced to inconceivable sizes, drastically lowering power consumption.
The Apple Watch in 2019 had an S5 chip with a 64-bit dual-core processor as well as W3 chips. In addition to calculation, they were also in charge of wireless data transfer, which enabled cellular phone conversations. Whether an IoT device mainly relies on sensors to read the world or actuators to interact with it, a microcontroller is a component that all IoT devices have in common. Even passive RFID tags have a chip in them for the most basic processing.
Batteries are large, heavy, and slow to improve in comparison to other computing components such as CPUs. When it comes to IoT devices, the majority of the decisions you'll have to make are linked to reducing power usage and, as a result, reducing battery size and charging requirements. Despite the limitations of batteries, the industry has been able to boost power via ingenuity and invention.