Edge computing is another big buzz word to describe computing outside the cloud, closer to the source of data. IoT, broadly fits quite snuggly into this definition however not perfectly! IoT is so well poised to collect data from the world.

IoT devices when deployed need to take into consideration a few critical factors

  • Battery Power consumption
  • Range
  • Bandwidth
  • Processing power

Unfortunately IoT devices can’t have it all – high bandwidth will cost power? High range will cost bandwidth. High processing power costs battery power.  In each instance there is tradeoff that IoT hardware designers and IoT user case implementers need to consider. Practicality will prevail resulting in the most balanced device possible.

Edge computing is about bringing computing to the source of data. IoT is at the source of data yet if IoT devices are required to have a high amount of processing power, then they are giving up battery power which will tremendously hurt their autonomy. Autonomy and battery lifespan are some of IoT’s biggest advantages.

Where does that leave IoT in the grand scheme of things. IoT fits more pragmatically into the outer edge. If we consider; the primary strengths of IoT are autonomous running with a high battery lifespan.

Where does processing power come in? In the context of an IoT device it doesn’t. That’s precisely the beauty of having an internet enabled device. Allow the device to simply do the work it was designed – collect data and communicate that back to a server. Use the server, along with any big data or AI applications you require but keep the processing power offsite well away from the IoT device.