February 03, 2015 2 min read

What is a connected device? The answer used to be relatively simple: a machine that is connected to the Internet. However, the advent of “smart” products has caused the meaning of a “connected device” to evolve. Now people consider it to encompass machines that can be linked wirelessly to other machines. Most of us would certainly consider a laptop or a smartphone to be connected devices. Nowadays, even certain types of refrigerators and thermostats can be considered connected devices. The gadgets that can be controlled remotely, often times with a “smart” gadget, could be labeled as such. Two examples of these newer types of connected devices are the Ollie and Netatmo Weather Station.

The  Ollie is a toy robot that can be controlled by iOS and Android apps on a smart device. The robot and the smart product are connected via Bluetooth, which allows the apps to control the speed, agility, and jumping ability of the Ollie. This somewhat resembles the remote controlled cars that you might remember playing with if you're hold enough. However for the Ollie, the remote is an everyday device that is smaller, lighter, and more portable. The video below should answer any other questions you have about Ollie.

The  Netatmo Weather Station monitors environmental conditions and sends the information to a smart device. The station can be used either inside or outside to measure things such as air quality, carbon dioxide levels, sound levels, temperature, and humidity. This data is displayed by an app on the smart device. Therefore, if you wanted to go for a run outside on a summer day, you could check the humidity and temperature to determine a safe amount of physical activity. Alerts can be sent to the smart device when any of these conditions are abnormal such as elevated carbon dioxide levels in the home or office.

These products are only a few examples that illustrate what a connected device can be - other connected devices include innovations such as self-driving cars! But to answer the question simply, a connected device links itself wirelessly to another device, and so they can both send information to each other. There is communication between the gadgets in spoken in a language that only machines (and their engineers) can understand.


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