Embedded Systems Bolster Mobile Technology, Growth of ‘Internet of Things’

Posted on December 3, 2016 by Matt Johnson
Tags: IoT

Technology is rapidly improving with every passing year, and we’re simultaneously seeing great news come across the wire for two factions – consumers, who are getting access to bigger and better mobile devices for everyday use, and electrical engineering professionals, who are now using high-powered embedded systems for improving workflow.

Everyone is benefiting from more robust computing power and better electronic devices. We’re advancing toward a reality that’s dominated by the “Internet of Things” – in other words, every device we own, from our phones to our cars and our microwaves, will be online and interconnected.

What’s most exciting is that our professional and personal lives are converging. The movements toward improving mobile technology and better engineering are one and the same, and everyone benefits.

Mobile devices are embedded systems, too

We’re now reaching the point where the lines are becoming blurred between “mobile devices” and “embedded systems.” Both are tools for adding efficiency to our lives. According to Electronic Engineering Journal, they’re practically interchangeable. Editor Bryon Moyer states that if an embedded system can move while operating, it’s basically an embedded mobile device.

“Who knows how decisions get made about which devices get put in which category?” Moyer asked. “Some mobile devices have clearly earned their own niche as neither embedded nor computer. So instead of arguing about whether to create a new category, we can instead argue about which devices on the fringes should be considered embedded and which should be considered mobile.”

Mobile devices are becoming more prominent every day, and engineers, as well as consumers, should be thankful for the low-cost efficiency they provide.  As technology advances within single-purpose embedded systems, general-purpose mobile devices become cheaper and more powerful.  Likewise, mobile device technology backfills into the embedded space to enable more complex and efficient embedded systems.

Internet of Things bridges the remaining gap between mobile and embedded

Even when an embedded system is stationary and has a single purpose, that doesn’t preclude it from interacting with the rest of the mobile world.  Embedded devices are becoming more and more capable of integrating internet connectivity every day.  This allows simple embedded devices to act as cogs of a much larger and complex ecosystem of connected machines.

“As miniaturization improves, developers are gaining access to platforms that … can perform complex actions and do far more than simply store or communicate data,” explains Jason Tee of “[A] massive cloud backend extends the reach of embedded technology even farther, allowing individual devices to come together as part of a much larger network.”

To make the Internet of Things work seamlessly, engineering efforts are required in both mobile and embedded realms. Mobile applications must connect to and communicate with embedded systems directly or through cloud-based computing services.  At the same time, embedded devices must remain secure and robust while being remotely operated or monitored by another device, and  DornerWorks – with its commitment to electronic engineering services for the aerospace, medical, automotive, consumer and industrial markets – is dedicated to meeting that goal.

Matt Johnson
by Matt Johnson
Embedded Engineer
Matt Johnson is an embedded engineer at DornerWorks.