Tutorials & Projects

Online Communities

Terms and Definitions

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a scenario in which objects, animals or people are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human interaction.

Active sensor

An active sensor is a sensing device that requires an external source of power to operate; active sensors contrast with passive sensors, which simply detect and respond to some type of input from the physical environment.
In the context of remote sensing, an active sensor is a device with a transmitter that sends out a signal, light wavelength or electrons to be bounced off a target, with data gathered by the sensor upon their reflection.


Addressability is the capacity for an entity to be targeted and found. To be addressable, an entity must be uniquely identifiable, which means that it must be associated with something — typically an alphanumeric string, although there are other possibilities — that is not associated with anything else that exists within that system.

Control network

A control network is a network of nodes that collectively monitor, sense, and control or enable control of an environment for a particular purpose. A home appliance network is a good example of a control network. In fact, thousands of control networks already exist in everyday life in automobiles, refrigerators, traffic light controls, city lighting systems, and on factory floors. Control networks vary enormously in the number of nodes (from three to thousands) in the network and in their complexity. Unlike networks that people use to communicate with each other, control networks tend to be invisible. In the future, control networks are expected to become an important aspect of what is sometimes called ubiquitous computing.

Device attack

A device attack is an exploit that takes advantage of a vulnerable device to gain access to a network.


A gateway is a network point that acts as an entrance to another network.

Home automation

Home automation is the use of one or more computers to control basic home functions and features automatically and sometimes remotely.

Identity of Things (IDoT)

The Identity of Things (IDoT) is an area of endeavour that involves assigning unique identifiers (UID) with associated metadata to devices and objects (things), enabling them to connect and communicate effectively with other entities over the Internet.

Intelligent device

An intelligent device is any type of equipment, instrument, or machine that has its own computing capability.

Internet of Things privacy (IoT privacy)

Internet of Things privacy is the special considerations required to protect the information of individuals from exposure in the IoT environment, in which almost any physical or logical entity or object can be given a unique identifier and the ability to communicate autonomously over the Internet or similar network.

IPv6 address

An IPv6 address is a 128-bit alphanumeric string that identifies an endpoint device in the Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) addressing scheme.
In more precise terms, an IPv6 address is 128 bits long and is arranged in eight groups, each of which is 16 bits. Each group is expressed as four hexadecimal digits and the groups are separated by colons. Here’s an example of a full IPv6 address: FE80:CD00:0000:0CDE:1257:0000:211E:729C

Machine data

Machine data (also known as machine-generated data) is digital information created by the activity of computers, mobile phones, embedded systems and other networked devices.

Machine-to-Machine (M2M)

Machine to machine (M2M) is a broad label that can be used to describe any technology that enables networked devices to exchange information and perform actions without the manual assistance of humans.

Smart home or building

A smart home or building is a home or building, usually a new one, that is equipped with special structured wiring to enable occupants to remotely control or program an array of automated home electronic devices by entering a single command. For example, a homeowner on vacation can use a Touchtone phone to arm a home security system, control temperature gauges, switch appliances on or off, control lighting, program a home theatre or entertainment system, and perform many other tasks.


A microcontroller is a compact microcomputer designed to govern the operation of embedded systems in motor vehicles, robots, office machines, complex medical devices, mobile radio transceivers, vending machines, home appliances, and various other devices. A typical microcontroller includes a processor, memory, and peripherals.