How Telemetry Powers the Internet of Things (IoT)

How Telemetry Powers the Internet of Things (IoT)

Telemetry has been around since the 1800s, but a recent explosion in sensor tech, AI, and wireless speeds has turned it into a powerhouse for our lives. Telemetry is the data collection and communication that forms the backbone of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Want the perfect example of how telemetry fuels IoT? When you’re driving and your maps app warns you there’s a traffic jam ahead, that’s IoT telemetry at its best. Apps in hundreds of cars ahead of you relayed their speed data to the cloud, so your app knew about the jam before you got there. Now you can take an alternate route, all thanks to telemetry.

Giving eyes to the world

Now imagine that same tech informed by 50 billion sensors worldwide, reading not just car speed but temperature, vibration, air quality, heart rate, and a thousand other metrics from billions of objects. In the cloud, machine learning crunches those facts and spits back useful insights, making things cheaper, better, faster, and more efficient.

In this post, we’ll look at how telemetry and IoT work hand-in-glove to serve up eye-popping convenience. We’ll also look at how we use telemetry and IoT today, what devices they work best with, and where it’s all headed in the future.

Telemetry definition

Telemetry is a process that collects raw data from sensors, then transmits it to where it can be used. It comes from the Greek words tele (distance) and metron (measure). Today, blossoming sensor tech uses telemetry to feed the IoT.

As we mentioned above, telemetry isn’t new. In the mid-1800s, French engineers built a network of sensors on Mont Blanc that transmitted real-time weather data to Paris. More than a century later, grad students at Carnegie Mellon University created the first internet-connected “smart device” – an erratically stocked Coke machine whose status could be checked remotely.

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