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IoT devices can essentially do two things. They can sense, as in measure something like temperature, humidity, air pressure, sound or light levels, or they can actuate, like move a servo, change the setting on a thermostat, or turn lights on our off.

The third thing that IoT devices are started to be able to do is run logic. Around 2012/2013, hubs were all the range. SmartThings was kicking it, Revolv was launching, and WigWag was wagging proud. However, they soon petered out of fashion and the WeMo model of just being a sensor or an actuator and letting others take the reigns for the control became popular.

Now, we’re seeing again the logic come down to the hub. However, this time we’re calling it the “edge” and instead of logic, we’re calling it AI. Where the strength of Edge AI lays is in 1) being able to abstract information to reduce bandwidth or 2) be able to use sensors but not transmit sensitive information.

Having gone through the exercise of installing WiFi bulbs in my home, I’m wondering if there’s a limit on the actuation side. How much can you control? However, there’s no limit on the sensing side. The benefit might diminish quickly unless you can infer valuable information from what’s being sensed.

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