IoT Definitions

This glossary explains the meaning of key words and phrases that information technology (IT) and business professionals use when discussing IoT and related software products. You can find additional definitions by visiting WhatIs.com or using the search box below.

  • M

    microcomputer

    A microcomputer is a complete computer on a smaller scale and is generally a synonym for the more common term, personal computer or PC, a computer designed for an individual.

  • microcontroller

    A microcontroller is a compact integrated circuit designed to govern a specific operation in an embedded system.

  • microserver

    A microserver, also known as a server appliance, is a compact, less expensive, modular hardware platform designed to make installation and maintenance simpler than traditional enterprise-class rack servers.

  • MQTT (MQ Telemetry Transport)

    MQTT (MQ Telemetry Transport) is a lightweight messaging protocol that provides resource-constrained network clients with a simple way to distribute telemetry information.

  • N

    Nest Labs

    Nest Labs is a home automation specialist company that produces programmable Wi-Fi-enabled products that can be remotely controlled through a Web service or an associated smart home app.

  • P

    passive sensor

    Passive sensor technologies gather target data through the detection of vibrations, light, radiation, heat or other phenomena occurring in the subject’s environment.  They contrast with active sensors, which include transmitters that send out a signal, a light wavelength or electrons to be bounced off the target, with data gathered by the sensor upon their reflection.

  • pervasive computing (ubiquitous computing)

    Pervasive computing (ubiquitous computing) is the growing trend of embedding computational capability into everyday objects to enable them to communicate and perform useful tasks.

  • R

    reference architecture

    A reference architecture is a document or set of documents to which a project manager or other interested party can refer to for best practices. By using a reference architecture, a project team can potentially save time and avoid mistakes by learning from past experiences.

  • remote sensing

    Remote sensing is the use of various technologies to make observations and measurements from a target that is usually at a distance or on a scale beyond those observable to the naked eye. Remote sensing technologies include: LiDAR, radar, infrared radiation (IR), thermal, seismic, sonar, electric field sensing and GPS.

  • RF-powered computing

    RF-powered computing is the use of radio frequency (RF) signals to enable the operation and communication of low-power devices, typically for machine-to-machine (M2M) networking.

  • RFID (radio frequency identification)

    RFID (radio frequency identification) is a form of wireless communication that incorporates the use of electromagnetic or electrostatic coupling in the radio frequency portion of the electromagnetic spectrum to uniquely identify an object, animal or person.

  • RFID skimming

    RFID skimming is the wireless interception of information from RFID chip-based debit, credit and ID cards and other documents, such as passports. The purpose of RFID skimming may be simple theft or more complex identity theft. Most typically, thieves use an NFC-enabled device that records unencrypted data from the card's RFID chip, which is broadcast into the air.

  • RFID tagging

    RFID tagging is an ID system that uses small radio frequency identification devices for identification and tracking purposes.

  • RFID virus

    An RFID (radio-frequency identification) virus is malicious code inserted into an RFID tag to alter or corrupt data in an RFID system.

  • RIOT operating system

    RIOT operating system is an open source operating system specialized for IoT (internet of things) devices.

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