I have been using automated utility payments for many years. The main difference is that if I don't pay, a utility company person does the disconnection. It is very reliable and not subject to many errors. And the utility company does not need to assure that some error won't cause an accidental disconnection of my service. The system described in the write-up will be subject to both hardware failures and software faults, and be hundreds of times less reliable. Just think of microsoft company and you will understand about how many bugs can be in the code, causing problems. And how reliable will the series contacts be? Versus how many disconnects does the utility do in a typical year? Is the cost of adding the seldom used disconnect function to every meter less than the cost of one service tech to disconnect the few service connections each month?
What are the engineering and design challenges in creating successful IoT devices? These devices are usually small, resource-constrained electronics designed to sense, collect, send, and/or interpret data. Some of the devices need to be smart enough to act upon data in real time, 24/7. Are the design challenges the same as with embedded systems, but with a little developer- and IT-skills added in? What do engineers need to know? Rick Merritt talks with two experts about the tools and best options for designing IoT devices in 2016. Specifically the guests will discuss sensors, security, and lessons from IoT deployments.