Adding a wireless interface is easy. You just buy one of the black-box solutions available from countless vendors, and you drop it into your system. An adjustment here, a tweak there, some minimal testing procedures provided by the wireless vendor, and you're all set. Or are you?
Generally, communicating with similar devices (or those that deploy wireless components from one vendor) offers seamless connections. But the beauty of designing to a standard, in theory at least, is that all these devices will talk to one another after a simple pairing process.
If you've ever actually tried to design in a wireless medium, you know that that's usually far from reality. In fact, the testing of wireless networks can often be a long, arduous, head-scratching process. To that end, Design News' Continuing Education Center, sponsored by Digi-Key, is hosting a series of classes that will simplify the process for you. The classes, aptly named "Testing Wireless Devices & Systems," begin on Monday, July 9, and run for five days.
Whether you were aware or not, there's more to testing than meets the eye. Just because your prototype operates properly doesn't mean the final production model will operate similarly according to design. You will learn through hard work -- and patience -- how much wiggle room there is, depending on your medium of choice, your application, your budget, and a bunch of other characteristics.
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
If you didn't realize that PowerPoint presentations are inherently hilarious, you have to see Don McMillan take one apart. McMillan -- aka the Technically Funny Comic -- worked for 10 years as an engineer before he switched to stand-up comedy.
The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge was a Washington State suspension bridge that opened in 1940 and spanned the Tacoma Narrows strait of Puget Sound between Tacoma and the Kitsap Peninsula. It opened to traffic on July 1, 1940, and dramatically collapsed into Puget Sound on November 7, just four months after it opened.
Noting that we now live in an era of “confusion and ill-conceived stuff,” Ammunition design studio founder Robert Brunner, speaking at Gigaom Roadmap, said that by adding connectivity to everything and its mother, we aren't necessarily doing ourselves any favors, with many ‘things’ just fine in their unconnected state.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.