Coming from a mostly-electronics perspective, as I do, integrating functions does seem like a no-brainer. But a lot of control and automation mechanisms are, or have been, not easily integrated with electronics and/or driven by proprietary, closed software, like PLCs. So integration of functions there is happening a lot more slowly.
I know what you mean, Chuck, I feel the same way about a lot of things. I always use the smartphone as an example. But I guess at the time, it made sense to just have a phone for talking...and then a music player for music...and a GPS for GPS. So using that logic, it shows why functions might be separate. But I completely agree with you.
Components makers integration functions that were previously separate into microcontrollers and other key aspects of the automation system to make them easier to deploy and manage. This controller from Advantech is an example of that trend.
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.
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