Embedded + Cloud = Internet of Thingsby Michael Parks, PE, for Mouser ElectronicsThe Internet of Things (IoT) has gone by other names, including ubiquitous computing, pervasive computing, and haptic computing, to name a few. However, the concept remains the same: The IoT refers to objects with embedded sensors, processing, and communication capability that talk to each other to provide people and other systems with information to make more precise, well-informed decisions.The impetus for IoT includes: Widely available, inexpensive yet powerful and tiny systems-on-chip (SoCs) Ubiquitous, highly reliable, high-speed Internet connectivity Cloud computing is shifting economic and technical feasibility for lean start-ups that specialize in niche products The maturing smartphone and Internet services markets are causing a search for new marketsYour web browser is part of the World Wide Web, and embedded electronics are part of the Internet of Things. Both have a complex yet hidden system of routers, modems, switches, access points, servers, and associated software. The ‘cloud’ alternative lets lean startups experiment and grow (or shrink) as demand dictates rather than fronting the significant cost of a private server farm. Several options in hardware and communication protocols exist for designing IoT products, and there are an incredible number of solutions providers for your IoT cloud-based backend, as well. What IoT cloud options are available? The below survey is not exhaustive, but rather provides enough understanding of the ecosystem to appreciate the nuances of available options.