Embedded systems refer to the use of software and electronics with a dedicated purpose within a larger system or product. Embedded systems are far more ubiquitous than the general-purpose computer found in almost every home. As such, there are many examples of embedded systems in daily life.
Where can embedded systems be found? Electric toys, pacemakers, and electric stoves all contain embedded systems. Thus, even the computer illiterate interact with this technology, often unknowingly.
Dr. William Stallings (MIT) points out that perhaps most electrically powered devices have an embedded system. He even suggests that virtually every electric device will feature one in the near future. This relates to the Internet of Things (IoT); It ranks as a major accelerator in the spread of embedded technologies.
Embedded systems are subdivided into the categories: stand alone, real time, networked and mobile. All four types of embedded systems are in daily life.
Here are 30 examples of embedded systems in daily life:
- Digital alarm clocks
- Electronic parking meters and parking pay stations
- Robotic vacuum cleaners (‘robovacs’)
- Smart watches and digital wrist watches
- Washing machines and dishwashers
- Home security systems
- Air-conditioners and thermostats
- Electric stoves, pressure cookers, and tea/coffee machines
- Traffic lights
- Vending machines
- Fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
- Printers, photocopy, fax machines and scanners
- Digital and video cameras
- Remote control gate keys
- Digital thermometers
- Motion sensors
- PDAs and hand-held computers
- Lighting systems
- GPS navigation devices
- Heart rate monitors and pacemakers
- CD players, iPods and MP3 players
- Parking lot ticket machines
- Cash registers
- Digital signature pads
- Electronic toys
- Refrigerators and freezers
- Electronic safes
- WiFi routers
- Automobile systems (cruise control, anti-lock braking system (ABS), transmission control, electronic fuel injection, suspensions systems, in-vehicle entertainment systems, etc.)
Suggest more examples of embedded systems in daily life in the comments below.