30 Examples of Embedded Systems in Daily Life

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:

  1. Digital alarm clocks
  2. Electronic parking meters and parking pay stations
  3. Robotic vacuum cleaners (‘robovacs’)
  4. Smart watches and digital wrist watches
  5. Washing machines and dishwashers
  6. Home security systems
  7. Air-conditioners and thermostats
  8. Electric stoves, pressure cookers, and tea/coffee machines
  9. Traffic lights
  10. Vending machines
  11. Fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
  12. Printers, photocopy, fax machines and scanners
  13. Digital and video cameras
  14. Calculators
  15. Remote control gate keys
  16. Digital thermometers
  17. Motion sensors
  18. PDAs and hand-held computers
  19. Lighting systems
  20. GPS navigation devices
  21. Heart rate monitors and pacemakers
  22. CD players, iPods and MP3 players
  23. Parking lot ticket machines
  24. Cash registers
  25. Digital signature pads
  26. Electronic toys
  27. Refrigerators and freezers
  28. Electronic safes
  29. WiFi routers
  30. 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.


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