The Always-Expanding Internet of Things -- Now Including Tombstones, Toilets

Embedded microprocessor technology is obviously ubiquitous in this day and age, with the immense popularity of portable devices like smartphones and tablets. But embedded chips aren't just for the usual suspects of high-tech gadgetry; an incredible amount of previously low-tech goods are now becoming part of the Internet of Things.

A recent article in The San Jose Mercury News gives some great examples of how embedded microprocessors are changing everyday items into connected, smart technology, including:

  • Toilets that control water flow when necessary as well as a model that gathers health information about its user and communicates it to a doctor's office
  • Fishing reels that can control the speed of the line spool
  • Grave stones that communicate multimedia data about the deceased to visitors' connected smartphones.

As reported in The Mercury News article,

"Chip sales of all types generate about $300 billion a year in sales worldwide, with personal computers and smartphones accounting for a third to half of that.... That means $150 billion to $200 billion in sales come from so-called embedded semiconductors, which go into pretty much anything a person can think of."