We are living today in an era where technological advancements are focused on making lives easier and efficient. Electronic products are the new normal for us. Be it at work or in your own house, it is a part of your routine to make use of electronic products.
Many of the electronic products around us are called Embedded System. An Embedded System comprises of hardware circuits that are controlled and operated by the use of software. This means that each embedded system consists of the following:
The applications of such embedded systems are extremely diverse, a few embedded system applications mentioned below:
Broadly speaking, smartwatches are part of the wearable market. They offer notifications, alarms, access to email and music and some offer health related features such ask fitness tracking, pulse metering and GPS. A smartwatch is based in a very advanced and power optimized CPU that controls that smartwatch activities, as well as, several external chips such as sensors, LCD and more.
Embedded systems are widely used in the speed cameras which are installed on the highways. The primary purpose of these speed cameras is to detect if a vehicle is violating the speed limits or traffic laws and immediately send the relevant data to the authorities for a timely action to be taken. It is the embedded system that enables the cameras to take the pictures of such vehicles as well which can be submitted to the court of law as a proof of violation before the driver is charged with a penalty.
Many electronic gadgets are based on embedded systems. For this article purposes, we will take the drones as it is a great example. With an on-board microcontroller, an embedded system enables the drone to be constantly balance itself while tracking a GPS route and being remotely controlled. Thanks to the powerful on-board CPU the drone can manage multiple and parallel operation in real time.
Another of the major applications that embedded systems have found is in the home security systems. With the use of a microcontroller that enables it to interface with your smartphone, you can now receive complete visual of your house via the installed cameras right on the screen of your smartphone. You can activate or disable the locks remotely and reset the security system as well in case of a false alarm.
Gone are the days when you had to go to an official to inquire about the time of arrival or departure of the next train or the flight. All subways and airports have now installed large screens which display such information along with voice commands to keep all passengers informed. Such automation of the process that has made it convenient and efficient for the passengers has also been realized due to the embedded systems.
Lastly, many advanced medical equipment are now using embedded systems. For instance, electronic stethoscopes, devices to constantly monitor the vital signs, MRI and CT like medical imaging devices, etc. make extensive use of embedded systems. Industrial computers are used for the purpose of activating these embedded systems in such devices.