Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting (see also RADIUS).


Access Control as a Service.

Access Control

A system that determines who, when, and where people are allowed to enter or exit a facility or area. The traditional form of access control is the use of door locks, but modern access control may include electronic systems and wireless locks. Access control may also apply to cybersecurity.

Access Control as a Service (ACaaS)

A recurring fee-based system where a facility manager outsources electronic access control to a third party. Each facility need not maintain a dedicated server.

Access Point

A Wi-Fi node that allows users entry to a network, typically a LAN.

Active Sensor

A sensing device that requires an external source of power to operate.


A device that introduces motion by converting electrical energy into mechanical energy in an electromechanical system. (An actuator may also stop motion by clamping or locking.) A dynamo is an example of an actuator.

Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)

The specification for encryption of electronic data established in 2001. Operates on a public/private key system, and planning for key management is an important aspect when implementing AES encryption.

Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP)

An open-source standard for business message communication. Main features include message orientation, queuing, routing, reliability, and security.

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

The name given to a collection of remote computing services, offered by, that combine to make a cloud computing platform.


Advance Message Queuing Protocol.

Android Wear

An open-source platform that extends the Android system to wearables. The SDK includes an emulator.

Anomaly Detection

A statistical technique that determines what patterns are normal and then identifies items that do not conform to those patterns. Unlike simple classification where the classes are known in advance, in anomaly detection the users don’t know what they are looking for in the data.


(Wireless) Access Point.


Application Programming Interface. A collection of commands and protocols used to interact with an operating system, device, or specific software component. In IoT, an API lets the developer access the functionality of a device or sensor, such as a thermometer’s readings. APIs can be public or restricted to authorized users only.

Application Software

Programs that enable specific, end-user actions. This means the software uses the given potential provided by computers to form an application. Examples include Microsoft Word (text editing), Adobe Photoshop (image editing), and many other programs.

Application Specific Sensor Nodes (ASSN)

Integrating sensors and sensor fusion in a single device, ASSNs have a built-in intelligence to cope with the complexity of applying multiple sensors to a specific problem such as augmented reality, navigation, positioning, and more. Bosch Sensortec


Address Resolution Protocol. A communication protocol used to convert an IP address into a physical address. This way,0- computers can communicate with each other, despite only knowing each other’s IP addresses, by sending an ARP request that informs them about the other computer’s MAC address.

Augmented Entity

A physical entity is represented by a virtual entity on the digital level. An augmented entity combines the two and stands for any combination of the two entities.

Automated Identification and Mobility (AIM) Technologies

A group of technologies that are used to identify, store, and communicate data. An example would be a barcode, though there are many technologies in this area that are used for different services and are often used in combination.


Amazon Web Services.


Low-cost devices that communicate with smartphone apps indoors, without the need for GPS. Beacons use BLE and are key enablers for the smart retail category, triggering messages as consumers pass through locations or near products.

Big Data

Data sets so large that they cannot be used with traditional database tools. Big data often requires massively parallel computing resources to access, curate and analyze. Big data analysis techniques are crucial to such disciplines as spotting business trends and simulation.


Bluetooth Low Energy.


Short-range wireless technology standard which operates on the 2.4 MHz band. Bluetooth can be used for sending both data and audio, with popular uses including wireless headsets and cordless keyboards. Bluetooth devices can be set up with different hardware profiles to help perform specific tasks, for example audio adapter, audio headset, serial, and keyboard profiles.

Bluetooth 4.0 (BLE)

The latest iteration of Bluetooth, also called Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). It offers lower power use for portable devices and new profiles including Bluetooth Mesh, a Bluetooth topology that allows devices to be connected together, sending/repeating commands from the hub to any connected device. Apple’s iBeacon is an example of a BLE application, and BLE as many potential uses for IoT devices.


Slang term for accidentally rendering a device inoperable by changing its configuration or shorting one of its circuits. Used as a verb, as in “what do I do if I brick my Raspberry Pi?” The inert device sits there like a brick.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Enterprise term recognizing that people are bringing their own Wi-Fi enabled devices into the corporate network.


Brownfield describes the problem and the process of having to consider already existing systems when implementing new software systems.


Base Station. The radios and other equipment at the cell sites that are used to communicate with the cellular devices.


Base Station Controller. The equipment that consolidates and controls multiple BS sites (usually, more than one BS is attached to a BSC).


Base Transceiver Station. This is a machine that enables wireless communication between user equipment, for example a mobile phone or a computer, and networks like the GSM network. The data is received through an antenna and is then processed and transmitted by the BTS to create a wireless connection.

Business Logic

Used to describe processes that are necessary to enable or execute communication between an end user and a database/server. These processes decide how data is transmitted, transformed, or calculated. This does not include the display of data or task-specific commands. It serves as a basis, consisting of algorithms, code, etc.


Bring Your Own Device.

Card Not Present (CNP)

The type of credit transaction where the merchant never sees the actual card. CNP has the obvious potential for fraud but is vital for newer services such as contactless mobile payments.


Code Division Multiple Access. Digital cellular phone service method that separates multiple transmissions over a finite frequency allocation using Spread Spectrum techniques (concept invented and patented by Hedy Lamar).

Chief IoT Officer (CIoT)

One of the CxO class of corporate officers, the CIoT coordinates the integration of IoT into the enterprise. Successful CIoTs will break down silos between disciplines such as big data, data analytics, security, communications protocols, etc.

Class 1 Bluetooth

Offers a greater wireless data transfer distance (over 100m, up to 1km) through using greater power consumption (100mW).

Class 2 Bluetooth

Short-range wireless data transmission (10-20m) which has low power consumption of around 2.5mW.


Or the Cloud, meaning cloud computing. The name “cloud” comes from the fluffy cloud typically used in Visio-style network diagrams to represent a connection to the Internet.

Cloud Communications

Communication services being provided by third parties that can be accessed and used through the Internet. The program Skype is one well-known cloud communications application.

Cloud Computing

An approach where information technology capacities (such as storage or applications) are separated from the individual computer and are supplied through the Internet (or an Intranet-based service) at the user’s demand. The “as-a-Service” moniker is sometimes used for cloud computing services, such as Software-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, and Infrastructure-as-a-Service. The backend for many IoT devices may be delivered via the cloud.

Cloud Orchestration

The automated management of a cloud. This includes all services and systems that are part of the cloud as well as the flow of information.

Communication Model

Communication models try to capture, explain, simplify, and then model communication. One of the oldest and most famous models, the Shannon and Weaver Model, was created in 1949.

Companion Device

In wearables, a companion device requires a parent device, such as a smartphone, to fully operate. The opposite would be a standalone device that can do everything on its own. A companion wearable will typically use Bluetooth to communicate with the parent.

Connected Home

If the devices in a house work interactively and information relevant to residents is accessed via high-speed broadband, it could be called a connected home. This may mean that the refrigerator reports the almost empty milk or that the TV reminds you of your doctor’s appointment because it automatically gets this information from the doctor’s computer. Related to Smart Home.

Controller Area Network (CAN)

In automobiles, a CAN connects Electronic Control Units (ECUs) using a multi-master serial bus (the CAN bus) to control actuators or receive feedback from sensors. ECUs can be subsystems such as airbags, transmission, antilock brakes, or most importantly, engine control. The standard consists of ISO 11898-1 and ISO 11898-2.

Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled (COPE)

A compromise around pure BYOD, COPE devices allow the user to control much of the data on the device, but the enterprise controls the security model.


Cortex-A refers to a series of processors from ARM that are equipped with ARMv7 and ARMv8 command sets. They are used for applications that require a lot of processing power, mainly in the areas of mobile handset (smartphones), computing, digital home, automotive, enterprise, and wireless infrastructure.


Cortex-M is a family of microprocessors developed by ARM which is mainly used in microcontrollers. They range from the cheapest M0 processor up to the Cortex-M4, which is used for effective digital signal control. Applications are found in automotive, gaming, and intelligent consumer products.


Cyber-Physical Systems.


A novel system for inventors and entrepreneurs to bypass traditional funding methods such as venture capital by raising small amounts from a large group of individual backers. Made popular by sites such as Kickstarter, crowdfunding can act as a pre-ordering system, allowing the project’s creator to reduce risk by gaging consumer popularity before production even begins.

Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS)

Systems that combine computer-related and mechanical aspects. A smartphone, for example, combines software, hardware, etc., with a physical device. In general, many mobile or embedded technologies or devices can be called Cyber-Physical Systems, thus applications are manifold. The systems often include some form of sensor which can transfer attributes from the real world to the digital sphere


A user interface that presents key information in a summarized form, often as graphs or other widgets. Derived from the classic automobile dashboard, the design of the interface depends on what information needs to be monitored or measured.

Data Center

A collective term for the physical site, network elements, systems, etc., that supports computing and network services.

Data Janitor

A subtask of data science concerned with the cleaning up of dirty or duplicative data. Oftentimes the janitor must get data into the correct columns and sort it.

Data Lake

Coined by Pentaho CTO James Dixon, a data lake is a massive data repository, designed to hold raw data until it’s needed and to retain data attributes so as not to preclude any future uses or analysis. The data lake is stored on relatively inexpensive hardware, and Hadoop can be used to manage the data, replacing OLAP as a means to answer specific questions. Sometimes referred to as an “enterprise data hub,” the data lake and its retention of native formats sits in contrast to the traditional data warehouse concept.

Data Scientist

A job that combines statistics and programming, using languages such as R, to make sense of massive data sets. IoT sensors, for example, create mountains of data, and the data scientist’s role is to extract valuable information and detect anomalies.

Data-Driven Decision Management (DDDM)

An approach to business governance valuing decisions that can be backed up with verifiable data.


A termed coined by Marc Blackmer, datakinesis occurs when an action taken in cyberspace has a result in the physical world. Industrial Control Systems, for example, are vulnerable to datakinetic attacks where physical equipment such as valves and sensors are compromised and damaged by hackers. Stuxnet is one such example.


Digital Data Storage. This format is used to store computer data on audio tape. It was developed by HP and Sony in 1989 and is based on the digital audio tape (DAT) format and was a widely used technology in the 1990s.


The stripping away of personally identifiable information from data prior to its use. The process must include the removal of both direct identifiers (name, email address, etc.) and the proper handling of quasi-identifiers (sex, marital status, profession, postal code, etc.).

Degrees of Freedom (DoF)

An engineering concept used in MEMS that describes the directions in which an object can move and generally the number of independent variables in a dynamic system.

Demand Response (DR)

The voluntary reduction of electricity use by end users in response to high-demand pricing. Demand response can reduce electrical price volatility during peak demand periods and help avoid system emergencies. An example of DR would be a utility paying Nest to have thermostats turn down air conditioners in empty homes on a hot day.

Device Attack

An exploit that takes advantage of a vulnerable device to gain access to a network.

Distributed Generation (DG)

Decentralized, modular, and flexible power generation located close to the serviced loads. Distributed microgrids can control smaller areas of demand with distributed generation and storage capacity.


Do It Yourself. Enthusiasts generally tinker with gadgets or software to improve the functionality or do custom-install projects in their homes.

DNP3 Protocol

An open, standards-based protocol for the electric utility industry with interoperability between substation computers, remote terminal units, intelligent electronic devices), and master stations. Groups of enabled things are organized into namespaces.

Domain Model

A model that contains all areas and terms related to a certain field of interest. It includes attributes, relations, constrains, acts, etc., that are relevant for a certain task.


A combination of “domestic” and “robotics.” Also a composite of the Latin domus and informatics, domotics includes home automation systems, home robots, whole house audio/visual systems, and security systems. Domotic devices have the ability to communicate with each other.


Abbreviated as DL or D/L, downlink is the process of downloading data onto an end node from a server/target address. In a cellular network this would be seen as data being sent from a cellular base station to a mobile handset.


Demand Response.


European Article Number. This is used to mark and identify products. Since 2009, it is also called GTIN (Global Trade Item Number). The number is usually found beneath barcodes and consists of up to 13 digits (EAN 13 barcode).


Electronic Control Unit.


Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution.

Electronic Control Unit (ECU)

Also known as a node, an Electronic Control Unit is a device, such as a sensor or actuator, that is connected to other devices via a CAN Bus. A vehicle can contain dozens of ECUs for functions such as mirror adjustment, window power, airbags, cruise control, entertainment, and, most significantly, engine control. To form a CAN, two or more ECUs are needed.

Embedded Device Hacking

The exploiting of vulnerabilities in embedded software to gain control of the device.

Embedded Firmware

The flash memory chip that stores specialized software running in a chip in an embedded device to control its functions.

Embedded Software

Specialized programming in a chip or on firmware in an embedded device to control its functions.

Embedded System Security

The reduction of vulnerabilities and protection against threats in software running on embedded devices.

Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish

A strategy associated with Microsoft to defeat open standards with proprietary extensions. Many IoT projects are open source, so this strategy would be anathema to open development.

EMI Protocol

An extension to the UCP (Universal Computer Protocol). It’s used to connect to Short Message Service Centers which store, transform, and send short messages.

Energy-Harvesting Technologies

Technologies which use small amounts of energy from close proximity to power small wireless devices. Applications can be found in wireless sensor networks or wearable tech. Energy sources are, among others, sun, wind, or kinetic energy.

Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE)

This is an enhancement made to 2G GSM networks to improve data transfer speeds and provides downlink speeds of up to 1 Mbit/s and uplink speeds of up to 400 kbit/s. It builds on available GSM or GPRS standards and is thus easily integrated into the existing network.

Enterprise Mobile Duress (EMD)

Systems designed to detect personnel emergencies within large facilities, such as hospitals or campuses, where determining the physical location of persons in distress is a critical issue. EMD systems are a robust extension of a Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) into the enterprise, focusing on the protection of people from emergency incidents such as violence.


A nonprofit organization founded by GS1 (former EAN International) and GS1 US (former UCC). It serves to spread, improve, and standardize the Radio Frequency Identification (RFDI) technology and to support communication of gathered data through the Internet.


Electrostatic Discharge. This discharge can occur if two electrical objects with different electrical charge come in contact with each other. The difference in charge is often due to friction. Sometimes, the short process is accompanied by sparks, as can be seen with lightning. ESD can lead to severe damage to electrical devices (such as generators).


Electronic Serial Number (in CDMA). Replaced by the MEID.


A fieldbus system developed by Beckhoff, which allows for real-time Ethernet. It helps to achieve short data update times, accurate synchronization, and low hardware costs, so it can be used specifically for automated or control systems. CAT stands for Controller and Automation Technology.


Enhanced Voice-Data Only


Frequency Division Multiple Access.


Programming that’s written to the read-only memory (ROM) of a computing device. Firmware, which is added at the time of manufacturing, is used to run user programs on the device.

Firmware Over-the-Air (FOTA)

The process of updating a mobile phone’s operating system and software over the network, rather than having the consumer come into a service center for updates.


Fleet Management.

Fog Computing or Fogging

Also known as fogging, this is a distributed computing infrastructure in which some application services are handled at the network edge in a smart device and some application services are handled in a remote data center — in the cloud.

Form Factor

The physical size, pin-out, and configuration of a component. A family range of module, for example, may include 2G, 3G, and 4G variants to allow PCB designers to design in one module but allow for future upgrades through the product family’s road map.


Firmware Over-the-Air.


Developed by the European Union and Space Agency, Galileo is a global positioning constellation of satellites which is still in development and will be made up of 30 satellites (27 operations and thee active spares).


A link between two computer systems or programs. This way they can share information with each other. The router for your home Internet is one type of gateway.

General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)

A wireless communications standard on 2G and 3G cellular networks which supports a number of bandwidths and provides data rates of 56-114 kbps. As cellular companies move to more advanced networks, GPRS networks may be more cost-effective for IoT networks.


A virtual border applied to a physical space. For example, geofencing might be defined around a nursery, and when a mobile device crosses the nursery boundary, an alert is generated. Geofences may be dynamically created and in a telematics application can encompass entire neighborhoods or cities.

Geographic Information System (GIS)

The combination of hardware, software, and data that captures, manages, analyzes, and presents many kinds of geographic data. GIS and location intelligence applications can be the foundation for location-enabled services.


A dialect of JSON that describes physical places. Features modeled by GeoJSON are points, line strings, polygons, and multipart groups of these types (MultiPoint, MultiLineString, MultiPolygon). Numerous mapping and GIS software packages employ GeoJSON.


The process of tagging a photo, video, or other types of media with coordinates, thus marking it with a location.


Gateway GPRS Support Node (see also SGSN).


Geographic Information System.

Global System for Mobile communication (GSM)

This is the most widely used digital cellular network and the basis for mobile communication such as phone calls and the short message service (SMS).


The Russian global navigation satellite system with a constellation made of 24 satellites orbiting Earth. These multi-constellation GPS modules allow users to access multiple satellite networks, and accessing extra satellites allows for faster and more accurate positioning as well as offering greater resilience when satellites are obscured in areas such as cities.


Global Navigation Satellite System. Used when talking about different constellations of satellite navigation systems.


General Packet Radio Service.


Global Positioning System. A system of satellites and radio transmissions that can be used to locate GPS-enabled hardware anywhere on the planet to a very good accuracy.


In contradiction to brownfield, a greenfield project is a one where no consideration of previous systems is needed, thus already existing standards can be ignored.


Global System for Mobile communication.


GSM Mobile Application Part, for control signal messaging on SS7.