Book Review: Designing the Internet of Things

By Andrew Gregory. Posted

Designing the Internet of Things, by Adrian McEwen and Hakim Cassimally, is about more than just design. It’s about planning, prototyping, hardware, and coding for the online and the physical bits of your IoT project. It also provides the most convincing explanation of the term Internet of Things that we’ve ever read.

How does it fit all this into 300 pages? Well, it doesn’t. The chapter on writing embedded code is a mere 18 pages, which in most textbooks would barely get you past ‘hello world’.

This is a good thing though: instead of giving you all the information you need to go out and start carving out your own IoT fiefdom, the book focuses instead on working through the questions you need to ask, and letting you come up with the answers unique to your own project. This approach means that the book won’t date, as it would if it focused on a particular platform.

It also helps the reader refine their thinking rather than trying to prescribe a ‘correct’ way of working. The information you need to build an IoT device is already out there; this is the information you need in order to design it.

Three rare unicorns end the book: chapters on business models, manufacturing, and ethics. Like the rest of the book, these are thoughtful, useful, and will massively help anyone thinking of building an IoT project.

Verdict: 10 out of 10

An essential first step to refining ideas, making better choices, and building better Things.


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