What hardware can connect to the internet of things?

How can you connect to an IoT platform? You can just anything you like. Here is a quick guide to the most common hardware.


One of the most popular boards, the Arduino comes in a range of versions, including Deicimila, Duemilanove, UNO, Leonardo, Mega, Nano, Due and Yun.

Shields are available which add further hardware features, such as network connectivity, although some like the Yun have ethernet and wifi built into the main board. There is an IDE available written in Java and thus running on many platforms, and this supports C and C++, and the board runs various flavours of Linux.

There's a lot of community support and many add-ons available.

More about Arduino at https://www.arduino.cc/.


Beagles are small, affordable, open source boards. They contain an ARM® processor, such as a 1GHz Cortext-A8 on the BeagleBone Black.

Beagles have a number of analog pins, and connectivity over USB and ethernet.

You can run a range of operating systems on the device, including, Debian, Ubuntu, Android and Cloud9.

Read more at http://beagleboard.org/.


The ESP8266 is really a chip rather than a board, designed to be small and low-cost. Chinese-made, it has a 32-bit RISC CPU, and wifi capability is built in. It has a full TCP/IP stack.

A range of modules are available, such as to make a USB-to-UART bridge.

There are also many other boards, such as the SparkFun "Thing" which is designed for developers in IoT. See https://www.sparkfun.com/products/13231, for example. 

Intel Edison and Galileo

The Edison is a very small computer on a module, and Intel is aiming this as an IoT device as well as a development platform for wearables. The CPU is a Silvermont dual-core Intel Atom running at 500MHz.

A number of breakout boards are available from Intel, so that developers can prototype with open source hardware and software, and can connect with an Arduino Uno.

The Galileo is a single-board computer, combining Intel hardware with support for Arduino shields, and the Arduino software IDE. It runs a flavour of Linux, called Yocto Project.

Read more at http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/do-it-yourself/edison.html

Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi's are a series of single-board computers developed in the UK, initially with the aim of promoting education in computer science. The CPU is a 64-/32-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53.

The basic model A boards have no ethernet circuitry, but this can be achieved using an external ethernet or wifi adaptor. But model B boards have a built-in USB Ethernet adaptor, and the Pi 3 has built-in ethernet, wifi and Bluetooth connectivity.

The usual operating system is Raspbian, a Debian based Linux operating system, but Ununtu MATE and others can also be used.

Read more at https://www.raspberrypi.org/

Or whatever you like

Any device at all can be on the internet of things. So that includes smartphones, tablets, or even regular PCs or servers.