The IoT tower of Babel. Part 2

20 March, 2018

The IoT tower of Babel. Part 2 types of parameters

IoT parameters types: Counters, Functions, Events

In the previous article it was described that all IoT parameters can be classified into certain types. The main parameter types are Counters, Functions, Events, Text, Diagnostic codes.

--> Counters /samples

  • Car trip meter, km
  • Consumption of a liquid, liter
  • Device turn ON, times
  • Operational time counter, hour


--> Functions (of Time, distance) /samples

  • Current position of an object (GPS coordinates)
  • Power supply, Volts. All IoT devices, which are powered by a built-in battery or external source, have it
  • Current (instant) value of a measuring process: temperature, pressure, weight, etc
  • Average value of a measuring process in last minute, hour, etc.

Now it`s obvious, that Counter is an integral value of a function of Time. And, as a rule, they have a physical and a practical meaning, for example, the integral value of vehicle Speed (function) is the Trip distance (Counter).


--> Events /samples

  • IoT Device turn-on
  • A measured value reached a preconfigured boarder. For example, the temperature of the cooling liquid exceeded 90 C°
  • A measured value changed atypically, for example, a sharp and significant increase of the vehicle axle load means that it has been loaded.

Events have always a timestamp and characteristics (other parameters and counters only specify a nature of an event). For example, the process value, the axle load value, starting and ending values, local coordinates where it was registered. By the way, Events include the malfunctions of both a monitored object and an IoT device itself.

Events are the most compact way to present information. In fact, the whole task of the IoT system is to identify, to register and to display Events. No one is interested in a temperature inside a refrigerator when it is in a specified range.  But when the temperature goes out of the range, it can lead to spoilage of products! Moreover, Counters (for example, trip or transported cargo) make sense only for the period between Events :

  • movements of a vehicle Start/Stop
  • day Start/Stop (and yes, the 24:00 is also an Event!)


--> Text /samples

  • object passport fields (release date, make/model name, serial number, VIN, etc.) or the passport fields of the IoT device itself
  • text messages To/From IoT device

With its external simplicity, the Text parameters are the biggest problem while transmitting from an IoT device to a cloud and vice versa. The reason is a large size, an undefined (or large) length, a binding to the language. In general, everything is like SMS or Twitter - a message that has a restriction to length.


Parameter Types in  IoT Burger technology.

In Burger technology, each parameter is assigned to a specific (only one) type. Typification of parameters allows devices to correctly transmit, interpret and process information within one device, in different devices on the same network, and also to a server.


Aliaksandr Kaplunski,

Founder and system architect of Technoton Engineering