Smart, Connected and IoT Based Devices. What’s The Difference?

Yogesh Malik
5 min readNov 5, 2017

It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity – Albert Einstein

Is humanity getting smarter with smart devices, smart technologies and smart cities?

If everything around us is getting smarter then why do we have to push the button?

With information overload everywhere — are these new smart connected devices making our lives easier? Do you feel more productive and healthier now?

Have you noticed how different manufacturers are selling these devices? Some are smart, others are connected and some are IoT based. There is some confusion around the difference among them and their definition overlaps too.

Smart Device

They provide some level of automation and can be programmed for some specific use. Most smart device have some local computing with intuitive user interface.

Though configuration flexibility is limited, but they are fast and efficient in doing what they expected to do. Think smart coffee machine — with press of few configurable buttons it can wake you up in the morning with a ready cup of hot coffee.

Another example is smart thermostat that maintains the temperature of your room. Earlier, smart devices were not required to connect to network and used to work autonomously but now most smart devices are connected — blurring the line between smart and connected device. Smart bulb, smart speaker, smart thermostat or smart security cameras are connected device.

Connected Device

Remotely controlled and monitored. Mobile app on your mobile can be used connect the device. You can brew your coffee by giving instructions from your mobile phone and once the coffee is ready you will get notification. You can set aroma, brew time, keep warm time etc. right from your mobile phone

Connectivity type could be Bluetooth, LTE, Wifi or wired.

Smart and connected are used together. A smart and connected refrigerator can notify you on your smart phone that milk is over, some can even order online all by itself. They can also play music and movies, you can also use Facebook and twitter.

IoT Device

Software Defined Product based or Digital Twin having 1) product 2) Application 3) Analytics & 4)Internet/network

IoT devices are creating smart cities, smart factories and smart homes. You get smart door locks that can be opened by mobile, luggage tracker so that you don’t lose your laptop bag at the airport, plants irrigation sprinkler & controller, AWS IOT programmable dash buttons

They create more value than smart or connected devices- because they are more scalable, upgradable, automated and future ready.

AWS IoT Button

You can code the button’s logic in the cloud to configure button clicks to count or track items, call or alert someone, start or stop something, order services, or even provide feedback. For example, you can click the button to unlock or start a car, open your garage door, call a cab, call your spouse or a customer service representative, track the use of common household chores, medications or products, or remotely control your home appliances.

There are many DIY projects that you do with AWS IoT Button

Dangers of IoT Devices

An Eye and Ear in Your Living Room

Smart devices pull a lot personal data from your phone, wearable, smart TV and refrigerators. Another issue is, since these devices are connected to manufacturer network using internet and cloud — this causes high risk or private data leak and other vulnerabilities.

Imagine, you installed some application on your smart TV and that application can use some back door to compromise you TV, and then other home devices though the network

Always install updates, disable unwanted features, read T&C before you make a purchase

Internet of Everything ( or Internet of Things )

You need Internet of Things but do you really need Internet of Everything. Shoes, tooth brush, fitness tracker for pets.

One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.

– Elbert Hubbard

Can you think of any device in your home that is

  1. Smart but not connected
  2. Smart and connected but not using IoT



Yogesh Malik

Exponential Thinker, Lifelong Learner #Digital #Philosophy #Future #ArtificialIntelligence