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What are Edge Devices; Examples, and What is the Difference Between the Cloud and the Edge?

In the beginning, people built computers for the sole purpose of helping them think. In the modern era, however, they do much more -- they’re our tools, our secretaries, our databases, our assistants. They run our offices. They plan our vacations.

What is an edge device?

An edge device is an external add-on that adds new functionality to a computer, phone, tablet, or other electronic devices. Edge devices are acting as the gateway between the physical world and the digital world. Edge devices connect computers to the internet or other external networks.

Edge devices fulfill a variety of roles, depending on what type of device they are. They serve as network entry and exit points. For example, they can route data to the internet with an internet connection. They also track data flow and log where it is flowing and where it is coming from.

Statistics on the edge devices

There is a massive increase in the number of edge devices. In 2020, there were more than 50 billion connected devices, outpacing the number of smartphones by 10 times. This alone added $1.2 trillion to the global economy (Gartner, 2018).

What is an example of an edge device?

Edge devices are a device class that processes digital data at the edge of the network. Edge devices are a type of interface or peripheral that is attached to a computer or a smartphone, to perform an additional function.

Some edge devices provide input to an associated screen, and some provide an output, such as a display, speakers, or the like, that is visible on the screen. Tracking the movement of your eyes to control the cursor is an example. Edge devices can be any peripheral hardware such as a mouse, keyboard, touchpad, stylus, tablet, digitizer, etc.

An edge device can also perform specific functions such as turning on the lights, locking the door, and starting the car. Edge devices may be implemented in virtually every physical location. They have a broad range of functions, including wireless connectivity, computing, data collection, and sensing.

Edge Devices Use Cases and Benefits

Providing network connectivity between distributed computing networks is one of the main edge functions. Video surveillance, digital video recording, safety features, remote control, vehicle navigation, and intelligent transportation services, are a few examples of edge device services.

IoT Edge Devices

IoT will allow a device to be connected to the internet and interact with other devices and provide services for a better user experience. IoT edge devices can be anything from sensors, cameras, microphones, robots, and even things like refrigerators and cars.

Edge device hardware and technology

The first generation of edge devices was defined simply as hardware that enabled communications between two networks.

Over time, edge devices have evolved, with new types of edge devices being introduced. The most notable of these additions is the IoT edge device, which enables communications between a physical network and the IoT.

The second generation of edge devices was specifically designed to provide connectivity between disparate computing resources. The third generation of edge devices had additional functionality, such as surveillance, audio recordings, advanced safety features, and many more.

What is Edge vs Cloud?

Edge computing is a top-down approach to information processing where data is processed at the edges of the network, rather than in the cloud. The data can be closer to where it is being used, to reduce latency, and provide a faster response.

A cloud computing infrastructure is an online platform. It provides shared computing, storage, and networking services for users via the Internet.

An edge device is distinguished from a cloud computing device by its local presence and its on-site data processing and storage. Edge computing may be better suited for use in industries that are highly data-intensive, such as analytics and financial data. Edge devices can be added to a network in seconds, whereas a cloud is an all-in-one hardware setup over the internet. Since an edge device is embedded in the environment, it can give a more immersive experience at the cost of power and performance, compared to a cloud.


The edge device is not simply a device that connects the real and virtual worlds. The edge is also a device that empowers people to connect to their online and physical worlds by providing on-demand access to information. It is the first step in a chain of technologies that link people through the physical world.

Edge devices provide the network infrastructure for the Internet of Things. They are the gateway to connecting physical objects to the internet. They also provide computing power for IoT applications. Edge devices are typically small form factor devices with limited computing capability.

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