What are IoT Updates?

In order to perform properly, connected devices need to obtain specific IoT updates within software, firmware, security features, and more. Let’s dive deeper into which kind of updates can take place. 


Types of IoT Updates 

Depending on the specific needs of an IoT project, there are various types of updates applied: 

  • IoT firmware updates refer to the installing of new software onto Internet of Things (IoT) devices to improve their functionality, fix firmware bugs and ensure security. Mainly, firmware updates define the way IoT devices perform and operate.  

  • Software updates cover a broader aspect and include upgraded features, security patches and user interface modification.  

  • Security patches can be introduced as separate updates and involve work with vulnerabilities of the IoT device software and firmware. 

  • Feature enhancements obviously extend the options and capabilities devices offer via expanded functionalities.  

  • Driver updates provide optimizations on the way the IoT device interacts within the IoT ecosystem. 

  • Configuration updates can change the way an IoT devices operate without altering the core functionality, for example via network parameters in order to optimize performance for a specific use case. 

  • Rollbacks are all about unforeseen issues, when getting back to the previous software version is necessary.  

  • Pre-provisioning updates are usually preliminary loaded on IoT devices during the manufacturing and configuration. 


How Can You Update IoT devices? 

More and more IoT devices receive over-the-air or OTA updates via internet connection so that to avoid manual interventions. There are the basic OTA update architectures: 

Edge-to-cloud (E2C) implies a direct connection between a remote server and a device, while gateway-to-cloud (G2C) involves an intermediary gateway device which tackles the IoT updates. The last one, edge-to-gateway-to-cloud (E2G2C) is a combination of the two mentioned above where the device communicates with a gateway that relays information to the cloud. 

Sometimes, IoT updates may involve physical connections via cables as well as manual updates, but this is a less frequent tendency.  


What Are the Top Providers for IoT Updates 

First of all, they should be segmented into categories, such as device manufacturers, cloud service providers, IoT solution providers, Connectivity companies, and more.  

Category 

Company 

Description 

Device Manufacturers 

Samsung, Bosch, Sony 

Developing and releasing updates for their own products 

Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) 

Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) 

Cloud-based services for managing OTA updates 

IoT Solution Providers 

Mender, Particle, Samsara, IBM 

Developing and deploying complete IoT solutions, including update management.  

Connectivity Providers 

1NCE, Verizon, AT&T 

Reliable connectivity for seamless over-the-air updates 

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