Upcoming trends in IoT

“We’re measuring the data and figuring out what we’re going to do with it.”

Getting world-changing data from Internet of Things (IoT) sensors is a lot cheaper than it used to be thanks to new tools that retrieve data faster and more reliably.

“Whatever works and is the fastest and cheapest—that’s what we’re going to use,” says Rudi Hechfellner, director of Sensing and IoT Strategy at Renesas Electronics Corp. (formerly Integrated Device Technology) and a UCSC Silicon Valley Extension instructor in the new three-course IoT specialization program.

Rudi Hechfellner, IoT Instructor

Most of the sensor manufacturing has moved offshore. Domestically, however, we have more jobs in the fields of connecting sensors, combining technologies in a device, data analysis, maintenance, and IoT business strategy.

“We are one dimension above where we were 10 years ago,” says Hechfellner, who’s teaching IoT for Work, Life and Play with Dan Nobbe, director of IP development at pSemi.

“We’re no longer just trying to send information into the cloud. Now, we’re working on what to do with the information. We’re measuring the data and figuring out what we’re going to do with it.” Aggregating all the information, analyzing it, and making decisions based on the data—“that’s what converts data into dollars.”

Turning Data Into Dollars

Turning data into money is a specialty of Jitesh Shah, director of engineering at Renesas and the instructor of Making Money with Data, a course in the new specialization. In his course, he teaches students how to work with data, clean it and analyze it to develop and confirm a strategic personal or business plan.

Students in his course will design a data experiment, learn to test their ideas, monitor the information, and find out the impact of their strategy based on data.

The job market is filled with ads for data experts, especially for people who can understand data and use it toward a strategic outcome, he says.

“There is this world out there where companies are taking advantage of the data they’re creating,” Shah says. “I want students to understand the practical applications of data and see what else they can do with it in their personal lives. What is the impact of all the effort you’re putting into something?”

Adding Context to Market Data

Jitesh Shah, IoT & Data Analysis Instructor

As we evolve more to a world of smart cities with smart lighting and smart infrastructure, smart appliances there will be lower costs and energy savings.

 “IoT is creating a contextual awareness from different inputs and outputs that we weren’t able to connect before,” Hechfellner says.

“Before, we measured the temperature and turned on the heater. With IoT, we can turn it on only when we’re at home and we need it. IoT can know whether it rained yesterday and the lawn doesn’t need to be watered, or whether it’s going to rain tomorrow. I can save money and have a greener planet by using the information that’s available to me.”

UCSC Extension IoT Specialization Summer Discount

The UCSC Extension IoT specialization is aimed at the beginner, the seasoned engineer who wants to gain competence in an adjacent area, and the entrepreneur who needs to understand the broad landscape of IoT potential. The evening courses are taught in real time, remotely, and can be completed in three months or less. Learn more by watching a recorded informational webinar about the IoT specialization.


Foundations of IoT provides a high-level overview of the building blocks of IoT—from hardware and software to networking and cloud service providers—and what to expect in an IoT career. Taught by Cecil Lawson, MBA, BS.

IoT for Work, Life and Play covers the fundamentals of cloud-connected data acquisition, data transport, and manipulation. Students get to complete their own sensor-connected intelligent lighting system. Taught by Rudi Hechfellner, BS, and Dan Nobbe, MSEE.

Making Money with Data dives into fundamental data science concepts like cleaning, organizing, and visualizing data, and how to apply a data-driven mentality to their personal lives and business situations. Taught by Jitesh Shah, MBA, MS.

Other UCSC Extension IoT-related offerings

You are invited to take one or all of the synchronous classes in the IoT specialization (at a one-time summer discounted price), and explore other related UCSC Extension offerings.

Leave a Reply