You may have heard of intelligence at the edge (or the intelligent edge) but found yourself not wanting to admit that the concept can be daunting. However, intelligence at the edge—sometimes referred to as simply the intelligent edge—is an important IoT term to understand both now and into the future. 

What is intelligent edge?

The intelligent edge refers to technology that processes and analyzes data right (or near to) the data's source. This type of technology creates a more efficient and less vulnerable way to process data and allows the data to become more centralized and less reliant on the stability of outside networks.    

Intelligent edge technology can be compared against more traditional options, where sensor and actuator data are managed in a cloud platform.  However, intelligent edge systems allow for faster decision making, reduced latency, less data traffic between the cloud and the edge, and less need for compute resources in the cloud—and ultimately lower costs to send, store, analyze and act upon the data.  

IoT gateways are an example of intelligence at the edge host platforms, as gateway applications can be used to process, interpret, and manage data without requiring cloud applications for processing. 

Need more info on IoT gateways? Check out our guide: What is an IoT Gateway? 

Why push intelligence to the edge?

Gateway applications can manage data to and from the edge without cloud platform connectivity:

  • Efficient use of data channel - upload only “rich” data, not all data
  • Ability to take action even if no network connection is available
  • Faster processing of raw data
  • Less backhaul traffic