What is an Embedded Computer?

Embedded computing

14-07-2017 - Embedded computers are different from the computers we use at work. But what are they exactly? And what markets benefit from embedded computers?

Embedded computers are computers that are integrated into other devices. They are not used as standalone computers and are not necessarily recognized as computer devices.

The embedded computer in these devices however control the functionality and quality of the device. The use of embedded computers is constantly growing. This means an exponential increase in computing power, connectivity and merging of technology.

Eventually resulting in computers becoming embedded into everyday products and places. As a result of this increasing use of embedded computers boundaries between markets are fading. For this reason computing companies like Apple are steadily moving into consumer electronics.

A major trend in embedded computing is the integration of embedded computers into devices that did not require a computer before.

Think about the changes that have taken place within modern cars. Next to incorporating embedded computers in visible devices like the navigation system, they are taking over fundamental functions like the braking systems.


Now that you know what embedded computers are, lets look at markets that are benefiting from using an embedded computer.




The healthcare industry has seen great benefits in the use of technology. Healthcare technology is a focus of many hospitals and care facilities.

Technology is now a tool to improve patient satisfaction and a way to focus on patient centered care. Therefore embedded computers are integrated into many healthcare devices.

Consider the clever pacemaker. Or what about the up and coming medical wearables? These wearable devices measure the patients blood pressure, heart rate and other vital functions. All wireless.

Even the patient's bedside entertainment system is based on an embedded computer. All smart ways to centralize the patient, encourage engagement and improve patient care.




Consumer Electronics

Consumer electronics have really benefited from embedded computers. Just think about phones, TVs and cameras that are suddenly all becoming 'smart'.

They still do what they were originally designed for, but have added features - thanks to modern technology. Our phones take photos, our TVs connect to the internet and our cameras can print and send photos straight away.

All functions based on embedded computers.





Industrial applications have made great steps in efficiency by using embedded computers. Integrating smart embedded systems into traffic lights, factory controllers and paint mixing machines have made our job simpeler and has propelled automation.

A DYI store employee only need to enter a color and the machine will take care of the mixing process.

ATMs are another great example of industrial applications based on an embedded computer. ATMs can only exist because of the smart integrated embedded computer. And what would we do with them?



Home electronics

Home intelligence and home automation are up and coming markets for embedded computers. The intelligent home is about home appliances thinking for themselves and not requiring much input from the human living in it.

Thermostats are self regulating and can even be controlled from a distance using an app. Many devices that we use daily are based on an embedded computer. A computer that operates the functionality of these devices.

Look at your dishwasher, the well used microwave and washing machine. All smart devices that let us make a number of choices in the way we want them to function.

What are you heating in the microwave? What is your dishwasher trying to clean? And when do you want your load of sports clothes to be washed?




It goes without saying that we use computers in an office environment. It's what we work on every day. But these computers are standalone computers and not embedded computers.

A desktop computer is not an embedded computer because it is not integrated into a device. There are however plenty of devices around the office fitted with a smart embedded computer.

Think about the trusted calculator on your desk, the clever office phone and the printer that connects to your desktop PC without wires.


Embedded computers are an integral part of our every day and work life. We almost don't realize how often we come into contact with an embedded system. And we don't expect the rise of embedded computers to stop any time soon.


Want to know how embedded computers will automate your application? 


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