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Glossary of Terms

You may already recognize every technical or industry term we use here at Iotplus. But some of them can be unique to Iotplus or difficult to remember off the top of your head. Get a better definition—from A to almost Z—of what you’re reading on


This is vocabulary you will see around the website or support documentation to describe Iotplus’s processes.

Action (Notification) See also “Notification”: An email, SMS, or voice message indicating a sensor has crossed a user-set threshold, or an event has occurred. Setting your actions is key to getting your sensors to work correctly. Actions in Iotplus are symbolized by a rocket ship.
ALTA: Generation 2 of Iotplus products with a more comprehensive wireless range and more advanced data logging capabilities.
CGW (Cellular Gateway ): Gateway uses the cellular infrastructure to communicate with monitoring platforms such as
Datasheet: A short summarization of technical specifications and features related to the device.
EGW (Ethernet Gateway): Gateway uses an ethernet connection to communicate with monitoring platforms such as
Heartbeat: The heartbeat is the amount of time between transmissions.
Iotplus Basic: Online cloud-based single-user application software to monitor sensor and gateway activity, receive notifications, and manage the sensor network.
Iotplus Enterprise: Available for large organizations with specific data usage requirements. It provides the same feature set as Iotplus Online but has additional functionality to allow the organization to host and maintain its sensor data.
Iotplus Express: Application software to monitor sensor and gateway activity, receive notifications, and manage the sensor network. Installed locally on PC (Can be stand-alone PC with no internet connection.
Iotplus Premiere: Online cloud-based Monitoring solution to monitor sensor and gateway activity, receive notifications, and manage the sensor network.
Notification (Action): Email, text, or phone message indicating a sensor has crossed a user-set threshold, or an event has occurred.
Quick Start Guide: A short one-page getting started guide for your Iotplus devices.
Sensor Prints: Sensor Prints are an extra blanket of security for your devices. A shared key between the software and the sensor ensures that once the data comes to Iotplus, it is guaranteed to be from the device identified by the sensor print. This makes it impossible to spoof by any malicious device.
User Guide: An in-depth guide to how to set up and use your Iotplus device.
Cellular: Uses cell towers to facilitate communication between gateways and monitoring systems.
Ethernet: Uses IEEE 802.3 network connection to connect to the Iotplus Servers.
International Cellular: Also uses cell towers to facilitate communication between gateways and monitoring system.
USB: Uses an existing internet connection on a P.C. to facilitate communication with the Iotplus servers or with the Express software installed on the P.C. when no internet connection is desired.
Serial Modbus Gateway (SMG): Acts as a data concentrator for Iotplus wireless sensor networks.


You will see these terms on our online cloud software Iotplus, Iotplus Express, and Iotplus Enterprise.

Activate when: Determines which reading of the sensor will trigger the Aware State.
Active Between: The time of day the sensor is actively working. No communication will take place while the sensor is hibernating.
Assessments per Heartbeat: How many times between heartbeats a sensor will check measurements against its thresholds to determine whether it will enter or remain in the aware state. (Concerning the sensor heartbeat, if the sensor H.B. is at 10 minutes and the APH is at 10, the sensor will assess conditions against the parameters once a minute. If the H.B. is at 10 and the APH is at 20, it will evaluate the environment every 30 seconds. If the H.B. is at 10 and the APH is at 250, then the sensor will assess the conditions at its maximum frequency of 1 second. )
Aware State: The aware state is a mode the sensor can be configured to enter when specific thresholds are exceeded. This allows the sensor to operate at higher power consumption only when near-critical conditions of the application you’re monitoring.
Aware State Buffer: A buffer that prevents the sensor from bouncing between Standard Operation and Aware State when the assessments are very close to a threshold.
Display As: Set the label for the data type (i.e., Fahrenheit vs. Celsius).
Event Aware State when there is: (For Motion Detection) Sets the sensor to detect when there is motion, no motion, or a state change.
Failed transmissions before link mode: The number of messages the sensor sends without a response from a gateway before it goes into Link mode.
Heartbeat Interval: How often the sensor transmits data to the gateway if no out of threshold activity is recorded.
Hysteresis: A buffer to prevent the sensor from bouncing between standard operation and the aware state.
Interval: How often the sensor communicates with the gateway if no activity is recorded.
Link Mode: The time when the sensor is trying to connect to a gateway. The sensor sends a message on the first channel saying, “I’m number 12345, can I talk to you?” If it doesn’t hear anything back, it assumes there is not a gateway on that channel and tries the next channel. If it scans through all of the channels and receives no response, it will stop trying for two hours, at which point the process will begin again. The scanning process only takes about 30 seconds but can take a day’s worth of battery life.
Maximum Threshold aka “Above”: Any assessment above this value will cause the sensor to enter the “Aware State.”
Minimum Threshold aka “Below”: Any assessment below this value will cause the sensor to enter the “Aware State.”
Notification Action: Specifies account users to receive an alert notification when an action is triggered.
Polling: For a gateway, it refers to checking to see if there is an urgent down message to be delivered. It is only used in conjunction with control sensors.
The sensor is on: A switch on some sensor settings to tell that device to remain activated all day or set times for activity throughout the day.
Sensor Name: The unique name given to this particular sensor for easy identification.
Synchronize: In small sensor networks, the sensors can be set to synchronize their communications. A sensor marked “Yes” for synchronization does so with UTC. So it will set itself to communicate at Midnight UTC then base its heartbeat on that, rather than on when the battery is inserted. The default setting “Off” allows the sensors to randomize their communication, maximizing communication robustness. Selecting this will synchronize the communication of the sensors.
System Actions: Assigns action for the system to process when an alert notification triggers.
Time to Re-Arm (seconds): The time in seconds after a triggering event, the sensor will wait before re-arming itself.

Data Export Definitions

Alert: Boolean (True/False) indicating if this reading triggered a notification to be sent from the system.
Battery: Estimated life remaining of the battery.
Data: Raw data as it is stored from the sensor.
Date: The date the message was transmitted from the sensor.
Gateway: The Identifier of the gateway that relayed the data from the sensor.
MessageID: Unique identifier of the message in the database.
Plot Value: Data presented with any transforms applied but without additional text labels.
Received Signal: The signal strength measured in RSSI (From Wikipedia: In telecommunications, Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) is a measurement of the power present in a received radio signal.) This is the number used to calculate the “Signal Strength” column, which we show as a percentage. For engineers, this column is more useful than the estimated rate, so we display both to fulfill our users’ needs.
Sensor: Name you have given the sensor to identify it. There are two types of sensors:

  • Event Type: Sensors that respond immediately to an event as it occurs (think of event type sensors as yes/no data, Boolean).
  • Reading Type: Sensors that work on a timed basis to wake up at set intervals, gather data, transmit the data, then go back to sleep until the next interval.
  • Each sensor type can be in one or more of these forms:
    • Commercial Coin Cell: CoinCell battery-powered (CR2032), 1.775 in x 1.04 in x 0.785 in
    • Enterprise: AA battery powered (x2), 3.02in x 2.1 in x 1.27 in
    • Wi-Fi: AA battery powered (x2), 3.02 in x 2.1 in x 1.27 in
    • Industrial: 3.6V battery-powered (3 VDC x 1) 3.7 in x 2.32 in x 1.38 in
    • Solar: Powered by a rechargeable A.A. Lithium Iron Phosphate battery, 3.7 in x 2.32 in x 1.38 in

Sensor ID: If multiple sensors are exported, you can distinguish which reading was from which using this number even if the names for some reason are the same.
Sensor State: The binary field is represented as an integer containing information about the sensor’s state when the message was transmitted. (See “Sensor State”)
Signal Strength: Strength of communication signal between the sensor and the gateway, shown as a percentage value.
Text: Data transformed and presented as it is shown in the monitoring portal.
Voltage: Actual voltage measured at the sensor battery used to calculate battery percentage, similar to Received Signal, can use one or the other or both if they help you.

Icons and Definitions

rocket notification
Action (Notification) See also “Notification”: An email, SMS, or voice message indicating a sensor has crossed a user-set threshold, or an event has occurred. Setting your actions is key to getting your sensors to work correctly. Actions in Iotplus are symbolized by a rocket ship.

green dot
Active: The green dot is used to signify the operational status of sensors, gateways, reports, maps, actions, and networks in Iotplus.

  • Sensors and Gateways: Indicates the device is checking in and is within user-defined safe parameters.
  • Other: Indicates that report, map, action, and the network is active and in overall good standing.

red dot
Alerting: The red dot is used to symbolize when a sensor, gateway, or action has breached its set thresholds.

add device icon
Add Device (Mobile): Add a sensor or gateway to your account.

battery icon
Battery: The status of your sensor battery.

calibration icon
Calibration: Icon in the tab bar of your sensor to recalibrate the device. This is not available for all sensors.

delete icon
Delete: Current user has permission to delete the device, action, report, or map.

details icon
Details: Icon in your sensor or gateway controls tab bar to display your chart and most recent readings.

email icon
Email: Email in Iotplus is symbolized by a paper airplane. If grayed out beside a user’s name, that user will not receive an email notification.

receive email icon
Receive Email: A green paper airplane next to a name in send notification section of an action means that user will receive an email in the event of an aware state.

filter results icon
Filter Results: Filter the sensors’ results, gateways, reports, actions, and maps on your network to one specific type, name, status, and/or sorting them.

inactive icon
Inactive: The gray dot is used to signal the sensor, gateway, report, map, action, and/or network is idle or not reporting.

  • Sensor and Gateway: Indicates that no sensor readings are being recorded, rendering the sensor inactive.
  • Other: Report, map, action, and/or network is off

notes icon
Notes: An icon that allows a user to leave a comment.

pause icon
Pause: Accompanies a sensor or action which has been put on a break. Pauses typically last for one hour but can be set to be paused indefinitely at the account manager’s discretion.

readings icon
Readings: Denotes readings for a sensor or gateway.

readings out of date icon
Readings Out of Date: The yellow dot is used to denote the out-of-date status of a sensor, gateway, action, or network in Iotplus.

  • Sensors and Gateways: Indicates that the sensor reading is out of date, possibly due to a missed heartbeat check-in. May precede a gray “Inactive” status.

receive text icon
Receive Text: Green speech bubbles next to a name in the send notification section of an action means that the user will receive a text in the event of an aware state.

receive voice call icon
Receive Voice Call: A green phone icon next to a name in the send notification section of an action means that user will receive a voice call in the event of an aware state.

refresh icon
Refresh: Refreshes the results of a page.

save icon
Save: An icon to save settings for a chart.

scale icon
Scale: Icon in the tab bar of your sensor. Not available for all sensors.

select date icon
Select Date: An icon that brings up a calendar for you to choose a date range to schedule a sensor or narrow down your readings.

settings icon
Settings: Icon in the tab bar of your sensor and gateway to modify your settings.

updates pending icon
Settings Update Pending: There are pending changes that have not been communicated to the device. Modified settings to not take effect until the next heartbeat.

signal status icon
Signal Status: Strength of your device R.F. signal. A weak signal could be the result of interference or poor placement.

text icon
Text: Text icons in Iotplus are symbolized by speech bubbles. If grayed out next to a user’s name, that user will not receive a text. Only displays when text for a user is enabled in user preferences. Notification credits may be required.

voice call icon
Voice Call: Voice calls in Iotplus are symbolized by a phone. If grayed out next to a user’s name, that user will not receive a voice call. Only displays when voice call for a user is enabled in user preferences. Notification credits may be required.


This is advanced technical vocabulary useful to know when operating your Iotplus devices but isn’t specifically unique to the company.

API (Application Programming Interface): The interface specifies how some software components should interact with each other.
APN is dual-use dependent on context:

  1. APN (Access Point Node): Radio module used in gateways to facilitate communication with a sensor network.
  2. APN (Access Point Name): is the name of a gateway between a GPRS, 3G, or 4G mobile network and another computer network, frequently the public Internet.

Cloud Storage: A continuously expanding data management platform built to handle a vast amount of information.
DMZ (Demilitarized Zone): DMZ or demilitarized zone is a physical or logical buffer between an organization’s Local Area Network and an external network, usually the Internet.
Edge Computing: Information Technology (I.T.) architecture distributed to the client with information processed at the edge of the cloud at the point where users produce and analyze data.
EULA (End User License Agreement): In terms of proprietary software, a EULA is a contract between the purchaser and the licensor, outlining the terms and conditions of proper use.
Extensible Markup Language (XML): A simple text-based markup language created to store and transport data without predefined tags.
JavaScript Object Notation (JSON): A text-based open standard file format.
LAN (Local Area Network): A computer network that connects computers within a limited area such as a home, school, or business.
Modbus: a serial communication protocol used for transmitting information over serial lines between electronic devices.
NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology): An agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce responsible for developing information security standards and guidelines, including minimum requirements for federal information systems. NIST certification is essential because it supports and sets measurement standards for a particular service or product.
OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer): A term used when one company makes a part or subsystem used in another company’s end product.
RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization): Instructions for returning a product or device for any reason.
RTD (Resistance Temperature Detector): It measures temperature by correlating the RTD element’s resistance with temperature. These elements are used in our high accuracy sensors.
SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition): A system operating with coded signals over communication channels to provide control or remote equipment.
WAN (Wide Area Network): A network using such devices as telephone lines, satellite dishes, or radio waves to span a larger geographic area than can be covered by a LAN.

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