Kubernetes has made efforts for nodes to work with poor network connectivity.
The node requirements aren't that big.
A lot of use cases are relatively easy to containerise.
And edge / IoT devices are getting more powerful as well.
They aren't talking about consumer IoT here as well.
It has become a meme that Kubernetes is complicated. But it solves a lot of orchestration problems that would need to be implemented in other ways.
On the backend where you have services being fed, processing, and presenting all that data sure Kubernetes that part up, but that doesn't seem to need a special distro of Kubernetes.
when I think IoT, I think small single purpose devices: a ring door bell, a "smart" thermostat or fire alarm, a security camera. There at most a couple of processes running, what is there to orchestrate on an IoT doorbell?
Technically they’re all edge, but nobody thinks K8s can run on the latter, but it might work on the prior two.
I suppose it might depend on what you count as "edge", but we're using kubernetes to distribute a complex product to customers onprem. The product has multiple databases, services, transient processes, scheduled jobs, and machine learning. It needs to be able to run on a single machine or a cluster depending on customer requirements. It needs to support whatever Linux variant the customer allows. Using Kubernetes solves a lot of problems for us.
For example, SQLite advertise itself as "database on edge".
Just as an example (not saying it's authoritative):
> "Edge computing is often referred to as 'on-premise.'"
Btw since you mention SQLite, the k3s system uses SQLite instead of the default etcd used by Kubernetes, for the reason you mention. These systems really are intended to support true edge scenarios. K3s is distributed as a single 40 MB binary, and you can run it on non-PC edge hardware.
For anyone who runs a system that involves multiple containers on a single machine, it can be worth looking at systems like k3s as an alternative to e.g. Docker Compose. There's not much downside other than some learning curve, and it gives you a wealth of capabilities that you otherwise tend to end up hacking together with scripts or whatever.
Sure if you run an entire control plane on the edge you're adding more complexity... but you don't have to do that, and control planes are complex beasts by their nature.