Real World Applications Of Internet Of Things. FutureUniverseTV Presents Six Practical Examples of IoT.
The Internet of Things (IoT) begins with connectivity, but since it is so diverse and multifaceted, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for communication. Continuing our discussion on mesh and star topologies, we will review the six most common types of IoT wireless technologies in this article. Different IoT use cases require different solutions, as each solution has its own strengths and weaknesses.
1. The Internet of Things is experiencing a new phenomenon known as Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs). The family of technologies is intended to support large-scale IoT networks sprawling over large industrial and commercial campuses by providing long-range communication on inexpensive, small batteries that last for years. In addition to asset tracking, environmental monitoring, facility management, occupancy detection, and consumable monitoring, LPWANs can literally connect all types of IoT sensors – facilitating a wide variety of applications. Yet, LPWANs can only transmit small blocks of data at a low rate, and are therefore better suited for applications that do not require high bandwidth and are not time-sensitive. Furthermore, not all LPWANs are equally effective. In the present day, there are technologies operating in both licensed (NB-IoT, LTE-M) and unlicensed (e.g. MYTHINGS, LoRa, Sigfox, etc.) spectrum with varying degrees of performance in terms of key network characteristics. The primary consideration when adopting unlicensed technologies is Quality-of-Service and scalability, as opposed to power consumption when using cellular-based, licensed LPWANs. In order to ensure reliability, security, and interoperability in the long run, standardization is another important factor to consider. Find out more about the key considerations for this family of wireless Internet of Things technologies here. To choose the right wireless technology for your IoT application, you need to assess the bandwidth requirements, the quality of service requirements, the security requirements, the power consumption and the management requirements of the network.
2. There is no doubt that cellular networks, currently well established in the consumer mobile market, offer reliable broadband communication, supporting various voice calls and video streaming services. On the downside, they impose very high operational costs and power requirements. However, cellular networks are not suitable for most IoT applications that utilize battery-operated sensor networks, but are well suited for specific use cases such as connected cars or fleet management in transportation and logistics. A ubiquitous and high-speed cellular connection is a key component of in-car infotainment, traffic routing, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), fleet telematics services, and tracking services. With high-speed mobility support and ultra-low latency, cellular next-generation 5G is expected to revolutionize augmented reality and autonomous vehicles in the coming years. Several time-sensitive industrial automation applications will also be enabled by 5G technologies, including live video surveillance for public safety, mobile delivery of medical data sets for connected health, and real-time video surveillance for public safety.
3. Zigbee and Other Mesh Protocols. Zigbee is an IEEE 802.15.4 wireless standard that is commonly employed in mesh topologies to extend coverage by relaying sensor data over multiple nodes. Since Zigbee uses mesh configuration, it provides higher data rates than LPWAN, but also lower power efficiency. Due to the short physical range of Zigbee and similar mesh protocols (such as Z-Wave, Thread, etc.), Zigbee and similar mesh protocols (such as Z-Wave, Thread, etc.) are best suited for medium range IoT applications where nodes are evenly distributed. As a general rule, Zigbee is an excellent complement to Wi-Fi in the context of home automation applications, such as smart lighting, HVAC control, energy management, security, etc. – utilizing home sensor networks. Mesh networks were also employed in industrial contexts prior to the emergence of LPWAN, supporting a variety of remote monitoring solutions. Even so, they are far from ideal for many industrial facilities that are geographically dispersed, and their theoretical scalability is often limited by increasingly complex network setups and management procedures.
4. A short-range communication technology, Bluetooth falls under the category of Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPANs). The Bluetooth Classic protocol was designed for the exchange of data between consumer devices at a point-to-point or point-to-multipoint (up to seven slave nodes) level. As a power-efficient protocol, Bluetooth Low-Energy was later introduced to address small-scale consumer applications in the Internet of Things. Devices with Bluetooth Low-Energy capabilities are usually used in conjunction with an electronic device, typically a smartphone, as a hub for transferring data to the cloud. In the modern world, Bluetooth Low Energy is widely incorporated into fitness and medical wearables (such as smartwatches, glucose meters, pulse oximeters, etc.) as well as Smart Home devices (such as door locks) – allowing data to be conveniently transmitted to and viewed on smartphones. As a result of the release of the Bluetooth Mesh specification in 2017, BLE devices can be deployed more scalable, especially in retail settings. By delivering versatile indoor localization capabilities, BLE beacon networks have enabled new service innovations such as in-store navigation, personalized promotions, and content delivery.
5. In light of Wi-Fi’s critical role in providing high-throughput data transfer for both enterprise and home environments, there is very little need to explain the technology. However, in the IoT space, its major limitations in coverage, scalability and power consumption make the technology much less prevalent. Due to its high energy requirements, Wi-Fi is frequently not an option for large networks of battery-powered IoT sensors, especially in industrial IoT applications and smart buildings. However, it more generally refers to devices that can be conveniently connected to a power outlet, such as smart home appliances, digital signage or security cameras. In addition to greatly increased network bandwidth (i.e. 9.6 Gbps), Wi-Fi 6 provides increased data throughput per user in congested environments. By doing so, the standard is poised to level up public Wi-Fi infrastructure and transform the customer experience in retail and mass entertainment with new digital mobile services. As well, Wi-Fi 6 is expected to have the most significant impact on in-car networks for infotainment and on-board diagnostics. However, it is likely that it will take some additional time for the development to be completed.
6. RFIDRadio Frequency Identification (RFID) transmits small amounts of data within a very short distance from an RFID tag to a reader through radio waves. Retail and logistics have been revolutionized by this technology until now. Businesses can track their inventory and assets in real-time by attaching RFID tags to all kinds of products and equipment. This improves stock and production planning as well as supply chain efficiency. Moreover, while IoT adoption continues to grow, RFID continues to be entrenched in the retail sector, enabling new IoT applications such as self-checkout, smart shelves, and smart mirrors to be developed. To briefly summarize, each IoT vertical and application has its own unique set of network requirements. As a result, it is important to weigh parameters such as range, bandwidth, QoS, security, power consumption, and network management very carefully when choosing the right wireless technology for your IoT application.
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