How the IoT is Affecting Wi-Fi

October 18, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

In today’s society, Wi-Fi has become something that people now expect to be readily available and depend on to carry out everyday tasks. With the rollout of the Internet of Things (IoT), people will soon become accustomed to having all of their things connected as well. But with all of those connected devices, can Wi-Fi handle an even greater influx of user demand for high-speed connectivity? Here, we’ll take a look at how the IoT is affecting Wi-Fi.

 

When it comes to connectivity requirements, each IoT application can have a different set of range, data throughput and energy efficiency needs. Some IoT devices only need small, intermittent data transfers, such as utility meters. While some need a constant stream of data, such as live surveillance cameras. Also, range can differentiate from very short for wearables, to spanning miles for weather and agricultural sensor applications. But there are two things that are constants for all IoT applications: the need for remote power and constant connectivity.

 

To fulfill this need, Wi-Fi is the obvious choice because Wi-Fi coverage is so widespread, but standard Wi-Fi is not always the best choice for IoT applications. Thus, there are several standards that have emerged from the need for IoT connectivity. These include LoRaWAN, multiple short range communications standards and new Wi-Fi standards such as HaLow (802.11ah) and HEW (802.11ax).

 

The 802.11ah standard was introduced to address the range and power needs of the IoT. It utilizes the 900 MHz frequency band to provide extended range, covering a one kilometer radius, lower power requirements, wake/sleep periods and station grouping options.

 

The 802.11ax standard also includes the wake/sleep and station grouping features, and has a MU-MIMO feature that allows up to 18 users to simultaneously send data within a 40 MHz channel when paired with the smaller subcarrier spacing. Internet service providers and technology startups have also begun developing an application layer that includes mesh networks that use sets of routers to work together and extend wireless coverage, and provisioning tactics that define how wireless devices connect to networks.

 

There is some fear that the IoT could essentially break Wi-Fi, but there seems to be plenty of development activity focused around finding solutions to Wi-Fi congestion before it becomes a problem. With all of the IoT devices expected to be connecting in the near future, there will likely be a significant shift in Wi-Fi practices and standards, but as with everything in the world of technology, being able to pivot and reconfigure is the name of the game.

 

IoT: Making the World Safer

June 21, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

We are living in exciting times. With the development of the IoT making it possible to connect devices and make smart homes, smart businesses, smart cars and smart cities, our world is evolving into an interconnected network designed to make life easier. In previous posts, we’ve explored the IoT and antennas, the Industrial IoT (IIoT) and how the IIoT is changing manufacturing. Aside from the business aspect of the IoT, is there a greater benefit to society? Here, we’ll look at how the IoT, and all of its things, can also be used to make the world safer.

 

Today, body cameras are offering a previously unseen view into the world of policing and social media allows for crimes to be publicly documented by anyone with a smartphone. Plus, cameras and surveillance systems are already being implemented in many cities to keep a watchful eye when law enforcement isn’t physically present. Take that a step further and there are technologies being introduced that are truly transformative. Intelligent roadway systems are being utilized to direct traffic flow and manage digital signs that provide information to drivers, all to help avoid accidents and make the roads safer. This same type of technology, along with GPS, can also allow first responders to better navigate through traffic and improve response times.

 

Furthermore, with the IoT, there is a huge amount of data being collected. All of this information can be used to analyze behavior and patterns and create algorithms to identify potential crimes before they occur. Everything from past criminal activity, behavior patterns, weather patterns, social media activity and gunshot sensors can be used to inform law enforcement and help prevent crimes from taking place, or lessen the effect of the event. In fact, some cities already have technology in place that uses sensors to detect a gunshot, determine the location of shots fired and deliver that information to law enforcement within one minute. Much like a fire alarm alerts of potential danger, this system alerts of a potential active shooter situation, notifies the police and provides real-time data on where shots were fired and the layout of the location.

 

Other technology making the world safer includes self-driving cars, which remove some element of human error and could eliminate the risk that goes along with high-speed chases. Also, drones can be used to provide aerial surveillance, assess and access areas that might be too dangerous for officers or first responders to enter blindly. GPS can be used to track where someone is in a building, making it easier to find people in the event of a fire, natural disaster or other emergency situation. Plus, health monitoring devices can provide information to first responders if a victim is unresponsive. These devices might even be able to detect a health issue before it occurs.

 

There are many ways that the IoT is changing the world for the better, including safety. By using IoT technology and connecting devices to allow people to navigate this world more safely, we all win.

 

The IIoT and Manufacturing

February 22, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

The Internet of Things (IoT) is revolutionizing many industries, including manufacturing. With the introduction of the Industrial IoT (IIoT) and all of its benefits, manufacturing is being transformed by value-add opportunities and smart technology. In fact, manufacturing, transportation and utility industries are forecast to make the largest IIoT investments. However, there is a lot of work that goes into IIoT implementation. Here, we’ll take an in-depth look at how the IIoT is changing manufacturing.

 

Traditionally, manufacturing companies focused on large operations that required a large capital layout with the goal of consistency and repeatability. Organizations adopting IIoT technology must not only dedicate capital to technological improvements, but also change the way they do business. Return on investment is driven by connected operations, smart preventative maintenance and predictive analytics. As IIoT implementation accelerates the speed of business, companies must increase the speed of their internal processes to keep up the pace. Introduction of the IIoT has also shifted customer expectations. Customers expect companies to be nimble and adaptive, and so the manufacturing processes must evolve to meet those expectations.

 

With all of the changes that come along with the IIoT, completing a successful rollout is a challenging task. Security is an issue to consider, if your systems are breached, production can come to a halt. Another challenge is the slow adoption of standards and interoperability. It can be expensive to upgrade your equipment. Also, many manufacturers prefer to use their own proprietary technologies, which may not meet IoT standards. Correctly interpreting the analytics to create the best outcome is a challenge, it takes time to understand how to best integrate the IIoT as a part of the manufacturing process and into your specific business model. Resistance to change also can slow the adoption of the IIoT and its overall success in the industry. For smaller operations, implementing the IIoT and everything that goes along with it, may seem like an insurmountable task. Thus, many of the companies leading the way are large, complex, industrial operations that can absorb large projects, such as an IIoT rollout. 

 

The IIoT offers an array of benefits to the manufacturing industry, but integration of this revolutionary technology is a process that doesn’t happen overnight.

 

How Big is Big Data

December 7, 2017 at 8:00 AM

 

Big data is the driving force behind many of today’s technological trends. Artificial intelligence, data science and the Internet of Things (IoT) all depend on big data to keep them going, but the idea of big data is still incomprehensible for many. The fact is, big data touches all of our lives, whether we’re aware of it or not. Here, we’ll help you wrap your mind around just how big, big data is.

 

Every time we use our smart phones, tablets or computers for things like GPS, social media, online purchases or to download a new app, we are creating data and leaving a digital footprint. This year, a mind-blowing 7.7 zettabytes (7.7 billion terabytes) of data is expected to be transmitted through mobile networks globally, which is only a portion of the total data being processed through data centers around the world.

 

What do we do with these billions of terabytes of data? All of this sensor information, photos, text, voice and video data is used by organizations for insights leading toward better, strategic business decisions. Currently, big data is being used in many industries, including the following:

 

Education – Data provides educators with insights to improve school systems and curriculums to better educate students. Data analysis can also help identify at-risk students, evaluate student and teacher progress, and better support teachers and administrators.

 

Government – Big data analytics allow government agencies to better manage departments and deal with issues like traffic and crime.

 

Health Care – Speed and accuracy are of the upmost importance in health care and big data allows patient records, treatment plans and prescription information to be managed more effectively than ever.

 

Manufacturing – Insight from big data allows manufacturers to solve problems faster and make more agile business decisions, which, in turn, improves quality and output while reducing waste.

 

Retail – Retail companies rely on big data to build relationships with their customers. Understanding customer wants and needs allows retailers to better market to customers, make transactions smoother and bring customers back to shop again.

 

 

Big data is being used for more than business profit, it is also being used to make the world a better place. Here are some areas in which big data is having a big impact:  

 

Disease Research - Data-driven medicine analyzes large amounts of medical records and medical images to identify patterns that can help discover disease early and develop new medicines to treat and prevent diseases like cancer.

  

Feeding the Hungry –  Big data can be used to improve agriculture by maximizing crop harvests, minimizing pollutants emitted into the ecosystem and optimizing use of machines and equipment.

 

Exploring Far Away Planets – Every NASA mission is based on millions of points of data that have been analyzed to expose every possible outcome.

 

Crime Prevention – Police departments use data to develop strategies for resource deployment and to deter crime when possible.

 

Natural and Man-Made Disasters – Sensor data is used to help predict which areas are likely to be affected by earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados and floods. These predictions can save lives by providing advanced notice to area residents. Identified trends in human behavior patterns can help relief organizations better provide aid to survivors. Big data is also used to monitor and protect the flow of refugees escaping war-torn areas around the world.

 

Of course, the more data we collect, the greater concerns become regarding privacy and security. Overall, big data makes our lives better and the benefit might outweigh the risk. Everything from crime prevention and cancer research to online shopping, crowdfunding and planning your next vacation has improved because of big data.

For more information on big data and how it’s processed, check out our blog post Big Data and the Information Autobahn.

 

5 Things You Need to Know About Industrial IoT

July 6, 2017 at 8:00 AM

 

With the Internet of Things promising a world that is fully automated where objects can communicate without humans, it only makes sense that this technology could be used in other ways –enter the Industrial IoT (IIoT). This next iteration of the IoT applies the IoT technology to industrial applications and is slated to revolutionize the way we do business. Here are 5 things you need to know about the Industrial IoT:

 

1.       It’s smart business

We’ve heard of smart houses, smart cars and even smart cities, now we’ll have smart businesses. The goal of the IIoT is to improve efficiency, productivity and operations on a global scale by linking people, data and intelligent machines. Machines will be able to communicate and work with each other in machine to machine (M2M) networks to optimize production and workflow. 


2.       It takes business into the Cloud

The IIoT integrates physical machinery with software and sensors that can be networked to the Cloud to provide real-time visibility of business assets. These smart machines deliver data that is analyzed and used to monitor and control operations and make real-time decisions, which improves operational efficiency, saves money and reduces waste.

 

3.       It is applicable across a range of industries

Pilot projects have tested and proven that the IIoT can be impactful across a large spectrum of industries that include healthcare, manufacturing, logistics, energy and agriculture.

 

4.       It breathes new life into old equipment

The IIoT will connect more than a century’s worth of existing mechanical and electrical infrastructure to the Internet. This includes manufacturing equipment, fleet tracking and HVAC systems. The IIoT has the power to reduce waste and improve operating costs with features such as a service alert sent before equipment breaks down, or monitoring the flow of gas valves in a refinery.

 

5.       It is the future of business

The IIoT is projected to be one of the fastest growing markets over the next several years with as many as 25 billion IP-enabled "things" being networked by 2020. It has been forecasted that the IIoT will generate nearly $320 billion in worldwide revenue and over 26% CAGR by 2020.

 

© L-com, Inc. All Rights Reserved. L-com, Inc., 50 High Street, West Mill, Third Floor, Suite 30, MA 01845