Internet of Things (IoT) Movement & Us Today

The Internet of Things movement (IoT) is a movement that has started ever since there were computers and the internet. IoT connects the internet to a variety of devices that do not normally have the internet to enable them to do a variety of additional tasks or processes that were previously unimaginable and not done.

Billions of devices are being connected to the internet from light bulbs that can be controlled by mobile phones to airplanes that can send diagnostic information while in flight there is something that in all parts of life, for consumers and for businesses that are connected to the internet.

Consumers and Businesses

Consumers can now experience connected devices in all parts of their home, and life. For example, waking up in the morning can activate a host of devices to start doing a variety of process that is enabled because of the internet. A timer in the mainframe of your house can activate an alarm clock to wake you up, turn the lights on, and even activate a coffee machine to have fresh coffee by the time you get to the kitchen.

Businesses across all verticals can experience benefits from the IoT movement. IoT has enabled remote monitoring of devices to enable the reading of sensors in hazardous locations from safe locations. Machine to Machine communication is possible due to the IoT movement. Machines are able to communicate with one another allowing autonomous actions.

An estimated 23 billion devices around the world are connected to the internet currently with and an estimated 75 billion devices to be connected to the internet by 2025 (Statista). This poses potential problems, with more devices connected to the internet and more devices to be connected in the future, infrastructure needs to be flexible and scalable to meet the demand for wireless connectivity. Additionally, both the devices and the networks they operate on a need to remain secure to provide protection and security to all threats.

Scalability

Advances in wireless infrastructure have enabled the current 23 billion devices to connect to connect to the internet. The future development of 5G wireless will enable more devices to be connected at the same time and will enable faster connects than currently available through LTE connections. Broadband wireless infrastructure in areas that are unable to be reached by fiber or cell service are currently able to match the demand for connectivity and is a scalable option for future growth. The growth in popularity of smart cities will enable more devices to be connected as fiber and wireless infrastructure increases.

Security

Many IoT devices capture large amounts of data from users or sensors, and this is streamed over the wireless connection. Security is a must to protect the sensitive information of users. As processing power increases and chips decrease in size IoT devices will be enabled to run additional programs to protect user data. Networks, both wireless and hard lined, enable higher broadband speeds and capacity. Network security through programs, AI, and monitoring will be essential to enable the safe usage of IoT devices.

Conclusion

IoT has enabled billions of devices to be connected to the internet and has allowed advancements for consumers and businesses to evolve. The infrastructure that supports these devices must remain flexible, scalable, and secure to meet future demands. As devices evolve, expand, and further develop they must enable their own security measures to ensure the protection of sensitive data created by end users.

Wi-Fi Standards: Past, Present and Future – What They Mean to You

Back of Wi-Fi Router“Wi-Fi” is now such a commonly used term, people don’t give it much thought, other than knowing they can get their Internet through wireless. Across America in homes,  airports and coffee shops, people are looking to connect their laptops, tablets, phones and other devices to the nearest wi-fi network.  But what is “Wi-Fi”, and where is it going in the future?

Wi-Fi has its origins in a 1985 ruling by the FCC, that released the ISM Band (2.4 & 5 GHz)  for unlicensed use.  Beginning in 1997, the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) developed a wireless standard known as 802.11 by which data can be communicated over a wireless link.  Since that time, there have been a number of amendments to this standard, each with increasing speeds and improved coverage capabilities.

The earliest standards were 802.11a and 802.11b, running at frequencies of 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz respectively.  By year 2000, the 802.11b was most common, with peak throughput bandwidth of 11 Mbps. In 2003, the 802.11g standard was developed that increased bandwidth speeds to a peak 54 Mbps.

Forward on to 2009 was the advent of 802.11n, a dual-band standard that runs at both 2.4 and 5 GHz.  This time the peak bandwidth speeds increased to 600 Mbps. Jump to 2014, then 802.11ac hit the market with potential speeds up to 3 Gbps. The introduction of the “ac” standard was the first time the “MIMO” antenna technology was used – Multiple In, Multiple Out.  This multiplies capacity of the radios by transmitting different signals over multiple antennas. An addition to the “ac” standard is called   “Wave 2”, which introduces a modulation method known as OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing).  OFDM converts 1 high-speed data channel into multiple parallel lower-speed channels.  This results in better coverage and longer-distance reception. As this article is written in the beginning of 2018, this is the wi-fi standard of today.

What does the future hold?

Behold the newest commercial  wi-fi standard, 802.11ax. What is so special about “ax”?

The new 802.11ax dual-band standard is designed to improve spectral efficiency, especially in dense deployment areas. The most notable thing about “ax” is the dramatic jump in speed, at up to 4X the rate of “ac”, for a peak bandwidth of 10.5 Gbps. So ax has two major things going for it – better coverage in dense wi-fi areas, and much higher speeds.  The “ax” wi-fi gear will be publicly available on the market in early 2019.

 

Other Interesting Future Wi-Fi Standards

What about all this talk of Internet of Things (IoT)? How do you connect refrigerators, thermostats, dishwashers, and a host of other devices to the network?  Say hello to 802.11ah.  This is known as Wi-Fi HaLow.  It runs in the 900 MHz frequency for easy penetration through walls. It has lower power consumption and wider range than standard wi-fi, designed to connect to IoT devices. It is also used for Smart Meters, M2M (machine-to-machine) and rural communications.

Want to have the latest Home Theater setup?  Give 802.11ad a try. This standard is extremely high frequency millimeter-wave, running at 60 GHz.  With bandwidth throughput of 7 Gbps, it is designed to provide wireless audio and video streaming for home theatre systems, office devices, displays, and other uses.  It only goes short distances and will not penetrate through walls.  But 802.11ad is positioned to play a big role in home theatre systems in the future.

Of course there are other wireless standards on the roadmap for the future, including 802.11az running at 60 GHz to be introduced in 2021.

With every passing year the speeds keep getting faster and the coverage capabilities better.  Do you have an idea of what you want in your future wi-fi? Submit your ideas to the IEEE, as they are interested in hearing them.