The next evolutionary leap in Internet technology, the Internet of Things (IoT), looks like a 50′s version of the future. Billions of everyday objects in homes, shops and factories all sharing data and integrated to computers via high-speed wireless internet promises to make life a lot more interesting.
For business owners, implementing IoT using the current dedicated Internet access protocols presents as much problem as it does promise. Issues with connectivity, cost and security will make it difficult for many industrial and commercial business owners to benefit from the new “smart” technologies.
Wi-Fi is ubiquitous; you probably take it for granted that your computer, phone and many other hand-held devices can connect with the Internet wherever you are. Today’s wireless networking is specifically designed for applications that require fast connections over a short range. The type of wireless connections used in your home and in many small businesses just can’t cope with the Internet of Things.
Implementing IoT on a commercial or industrial scale with standard commercial Wi-Fi presents serious problems with connectivity. The signal does not provide the range to keep the smart sensors IoT networking depends on connected. Interference is an issue and many business owners may face security issues with IoT, making their networks vulnerable.
A different kind of wireless Internet access is needed to integrate industrial and commercial equipment with the Internet of things. Many industrial and large commercial businesses employ the Zigbee standard long distance industrial wireless protocol. This standard works well with low data rate, low power applications but presents some problems for businesses as well. Zigbee is very difficult to use and because it is a proprietary system, is not compatible many of the new sensors and hardware applications needed to implement IoT.
New Standards/Cost Issues
Metro ethernet is growing rapidly and new machine to machine communications technology, M2M, is bringing IoT applications that may well revolutionize the way America does business. For many business owners, the initial cost of upgrading computer systems and installing M2M hardware will be difficult. Ongoing maintenance for the IoT network and related equipment will be another added expense.
Service providers and a consortium of the largest companies in America are working hard to improve standards for IoT wireless networking to provide faster, more secure systems for business owners to implement IoT. Dedicated Internet access service providers are improving Zigbee and developing better wireless networking systems for home and business applications.
M2M communication dedicated Internet access, and the Internet of things opens the door to a new world of possibilities. Real-time data exchange and management will dramatically improve conditions for a wide range of commercial, industrial and medical facilities. Workers will be more productive and enjoy safer working environments because the workplace is constantly monitored to prevent accidents and hazardous conditions.
IoT in the commercial arena offers improved inventory control, customer service and sales support. Retailers will enjoy greater control over costs and profitability and customers will be able to interact with retailers more to guarantee improved customer service. All of this makes doing business easier due to so much of the system is automatic via IoT and wireless networking.