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Wireless technology, specifically the 5G network, is on the rise in the global world today. Advances in these types of networks, like the wireless IoT destined to make factories smarter are bringing huge transformations in manufacturing industries. Many industries now have reached for predictive and prescriptive maintenance, self-healing production with almost non-existent downtime, remote-controlled processes, autonomous robotics and augmented reality systems. 

Because of faster network speeds, lower latency, higher data output for the connected devices, and data processing required on the factory floor along with enabling a huge number of low-power battery-powered sensors, 5G is fast becoming the future of communication in the manufacturing industry. 

Most companies today are inefficient in their operation. The use of old technologies, broken supply chains, lack of production visibility, and lack of IT integration are some of the factors that are responsible for the companies to keep them from operating at full capacity. In terms of productivity and operational efficiency, converting a manufacturing factory into a smart factory offers enormous benefits. This enables the factories to overcome these inefficiencies. To turn a manufacturing factory into a smart factory, companies are in search of new technologies to improve their performance. This is where the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) comes into play. 

Read more: Enabling Smarter Industrial Processes with Edge-to-Cloud Intelligence

What is IoT?

Internet of Things refers to a system of interrelated computers, machines, objects, and even people or animals assigned with unique identifiers (UIDs) that are capable of transferring data over a network without any human-to-computer interaction. IoT refers to all the objects connected to the internet and the communication between them through data transfer over the cloud. Industrial IoT, thus, refers to a network of interconnected sensors, instruments, actuators, and other devices that are networked together with a company’s industrial applications consequently facilitating improvements in the productivity and efficiency of the company. 

The success of any manufacturing industry depends on how efficiently the industry can reduce manufacturing costs and make production as effective as possible. The use of IIoT in the manufacturing process enables a company for a whole new level of efficient production. 

Challenges in implementing IoT solutions on the factory floor

As mentioned, transforming a manufacturing facility into a smart one results in enormous benefits in terms of productivity and operational efficiency. However, there are a number of challenges while implementing IoT solutions on the factory floor. We are going to discuss some of them below.

Connectivity: One of the main challenges of converting a manufacturing factory into a smart factory is to connect devices on the plant floor. Since the beginning of networking, companies have preferred wired connectivity in manufacturing because of the lower speed bandwidth of wireless networks and their inability to penetrate into the buildings made of concrete. In addition, until the invention of the 5G network, manufacturers had not seen the reliability in the previous generations of networks which could outweigh the risks involved in adopting those wireless networks. 

However, with the advent of 5G, companies are starting to realize the reliability and productivity of wireless networks in even the most demanding of applications, such as automation control and high throughput vision. 

Yet, wired network connectivity is still present in many factories even today. To deploy 5G successfully in a manufacturing environment, the collaboration between all the systems from corporate information and communication technologies (IT) to the manufacturing operational technologies (OT) is a must. 

Interoperability: The latest innovations such as IIoT, Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), etc. have resulted in the integration of automated devices and services into unified networks. As a consequence, the need for interoperability has increased dramatically. 

In an interconnected system, all of the components must be able to communicate with each other in an efficient manner. Interoperability is impossible to achieve without all of the components working together and hence, the full potential of IoT cannot be fulfilled.

Security: There's a growing concern that businesses aren't taking strong enough security precautions. Lack of security has resulted in various infamous security breaches in the recent past. Mirai, Stuxnet, the Jeep Hack, etc. are some of the data breaches that have made us realize the importance of security measures. 

IoT security is a concern for any device connected to the IoT. If the network is accessible, the connected devices could be hacked which causes obstruction in the production process. For manufacturers, the security of IoT can be challenging in two ways, vulnerabilities within the products as well as from the production halts caused due to security breaches. 

Read more: How Will AI Transform IoT Architecture?

wireless IoT destined to make factories smarter

Wireless IoT for Smart Factories Today

With the advent of the next industrial revolution, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIR) or Industry 4.0, more and more companies are moving towards emerging technology like IoT for smarter solutions to optimize their industrial processes and factories. The global market for IoT clearly reflects this rapid pace of adoption of IoT in industrial applications.

The IoT market in 2020 was 761 Billion US Dollars. Researchers predict that the market valuation for the IoT industry as a whole will cross 1,386 Billion US Dollars by 2026. This rapid rise in the valuation represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 10%. Furthermore, this figure is also well within expectations to increase drastically after the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in industries subside. 

This trend of adoption is already evident with major technological and industrial players shifting towards wireless IoT technologies in their industrial processes and factories. 

Caterpillar is one of the most well-known companies to adopt Wireless IoT. Only a few years ago, the company began to install its machinery with sensors and make them capable of connecting to a network, hence enabling the users to closely monitor and optimize processes. Their digital solution Cat Connect Technologies and Services, with installation on more than half a million vehicles, collects and analyzes usage data from the machine with regards to equipment management, safety, sustainability and productivity. With this huge database, users can create predictive maintenance solutions and discover new ways to increase efficiency. 

Hortilux is another company using Wireless IoT to make its factory smarter. Just as Caterpillar, Hortilux helps customers to make better and more informed decisions with accurate data analysis. Hortilux installs its equipment with cloud-enabled sensors which connect growers to HortiSense, a software solution that analyzes growing conditions including weather forecasts. 

Faurecia is a renowned manufacturer of interiors and emissions controls for automobiles. Among its clients are Volkswagen, GM, and Ford, to name a few. Faurecia, like other component manufacturers, is undergoing a massive digital transition. The company constructed a 400,000-square-foot facility in 2016 with Industrial IoT and automation in mind.

The facility's PLC-enabled machines are all connected to a single computer, dubbed the "lake," which connects plant floor activities to their execution and reporting systems. The resulting integrated system provides accurate operational transparency, unrivaled production quality control, and seamless components traceability.

The new technology also improves the quality and speed of communication throughout the company. A stable high-speed internet connection is available on both the plant floor and in the management areas, allowing operators and management to respond promptly to any issues that may emerge.

Tesla’s Wireless Industrial IoT strategy is about looking at the factory as a product, rather than a place. Tesla solves manufacturing issues as if they are debugging software by developing solutions that draw from their diverse technical and engineering backgrounds.

In Tesla’s Gigafactory, you’ll find Autonomous Indoor Vehicles (AIVs) which improve the transfer of materials between workstations. These vehicles operate based on a complex logic algorithm, meaning they don’t require any preset path to carry out their duties. The vehicles can carry payloads up to 130 lbs., and can even charge their own battery without intervention.

Among these companies, Airbus is probably using wireless IoT at a prominent level.

How Airbus is using Wireless IoT 

Airbus is using Wireless IoT to support the assembly of aircraft. During the manufacturing process, thousands of rivets are used to attach panels to an airframe, and the panels need to be drilled and fastened in a very particular way. Riveting must be done in the right order and the correct torque settings used for torque wrenches.

Airbus drills an estimated 120 million holes a year to fasten aircraft panels. Only 25% of this activity is automated while 75% of the work is done manually.

The manual processes for drilling and fastening panels require tools to be configured with very specific settings, and panels must be fastened to the airframe in a consistent way.

If a tool operator works at a station on the aircraft production line for an eight-hour shift, but the panel being fastened takes 12 hours to finish, the work needs to be passed on to another operator. There is a potential problem at the hand-over interface between the end of the first operator’s shift and what is then communicated to the next operator, who has to carry on where the first operator left off.

If the second operator, then takes over but works in the wrong way and the work needs to be redone, this could prove very expensive. The answer is to monitor the work each operator does in near real-time so that production errors can be corrected immediately.

Today, the tools used by operators working on an aircraft’s construction have sensors. Typically, IoT applications deploy sensors at the so-called edge, onto physical devices, which then feed data back to a centralized control and feedback system, which acts like a supervisor.

The IoT application in a centralized architecture assumes it will always have a network connection. It depends on a reliable network supporting hundreds of operators using tools with sensors, all operating at the same radio frequency. The tools will all be sending data to the back-end system simultaneously, and this is likely to cause a network contention issue at some point.

But Airbus realized that such an architecture would not be practical on the factory floor. Instead of relying on a back-end server that knows everything about the process, with dumb clients at the edge, each tool has its own set of capabilities, he says. The tools are preset for the job but can be configured on the fly. The software that supports the tools provides the necessary intelligence to manage the hand-over between shifts, and ensure that production errors are rectified quickly.

So, to avoid potential errors in production, the tools themselves need to have intelligence at the IoT edge. They run a small piece of agent software that sends a 36-byte message to an HPE Edge line server, using a non-standard network protocol, which supports a very low data latency of 50 milliseconds. This enables an adjustment to be made on the tool, or the operator can be alerted about the error, very quickly, which reduces lost production time.

Airbus is an operator-driven company and technology must be deployed as an enabler. This means that digitization cannot stop aircraft production, or get in the way of operators doing their job.

wireless IoT destined to make factories smarter

Conclusion

Today, the manufacturing industry has a unique opportunity to update their facilities' wired systems to wireless for increased efficiency. The multiplicity of new applications necessitates improved industrial communication.As a result, wireless communication, especially influential ones like the Wireless IoT destined to make factories smarter is becoming more business and mission important, necessitating increasingly stringent reliability, latency, and security requirements.

Smart devices and sensors rapidly change our lives and industries, from healthcare facilities to automobile industries. However, the sheer amount of continuous data collection by the billions of smart devices and sensors that constitute the Internet of Things (IoT) can overwhelm the industries and businesses that rely on the traditional IoT architecture and how will AI transform IoT Architecture.

The solution to this problem in the meteoric rise in the world of technology today is the use of Artificial Intelligence in IoT architecture. The integration of AI in IoT builds systems that automatically gather and process data, enabling the extraction of actionable insights in real-time without any human intervention. As a result of AI-powered IoT advancements, we can now lower costs and improve productivity by using data-driven decision-making and smart automation. 

Usually, when people think of the Internet of Things, they think of smart-home devices, cars with autopilot, or some other smart devices connected to the internet. However, IoT is a lot more than that. Those smart devices are a part of IoT, but IoT is mostly about data, management, communication, processing, and much more. IoT is a system of interrelated computers, machines, objects, and even people or animals assigned with unique identifiers (UIDs) capable of transferring data over a network without any human-to-computer interaction. IoT refers to all the objects connected to the internet and the communication through data transfer over the cloud. 

Read more: How mixed reality is different from VR and AR?

“Thing” in the IoT can be a person with a heart monitor implant or a vehicle with sensors to check tire pressure which is capable of transferring data over a network.

In today’s world of information technology, business organizations are increasingly using IoT to enhance customer service, improve decision-making and increase business value. 

For example, commercial airlines use IoT to monitor the altitude, the coordinates, the airspeed, and the aircraft's speed, identify any critical problems such as engine failure and then process and analyze the data transferred by the sensors to make better decisions to make flights safer. 

Today, billions of devices are connected over the internet, and they produce and transfer trillions of bytes of data every day. To process, manage and analyze such a sheer volume of data, designing efficient IoT architecture is crucial.

Although IoT adoption is increasing rapidly, you must understand IoT architecture before deploying your network of smart devices or using AI in your existing IoT system. 

We can often describe IoT architecture as a four-stage process that oversees data transfer from the “things” into a network and finally to a data center or the cloud for processing, analysis, and storage. IoT architecture is also responsible for sending data in the opposite direction to command an actuator to take action. For instance, in the example above of any commercial airline, the data relative to the event goes through processing and analysis after an engine failure detection. Afterward, the system transfers the data back to the actuators, which immediately triggers them to take necessary actions. 

Let us look at the four stages of IoT architecture below.

Stage 1. Sensors and Actuators: Sensors and actuators are the devices that monitor or control “things.” Sensors collect data on the physical condition of the environment, such as temperature, pressure, chemical composition, distance, speed, the fluid level in a tank, etc. The data generated by sensors are converted into digital form and then transmitted to the internet gateway stage. Actuators perform actions as defined by instructions or commands sent to it through the cloud, such as adjusting the fluid flow rate, jumping over an obstacle by an industrial robot, etc. For an actuator to perform actions efficiently, very low latency between the sensor and the actuator is crucial. 

Stage 2. Data Acquisition and Internet Gateways: A data acquisition system (DAS) receives the raw data from sensors. Such data goes through conversion into digital format from the natural form.

DAS then sends the processed data through an internet gateway via wireless WANs or wired WANs. Since there can be hundreds of sensors sending raw data simultaneously, this is the stage where the volume of information is at its maximum. Thus, for efficient transmission, the data generally goes through filtration and compression.  

Stage 3. Edge or fog computing: After digitization and data aggregation, it still needs further processing to reduce data volume before sending it to the data center or cloud. Therefore, the edge device performs some analytics as a part of pre-processing. Usually, such processing will take place on a device close to the sensors because the edge stage is all about time-critical operations, which require analyzing the data as quickly as possible. 

Stage 4. Cloud or Data Center: In this stage, robust IT systems are used to analyze, manage and safely store the data. It happens in the corporate data center or the cloud. Data from multitudes of sensors are aggregated, which provides a broader picture of the IoT system so that IT and business managers can have actionable insights. At this level, the company can use specific applications to perform in-depth analysis to determine whether particular action needs to be taken. This stage also includes the storage of data for documentation as well as for further research. 

So, where does AI come into play? IoT is about sensors, actuators, and the data they transmit through internet connectivity. IoT architecture starts at the data collection stage and terminates at the stage of an “act.” Undeniably, the quality of “act” depends upon the data analysis. It is where AI plays a crucial role. 

Read more: In-Flight Peloton Classes with AR VR Could Reduce Fear of Flights

IoT provides data. But it is AI that has the power to drive smart actions. Data sent from the sensors can be analyzed with AI, which enables businesses to make informed decisions. The use of AI in IoT allows for the following benefits:

1. Enhancing operational efficiency: AI can be used in detecting patterns which provides an insight into the redundant and time-consuming processes. As a result, it enhances the efficiency of the operations. 

2. Risk management: It improves risk management by automating responses in case of events outside preset parameters. It allows for better handling of financial loss, safety, and cyber attacks. 

3. Creation of new and enhanced products and services: IoT and AI can create new products and services to process and analyze data rapidly. Examples of the new services could be chatbots and smart assistants. 

4. Increase IoT Scalability: IoT includes a massive array of sensors that gather a large volume of data. AI-powered IoT systems can analyze, filter, and compress data before transferring it to other devices.

ai transform iot architecture

Examples of integration of AI in IoT

1. Robots in manufacturing: Robots employed in manufacturing industries are implanted with sensors that enable data transmission. Those robots are further installed with AI algorithms. It saves time and cost in the manufacturing process. 

2. Self-driving cars: Self-driving cars are the best example of the use of AI in IoT. AI used in these cars can predict the behavior of pedestrians in numerous situations. The use of AI also enables these cars to determine road conditions, appropriate speed of the vehicle according to the weather, traffic conditions, etc. 

3. Smart cities: AI can build smart cities to analyze resource optimization, energy, water consumption, etc. 

4. Healthcare: Currently, IoT is predominantly being used in healthcare systems to monitor the vitals of patients remotely. With AI, smart pill technologies, virtual/augmented reality tools can be implemented for better care of the patients. 

5. Smart Thermostat solution: Nest’s smart thermostat solution is another example of AI-integrated IoT. With the integration of smartphones, the temperature can be checked and managed from anywhere without human interaction based on various variables such as work schedule and preferences of the user. 

6. Financial Services: AI in IoT enables financial institutions to replace sensitive financial data with unique and secure digital identifiers. 

Challenges

As with any technological system, the integration of AI in IoT is not without any challenges. Some of them are as follows:

1. Sensor issues which include security, power management, and heterogeneity of the sensors. 

2. Lack of technical expertise regarding the extraction of value from data. 

3. Networking issues including power consumption, lack of machine-to-machine communication, etc. 

ai transform iot architecture

Conclusion

A business can significantly benefit from the integration of AI in IoT architecture. In addition to lowering the business's production costs, it will improve service delivery, enhance the customer experience, and many more things. However, business owners must keep in mind that more data does not equate to improved business efficiency. Therefore, assessing the actual need is the initial requirement before installing new tools and devices or moving towards a particular IoT infrastructure, letting AI transform IoT Architecture. Then only can you make an informed decision on whether or not to enhance your business operations by connecting your devices to AI-powered IoT systems? 

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a revolutionary technology. It's one of the leading emerging technologies that can genuinely transform industries and also reshape our lives and the value of IoT at the edge. It can achieve this due to its ability to enable innovative solutions with intelligent systems that are “aware” of its surroundings and environment. This “awareness” possible due to various IoT devices connecting and behaving as a single unified IoT system indeed provides significant value to the IoT technology. 

IoT technology has been swiftly reshaping the technology landscape during the past decade alongside the evolution of emerging technologies running in full swing. This evolution is so fast that the technologies that people dismiss to only be practical in science are already becoming mainstream with many practical applications and use-cases.

Alongside IoT, technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are getting popular among tech enthusiasts and general consumers. This increase in popularity is also due to the advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and technologies like Machine Learning (ML), Deep Learning, and Big Data.

Consequently, due to the advancements in these technologies, devices are getting more powerful, efficient, and “intelligent” with capabilities to make intelligent decisions and analyze data for further processing. Moreover, the IoT research and development paradigm is rapidly improving with increasing technological sophistication amid this progress.

Furthermore, the global market also reflects this improvement with the increasing valuation of the IoT industry every year. The global market for IoT technologies was about 761 Billion US Dollars in 2020. Studies show that this figure will cross 1,386 Billion US Dollars by 2026. This rate of increase accounts for about 10% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), which is a vast growth rate.

Read more: Satellite IoT Dreams Crashing into Reality

Amid this growth of the IoT Industry, other supplementary technologies for IoT are also growing and evolving. Technologies like display technology, sensor technology, communication and networking technology, processor and silicon technology, data storage technology, and battery technology are evolving rapidly.

These technologies above are also rapidly improving thanks to the growing smartphone market, constantly pushing for newer and improved devices every year. With each passing year, smartphone consumers expect newer devices and models with a better camera and sensing systems, better display, better battery capacity and efficiency, better communication and networking interface, and an overall increase in intuitiveness and experience. The manufacturers also deliver to this expectation almost every year with newer and better technology than the previous year.

It is leading to an extreme push for growth in these technologies. The IoT industry is also improving rapidly due to this advantage. From smart home systems to satellite IoT technology, the Internet of Things industry is slowly increasing in its value due to this improvement. Add this with markets in connection to IoT such as the smartphone market, CCTV, vehicles, automation systems, security systems, and other needs; we can safely say that IoT has a massive impact in the consumer market currently. Moreover, this influence is only going to increase rapidly.

value of iot at the edge

 What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of different devices and systems that connect through other communication systems, often on the internet. These devices or systems usually contain sensors, cameras, RFID tags, data processing units, and communication interfaces that work together to accomplish specific functions or tasks.

These various devices connect to build a unified system that acts as a single in the Internet of Things. With the cohabitation of different devices and components, this system can perform various tasks and provide various information and services to the user. Hence, the IoT is also a device layer that acts as a connective link between devices. Furthermore, IoT can also connect devices or components that were previously not smart and offline to make them part of the intelligent IoT system effectively.

Sometimes these IoT systems connect with smart devices like smartphones, computers, tablets, etc., to perform various processing, analysis and make intelligent decisions through the research. However, several IoT systems also have processing and storage systems to store and process multiple data gathered from different IoT devices. The system then analyzes this data to make various decisions and process data themselves instead of sending them to other smart systems.

In IoT, the devices generally connect through physical means (through wires) or wireless networking solutions. But often, these devices connect and communicate with each other through the internet. Nevertheless, the whole IoT system probably always connects with the internet. These devices can also connect with other IoT devices or components through a shared network, like connecting to the same WiFi network or a shared network across the cloud.

Read more: Ten Years of Top Emerging Technology Trends and How they’ve Changed the World

Furthermore, since these devices connect to the cloud, they can provide various services and features to different users, not even in the vicinity, i.e., remote assistance. This remote accessibility of IoT devices enables multiple kinds of remote technologies and cloud computing to be possible. Apart from this, when various IoT systems, components, or devices connect, they can enable proper evaluation and monitoring of the surrounding or environment around them through multiple sensors and systems.

In any case, the unified IoT system generally provides a user interface to the user for controlling and interacting with the IoT system. Moreover, these interfaces are usually available to the user in apps and websites that they can operate on their phones and computer devices. Hence, effectively enabling users to control these devices through their phones or computers.

value of iot at the edge

Real Challenges with The Value of IoT at the Edge

IoT systems have a lot of potential, almost endless potential with capabilities even to transform industries and daily lives. However, overlooking specific challenges with IoT systems like connectivity issues, the high price of IoT systems, and infrastructural obstacles of setting up and maintaining an IoT network, IoT seems like a revolutionary tech. And indeed it is, but these challenges are also tremendous obstacles blocking the proper evolution of IoT.

One of the most prevalent challenges for IoT is the economic hurdle of expensive components and the process to set up the overall infrastructure. A reasonable fracture of an IoT system for an industry or organization usually requires tons of investment, time, and large numbers of expertise. It is why IoT giants like Microsoft and AWS are thriving since they have significant backing of investment and enormous talent pool power. Still, new players cannot often establish themselves properly.

Without proper and efficient implementation, IoT presents another financial problem, the lack of Return of Investment (ROI). However, to properly set up an IoT infrastructure, there are often requirements for the need of economic backing of hundreds of thousands of dollars even before gaining any real benefit from the infrastructure already set up. Moreover, it is not even easy for giants like Microsoft or Amazon. Hence, it's challenging to set up IoT infrastructure for companies and organizations properly.

Another major challenge for IoT systems occurs in the move from traditional infrastructure towards cloud and IoT infrastructures. Already present computing infrastructures are often extensive infrastructure built with huge costs even ranging to billions of dollars. Hence, it's not easy to just replace or upgrade them again to set up cloud infrastructures.

Furthermore, there is also the challenge of relocating the dependency upon an infrastructure if its undergoing transformation/upgrades to support cloud or IoT infrastructure. These problems are tough to overcome, and hence existing infrastructures face very complex technological challenges and economic hardships when migrating towards IoT infrastructure.

Moreover, the fundamental challenges regarding IoT connectivity remain. Even in existing infrastructures, if there is a lack of reliable networking solutions or WiFI access to support IoT systems, companies have to face very complex networking problems to overcome this. Apart from this, setting up new networking solutions with reliable infrastructure, especially in remote locations or large factories, is also very hard to collect or analyze essential data for utilizing the IoT infrastructure properly.

Apart from this, IoT systems also require specialized expertise and skillsets to build. Unfortunately, many businesses don't have these resources, while many may not even afford such help. Furthermore, often companies don't have technical experts for maintenance even if the infrastructure is set up and is running.

All these problems are very hard to solve without edge computing. Since edge computing is a distributed computing system that brings computing and data closer to the IoT deployment age, businesses can access essential and valuable data instantaneously with IoT at the edges. Moreover, edge computing can quickly expand infrastructure and solutions with additional sensors or other IoT devices to expand infrastructures and add value to the existing infrastructures.

Edge computing also enables data processing on edge nodes before gathering data in the central server or storage system. Thus, it will reduce data volume for storage systems and value analysis from the data collected. It will also reduce the bandwidth and requirements of large infrastructures, ultimately reducing the bar of entry for IoT systems.The value of IoT at the edge will reduce economic burdens, lower actual infrastructure requirements, and reduce overall complexity in the IoT infrastructure. Subsequently, it will result in a far more favorable ROI for companies, allowing them to start their IoT systems quickly.

With the landscape of technology swiftly reshaping, various technologies’ evolution is running in full swing. During the past decade, the rapid evolution of tech was so revolutionary that people considered it mere since fiction is becoming mainstream now. As a result, various emergent technologies, including the Internet of Things (IoT), are already very accessible and popular. These emerging technologies are popular among enthusiasts and industrialists; they are already gaining a vast commercial market among consumers and various industries alike.

Internet of Things technology is evolving faster alongside processing and silicon technology, storage technology, sensing technology, communication and networking technology, and battery and power technology.  Furthermore, with the advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies like Machine Learning (ML), Big Data, and Deep Learning, devices are getting more powerful, efficient, and “intelligent” with even capabilities to make intelligent decisions.

Amid this progress, the IoT research and development paradigm itself is rapidly improving. Consequently, the global market also reflects this improvement with an increased valuation of the IoT industry every year. As a result, the global market for IoT technology was about 761 Billion US Dollars in 2020. This figure is forecast to cross 1,386 Billion US Dollars by 2026. This rate of increase accounts for about 10% compound annual growth rate of the IoT technology.

Read more: Ten Years of Top Emerging Technology Trends and How they’ve Changed the World

These huge figures and the increase in the IoT market show that the IoT industry is growing very fast. Furthermore, the complementary tech for IoT (AI, ML, processing and silicon technology, storage technology, sensing technology, communication and networking technology, and battery and power technology) is also evolving in its rights. Particularly the smartphone industry heavily impacts some of these technologies. For instance, every year, newer phone models come up with better processors, power efficiency, better communication, more accurate sensors, etc. This evolution certainly benefits the IoT industry further.

IoT technology is not just a concrete technology to come into use with a particular device or machine. It’s almost like an umbrella technology that encompasses various technologies, i.e., its complementary technologies. IoT is not just growing on fronts like smart house technology, but it has the potential to emerge in almost any field or industry. From Industries like agriculture, irrigation, housing to industries like aerospace and nuclear, companies are integrating IoT technology in nearly every device or object, even objects we don't consider technological objects like doors, floors, chairs, bags, etc. Such a broad reach of IoT technology has probably touched upon the most challenging engineering industry, the aerospace industry.

Before talking about IoT with satellites and within the aerospace industry, let's first know what IoT is?

Satellite IoT Dreams Crashing into Reality

What is IoT?

Internet of Things is a system of various devices and objects that connect through the different network communication systems, generally the internet. These devices or objects usually contain multiple sensors, cameras, RFID tags, data processing units, and communication interfaces to work correctly.

In IoT, these different devices connect to build a unified system that acts as a single system that can perform various tasks and provide various information and services to the user. So, the Internet of Things is also a device layer that acts as a connective link between devices that were previously not smart or were offline with smart devices like smartphones, computers, tablets, etc.

Various IoT devices connect, whether through physical means (through wires) or wireless networking solutions. But generally, these devices are in connection and communicate with each other through the internet. These devices transfer data and communicate with each other alongside communicating with the cloud. It is done to provide various services and features to different users with input from various IoT devices. It enables proper evaluation of the surrounding or environment around the IoT devices through multiple sensors and systems in them.

Read more: The Diverging Paths Of VR and AR

Altogether, this unified system generally provides a user interface for controlling, interacting, and customizing the IoT system. These interfaces are usually available to users in apps and websites on their phones and computer devices.

A simple example of an IoT system is smart bulbs. Usually, smart bulb IoT systems contain a communication/networking interface (typically wireless), a light-generating device, and control systems and processing systems to communicate and control the light-generating device/component. These IoT devices generally provide a user interface through wireless communication methods (usually WIFI) on smartphones through mobile applications. The user can then control the bulb with their phone. Some smart bulbs also allow scheduling the bulb to glow and turn off at certain times. For example, turn the bulb on when they arrive home or turn it off when they leave.

Apart from this, numerous IoT systems such as smart consumer electronics like fridges, air conditioners, lamps, speakers, televisions, and many more are already prevalent and rapidly growing in adoption among consumers. Moreover, manufacturers or companies also use various devices to build and develop an IoT system that caters to their needs and demands. For instance, healthcare systems use IoT devices to monitor patients and their health conditions. Likewise, the agriculture industry uses IoT systems to monitor crops, automate watering/irrigation systems and even collect data to analyze or optimize the agricultural process.

On the same note, various satellite manufacturers or service providers use or build IoT satellites for different purposes, either for them or for their clients.

Satellite IoT Dreams Crashing into Reality

How Are Satellite IoT Dreams Crashing into Reality?

Building satellites and putting them up in space is very hard. The building part is complex, but putting them up in an area is also sometimes even harder.

Rocket Science is very complex, so complex that we define something very difficult or hard to be “rocket science.” It is why there is a distinct lack of satellites up in space or earth orbit. While satellites themselves do not have to deal with actual rocketry, they have to deal with and account for other complex stuff once they are up in the earth’s orbit. Some of this complicated stuff may also deal with things like orbital mechanics, but we will only focus on IoT devices since we are talking about IoT devices.

One of the most recent announcements regarding IoT satellites was from Hiber, a European satellite IoT provider. Hiber remarked that it would partner with Inmarsat’s new Elera network for its network in space. Meanwhile, the rest of its network infrastructure will be using Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN), a cloud-based Medium Access Control (MAC) layer protocol in maintenance by the LoRa (Long Range) Alliance.

LoRa Alliance, with its inception in 2015, is a non-profit association that supports and maintains the LoRaWAN protocol. It has over 500 members, including some tech giants like IBM, MicroChip, and Cisco.

This move from Hiber follows its move last month to abandon its plan to deploy an IoT constellation with smallsats. Hiber has already filed a request to drop its plans regarding this constellation to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). At the announcement, Hiber had 4 out of 24 satellites in orbit for its small constellation. Two of those were launched as payloads on PSLV and SpaceX’s Falcon9 rideshare mission in late 2018. The third one is on a Falcon9 rideshare mission in January 2021, and the fourth is on a Soyuz-2 launch in March 2021.

However, in the FCC filing to drop its plans, Hiber mentions that 2 of those satellites were no longer operational. At the same time, the remaining two had technical problems preventing Hiber from using them.

Myriota partnered with Spire, an Australian startup, a global space-based data, analytics, and space services provider. This partnership will help Myriota expand its Myriota Network through Spire’s existing low-earth orbit nanosatellites as Spire continues to launch and deploy them rather than Myriota themselves launching them.

Moving on, Swarm Technologies, a small satellite startup, agrees to be acquired by SpaceX. This move comes after Swarm proves its business model with the launch of 120 smallsats.

All these moves and changes of plans come from a single motive, to provide IoT infrastructure as a service since the demand for devices with connectivity that rely on satellite networks is not keeping up. Instead, IoT satellites provide connectivity on ground-based tech like Garmin in Reach walkie-talkie, which people can use to alert if they are lost or need help even in the most remote regions.

This market of IoT connectivity is growing more significant, but this demand just does not justify the need for companies to launch their constellations to be IoT connectivity providers. Companies like SpaceX with their Starlink (already operational and has expectations to come out of the Beta stage soon), Amazon with their project Kuiper, and OneWeb with their OneWeb satellite constellation are big players that can turn to launch and deploy their satellites.

However, IoT connectivity players cannot justify their move to launch and deploy satellite constellations just yet. Therefore, it is driving small satellite startups like Myriota and Hiber to look up more big players for the network infrastructures. SpaceX is already providing a big market for IoT satellites and IoT connectivity in satellites with Starlink, helping the satellite IoT dreams crash into reality. However, the need for IoT satellites and companies depending on such connectivity is only a current need with endeavors from companies just starting.

IoT, the Internet of Things, is a system of various computing devices or physical objects with different sensors, processing units, networking components, and other technologies, instigating the force in the consumer economy. These devices or objects connect and communicate with other devices and systems wirelessly without human intervention. Over the recent years, IoT has been progressing rapidly due to its ability to converge various technologies and unlock multiple possibilities and opportunities.

The field of IoT is expanding towards various areas due to the coherence of multiple technologies across the spectrum of various industries. Embedded systems with sensors, control systems, wireless communications, automation enable IoT to span its use across various fields. From home security systems with concepts like “Smart Home” to healthcare systems to monitor and diagnose patients, IoT has numerous applications across a wide range of industries.

The influence of IoT across the consumer economy is increasing rapidly. IoT marks a significant turning point in the consumer economy due to connecting and integrating different technologies to enable new products and systems. For example, smart fridges, air conditioners, smart light bulbs, garages, security systems, etc., all are the product of IoT. Consequently, all these devices/systems, along with the development of new products and devices, are increasing in their development, adoption, and accessibility among consumers worldwide.

Read more: How AR, VR, and 3D Product Visualization are Transforming the E-Commerce Customer Experience

According to Statista, the total market of IoT was worth around 389 Billion US Dollars. Alongside this, researchers expect that this value will cross one Trillion US Dollars by 2030, representing an increase of more than double its revenue in only ten years. This massive figure represents the enormous influx of IoT in the current and future markets, thus, uplifting the force in the customer economy exponentially. Looking at the valuation of the IoT market in 2020 more closely, the consumer market accounts for about 35% of this valuation. This share is, however, well within the firm expects to increase to 45% by 2030. Add this with markets in connection to IoT such as the smartphone market, CCTV, vehicles, automation systems, security systems, and other markets. Thus, we can safely say that IoT has a massive impact on the consumer market currently. Moreover, this influence is only going to increase rapidly.

What is IoT?

Internet of Things (IoT) refers to various devices and objects connected through the internet or other network communication systems. These devices or objects usually contain sensors, cameras, RFID tags, a data processing unit, and a communication interface. These devices connect to build a unified system that acts as a single system to perform various tasks and provide service to the user. So the Internet of Things is also a device layer that serves as a connective link between devices that were previously not smart and offline with smart devices of today like smartphones, computers, tablets, etc.

These devices can connect whether through physical means or wireless networking solutions. Moreover, they transfer data and communicate with each other and the cloud. It provides various services and features to other users with proper evaluation of their surroundings or environment through various sensors. Altogether, this whole system provides a user interface to control and customize the IoT system. This interface is generally available to users in apps and websites on their phones and computers.

For instance, a smart bulb IoT system contains a communication/networking interface (usually wireless), LED (Light Emitting Diode), light-generating devices, and control systems and processing systems. These different components work together as a single unit. This unit generally provides a user interface through wireless communication methods (usually WIFI) on smartphones through mobile applications. The user can control the bulb with their phone and even schedule the bulb to glow and turn off at certain times. For example, turn the bulb on when they arrive home or turn it off when they leave.

force in the consumer economy

The force in the consumer economy has influenced household technologies as well. Smart washing machines can now connect with smartphones to allow users to control various features and functions of the device from phones, view energy and water usage, control or automate washing cycles, and many more. Likewise, smart home garages can unlock and open automatically when users arrive home with their cars. Smart power systems can pause all electricity supply at home when no one is present to save energy and resume after home members’ arrival.

Apart from this, various IoT systems such as smart consumer electronics like fridges, air conditioners, lamps, speakers, televisions, and many more are already top-rated and rapidly growing in adoption among consumers. A home with these kinds of smart devices can also converge into a single system of a smart home offering consumers various services, comfortability, and features to control their house and its environment. Moreover, manufacturers and companies also use IoT devices to build and develop various products, including consumer products.

Read more: Reason Why Big Companies are Using AR

Also, Healthcare systems use IoT devices to monitor patients and their health conditions. Moreover, businesses can use IoT systems to strengthen their security systems. Likewise, various consumers in different spectrums of various industries are using IoT systems at an increasing pace.

However, it is still hard to evaluate the extent to which IoT will influence the consumer market since IoT will encompass even the most minor or trivial form of products that are not generally put under high-tech classification. Nevertheless, one sure thing is that IoT will be present all around us in the future.

IoT in Consumer Economy

IoT systems are a promising technological advancement that will revolutionize industries and the consumer market. The mind-boggling growth rate of the IoT market and the influence it has on consumers is undoubtedly increasing. Consumer devices are becoming smarter and more connected to provide the user with an ecosystem of interconnected devices that work together.

The Internet of Things contributes massively to IoT devices’ sales and usage and a plethora of other devices, which uplifts the force in the consumer economy so much that it can connect with the shared ecosystem of the IoT devices, i.e., the internet. Also, uplifting the opportunities of these connectable devices and possibilities of new devices and products, IoT presents massive opportunities for various industries.

Today one of the most prevalent uses of IoT in the consumer economy can be likely seen in enterprises for improving consumer service. Enterprises primarily use IoT to improve logistics, inventory management, and product tracking system in their distribution channels. In addition, cars, construction sites, and various environments also use IoT to monitor them throughout their lifecycle to enable smooth maintenance, reduce downtime and overall costs.

After enterprises, various government facilities, health care systems, transportation systems, and automation systems use IoT primarily. IoT is generally used to monitor, report, and optimize various solutions, systems, and technologies in these fields. It also affects the consumer economy since most of these use cases directly enhance consumer service and, eventually, it's economy.

Consumer electronics like wearables are becoming increasingly popular. Likewise, portable devices to track the health and fitness of the wearer, track different things and objects, smart devices for other use cases like energy optimization, report usage, etc., are getting more and more familiar with the advent of IoT. Moreover, various vehicles like cars and bikes are also getting IoT solutions to provide more personal and custom services to their users.

Smart consumer solutions like smart cards and tags are also getting very popular. These cards and tags are used for identification, authorization, public transport, and other smart systems. Similarly, the influx of development of new products and devices with IoT is also increasing with various startups building and developing devices that they think will be the future of consumer electronics or some smart solution device.

Conclusion

Due to connectivity among consumers increasing rapidly, the devices that can connect to the internet are also promptly growing. This increase also means an increase in IoT solutions and devices. Sensor technology is also improving at a high rate, with sensors becoming more capable and smart to detect various things. Sensors are also getting cheaper to manufacture with an increase in their efficiency and usage. Due to this, sensors today are usable in almost all devices and locations with different form factors and sophistication. Along with this, improvement in battery technology also makes it more feasible to include other sensors and components in various devices with even larger and more efficient sensors possible to use.

force in the consumer economy

Moreover, data and connectivity technology is also improving, with even small devices now capable of transferring and collecting information at high speeds. The capabilities of processing units to process and analyze large amounts of data are also increasing. Evolving cloud technologies and an increase in the ability and capacity of storage systems are also helping devices store and process data at much lower costs. Consequently, manufacturers and companies are investing abundantly towards the development of IoT Devices. Companies like FS Studio provide product innovation and advanced R&D technology and solutions to develop various IoT devices with Simulations, Artificial Intelligence, AR, and VR technologies. It helps companies propel themselves forward in their development and adoption of IoT devices, which will significantly impact the force in the consumer economy, revolutionizing the next landscape of the platform.

IoT Technology and smart devices will be the new normal in our homes as we race for Home Automation in 2021.

The internet of things is becoming more and more popular in today's world. What does this mean for the average person? It means that you can buy a smart device to automate your home for convenience or security reasons.

As IoT technology is becoming more and more ubiquitous in our homes, it can be hard to know which devices are worth the investment.

This blog post will break down the different types of smart home devices you can invest in if you don't own them already.

Google Home:

Google Home is an intelligent device powered by Google Assistant that will change your life. You can ask it to do things and have it control other devices in your house - all you need to say is "OK, Google."

Google Home is a fantastic IoT device to use daily use cases like playing music, turning lights on/off, and setting reminders. In addition, the "routine" feature for your Google Home can help you perform a series of actions on a day-to-day basis.

Google Home is a bit slower than Amazon echo to accomplish tasks like switching on/off lights. But, on the other hand, Google Assistant will work better than Alexa while communicating with its human master. It is because Google Home can have regular communication with humans that Alexa lacks.

Google Home can work perfectly as your workout coach. First, you need to command, "OK, Google -- talk to 5-Minute Plank". Next, starting working out with your intelligent Google Home coach.

Google Home doesn't have features like zomato, uber, ola, etc. So, you would miss Alexa if you are thinking of using Google Home.

However, Google Home can ideally recognize the voices of different people and provide personalized replies. It is an exciting feature that Alexa doesn't have.

One question that I have seen people asking is, "Is Google Home safe?"

Well, Google Home is safe, but you must stay careful to ensure your privacy. For example, sometimes Google home gets activated automatically. When this happens, the smart device will start to listen to your conversations. So it would help if you kept it on mute when it is not necessary to maintain your privacy.

Smart Lights -Philips Hue:

The second step to add to your home automation is smart lighting. At present, Philips is leading the automated lighting market. Hence, going for Philips Hue would be great.

Philips Hue is easy to install, and you can integrate it with Google Home or Alexa. You can control it from remote locations. You have to install a hub, plug it in with your router, and download the app on your phone to do it.

Read more: Smart Toys & Cyber Risk: Are Toys Threatening the Safety of our Kids?

 The app does a decent job of controlling the bulbs. It also has features like grouping lights into rooms and set time schedules. For instance, you can program it to illuminate 25% brightness at 5:30 pm every day.

Additionally, the app can track your location to switch on or off the lights. For example, when you are away, it turns off the lights. When you are near your doorstep, it switches on the lights.

Philips Hue bright lighting comes with a wide range of bulbs to bring sparkling brightness to your home. The available smart lights available at Philips are:

All the smart light types are responsive and attractive in colors and effects.

IoT Technology and Smart Devices for Home Automation in 2021

Smart LocksAugust Smart Lock Pro:

When you are going for full-fledged automation, why should you stick to your old locks?

The best smart lock to use at present is August Smart Lock Pro. It's easy to install and comes with a lot of features. You can even integrate it with Google Assistant and Alexa.

The most significant benefit of the August smart lock is that it will fit into your old lock so that your landlord won't complain. Yet, you can get all the benefits of the smart lock.

The smart lock is responsive and ensures the highest protection for your home. No stranger can bypass it anyway. Multiple users can have access to multiple digital keys. You will be informed each time a person gets in or out of your home.

Additionally, the door will open when you are at your doorstep. It will also alert you if you don't lock your home correctly.

It can be expensive for some people but worth investing in if you are looking for an excellent solution for your home.

Smart plug - Eve Energy:

Eve Energy smart plugs are not only intelligent, and they give you control over exactly where and when electrical devices plugin.

Eve Energy's smart plug is a must for any home with energy sensitives. It tracks your energy consumption and adjusts power as needed; all without the user having to do anything more than use their devices!

Read more: AR and VR in Education: How are Kids Learning Better with Immersive Experiences?

The smart plug will alert you on how much powering specific devices in your home will cost. It will help you to save money if you are more energy conscious compared to other people.

The smart plug won't work with Alexa or Google Assistant but will work with Home Kit. It will also require a Home Pod or Apple TV to control it away from home.

Smart vacuum - Eufy RoboVac 15C:

A house that's perfect doesn't need a new vacuum. But, if you want one anyway, then get the Eufy intelligent 15C RoboVac vacuum!

You'll never have to clean your home manually when you have this vacuum. In addition, it can avoid ledges itself and will warn you anytime it gets stuck in an area.

With Eufy RoboVac, you can now sit back and relax as this intelligent robot vacuum cleans up whatever has you drop on your floor. The sleek design will not be an eyesore in any room of your house while cleaning up dust and dirt with spinning brushes that suck up loose wires.

Smart thermostat - Nest Learning Thermostat:

Nest is one of the first companies to add machine learning to heating and cooling your home. They are so unique that we think they're the best smart thermostat you can buy right now!

It's simple, elegant, and intelligently adjusts our schedule based on how long it takes for us to heat up or cool down - this saves energy in addition to saving money.

IoT Technology and Smart Devices for Home Automation in 2021

Smart garden - Click and Grow Smart Garden 3:

Grow a garden in any season with the Click and Grow Smart Garden 3, your indoor herb nursery. The energy-efficient LED grow light ensures your plants get the perfect amount of light and thrive no matter the weather.

For your new herb garden starter kit, you can start with over 50 plant pods like cilantro, basil, lavender, wild strawberries, thyme, and even chili peppers.

Growing fresh herbs and vegetables indoors has never been easier than with Click & Grow Smart Garden 3. It makes an excellent birthday present or a great gift for your friend who's trying to get started growing their food.

With this smart garden, you don't need to worry about nutrients and oxygen at the root level. Instead, click & Grow has a companion app to help you become plant experts with tips and hacks. The smart garden also comes with a water float indicator to help you monitor the water level.

Conclusion:

The internet of things is a fascinating technology that has the potential to change our lives in ways we can't even imagine.

But as with any innovation, it's essential not to be taken in by every buzzword and marketing gimmick. Instead, take time researching what kind of devices would best suit your needs before you make a purchase.

While some people might want smart locks or refrigerators for convenience sake, others may need security cameras or sensors for their home automation system.

 No two homes are identical, so there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to IoT tech!

Which do you think will work best for your family?

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