Opinion: Simplifying IoT means taking a DNA approach

Sponsored Is the Internet of Things (IoT) complicated or relatively simple? Well, perhaps both.  

In describing IoT, I like to paint a picture using an acronym coined by Numerex many years ago – DNA. An IoT solution has three main components – Devices, Networks, and Applications.   

Devices 

Each IoT device will have:

  • Sensor(s) - to monitor temperature, humidity, flow, pressure, etc
  • Compute - to collect information, send information to a central application, and perhaps take immediate action
  • Network components - to connect to wireless networks (LTE), Wi-Fi, and/or wireline networks

IoT devices of all sorts are available on the market. The Arduino Portenta H7, recently made available for beta test, is a modular platform designed to help kickstart new IoT development efforts.  

Networks 

Many IoT solutions span multiple networks. They may connect via LTE, Wi-Fi, or other networks. Two new LTE categories of devices that have serious momentum today are LTE-M and NB-IoT.  Check out this Mobile IoT Deployment Map from GSMA that showcases national and regional deployments of LTE-M and NB-IoT networks.  

Applications 

The application is the brains. The application collects data, is programmed to take action on that data, and provides a user-interface, plus much more. Amazon is just one of the new players in the application space, looking to become a catalyst for IoT industrial, consumer, and commercial solutions. 

Herein lies the simplified view of IoT:  Devices are connected through networks to applications that collect data and control devices. The complexity is that there are hundreds of devices, dozens of networks, and dozens or hundreds of applications from which to choose. These complex decisions can slow down the deployment of IoT solutions. 

You can learn more about the inner workings of technologies like NB-IoT Performance Analysis on Award Solutions’ YouTube Channel.  You can also get a guided tour of the IoT space by attending the IoT Tour at MWC. You will hear from companies making waves in IoT: those focused on the device side, the network side, and the application side. More importantly, you will see real solutions that are available today.  

Don’t allow the complexity of IoT to slow you down and overshadow its simplicity. Choose some solid partners, begin deploying solutions, and learn and grow them as you move forward.

Editor's note: This article is in association with MWC Barcelona 2020. Learn more about Mark Harms and join the IoT Tour at MWC to learn more about this topic.

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