Smart Home and IoT: How Can Businesses Take Full Advantage?

JENNIFER KEITHSON | September 5, 2018

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Gone are the days of disconnected homes. The Internet of Things (IoT) has turned every object into a capable computer, ready to sense, analyze, disseminate data and communicate information. Refrigerators, lamps, door locks -- they all have the capability to connect to the Internet and interact with each other with the power of IoT. What’s more, the Internet of Things is exploding. 2 billion smart devices existed in 2006. Intel projects that by the year 2020, we can expect a 100-fold increase: a staggering 200 billion smart devices. IoT has made a truly robust ecosystem of smart devices a reality. As the technology and platforms utilized by IoT become more sophisticated, true smart homes are becoming a reality. At present, most IoT technologies are found within industrial settings, such as enterprises, factories or hospitals. As the price of smart devices lower, however, we’ll begin to see houses replete with interconnected devices, producing and gathering data over WiFi at a minimal cost. Berg Insight predicts the worldwide smart home market will skyrocket from its current valuation at $20 billion to $58 billion by the year 2020. While we may be far from suburban smart home developments, select smart homes are already beginning to brim with intelligent life.

Spotlight

BlackBerry

BlackBerry is a mobile-native software and services company dedicated to securing the Enterprise of Things. BlackBerry Secure software provides the embedded intelligence for the Enterprise of Things so that the Internet of Things can thrive. Today’s BlackBerry is a software company with a standard of security for managing the network of mobile and wearable devices, desktops and laptops, and other endpoints within enterprises. In addition to developing and providing applications, our BlackBerry Secure platform enables enterprises and independent developers to create applications for smartphones, medical devices, connected cars, consumer appliances and industrial machinery, and much more. The result is a secure Enterprise of Things where enterprise customers can transform their organizations for 360-degree secure mobility and have complete confidence in their endpoint management.

OTHER ARTICLES

Make Room For Public Clouds In Your Industrial IoT Strategy

Article | March 1, 2020

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Driving Rapid and Continuous Value for IoT Through an Ecosystem Approach

Article | March 1, 2020

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, manufacturing is roaring back to life, and with it comes a renewed focus on Digital Transformation initiatives. The industry stands on the doorstep of its much-anticipated renaissance, and it’s clear that manufacturing leaders need to not only embrace but accelerate innovation while managing critical processes like increasing capacity while maintaining product quality. Effective collaboration will be key to doing both well, but it’s even more critical as workforces have gone and are still largely remote. As the virus swept the globe, it became apparent quickly that there would be winners and losers. Many manufacturers were caught off-guard, so to speak. Before manufacturing’s aforementioned reckoning, the industry had already been notorious for its slow adoption of the digital, data-centric mindset that has transformed other industries.

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OT/IoT Security Superheroes: Tackling the Remote Employee Challenge

Article | March 1, 2020

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5G vs. Wi-Fi 6: How Two Wireless Technologies are Revolutionizing the Internet of Things

Article | March 1, 2020

The year 2020 was supposed to be a breakthrough year for many technologies but, most businesses have now been forced back into building an infrastructure to transit their workforce to work remotely and ensure continuity of workflow. Nevertheless, an unprecedented set of events have pushed several industries to accelerate the adoption of technologies as they continue to work from home. 5G and Wi-Fi 6 are two tech advancements that have been turning eyes around the world since their introduction. The two wireless technologies are well on their way to revolutionize the Internet of Things as businesses move fast towards digitization and the world is excited. Table of Contents: - Wi-Fi 6: A Breakthrough in Wireless Technology - 5G: For a Better Connected World - How are Wi-Fi 6 and 5G Transforming the IoT? - 5G and Wi-Fi 6: Rivals or Allies? Wi-Fi 6: A Breakthrough in Wireless Technology The next-generation Wi-Fi with boosted speed was introduced last year to meet the demand for faster internet amongst the rising internet users. But, Wi-Fi 6 is simply more than a tweak in the speed. Technically called 802.11ax, Wi-Fi 6 is the advancement in the wireless standard doing the same basic things but with greater efficiency in the device-dense areas, and offering much greater bandwidth than its predecessor 802.11ac or Wi-Fi 5. Wi-Fi 6 promises a speed up to 9.6 Gbps up four times than that of Wi-Fi 5 (3.5Gbps). In reality, this is just a theoretical maximum that one is not expected to reach. Even still, the 9.6Gbps is higher speed and doesn’t have to go to a single device but split up across a network of devices. A new technology in Wi-Fi 6 called the Target Wake Time (TWT) lets routers set check-in times with devices, allowing communications between the router and the devices. The TWT also reduces the time required to keep the antennas powered to search for signals, which in turn also improves battery life. Wi-Fi 6 also comes with a new security protocol called WPA3, making it difficult to hack the device passwords by simple guesswork. In short, Wi-Fi 6 means better speeds with optimized battery lives, and improved security. 5G: For a Better Connected World 5G is the next in line to replace 4G LTE. While Wi-Fi covers small scale internet requirements, cellular networks like 5G are here to connect everyone and everything virtually on a larger scale. The technology is based on the Orthogonal frequency-division Multiplexing (OFDM) that reduces interference by modulating a digital signal across several channels. Ability to operate in both lower bands (like sub-6 GHz) and mmWave (24 GHz and above), 5G promises increased network capacity, low latency and multi-Gbps throughput. 5G also uses the new 5G NR air interface to optimize OFDM to deliver not just better user experience but also a wider one extending to many industries, and mission-critical service areas. The 5G technology, in a nutshell, has brought with it ultra-high speeds, increased and scalable network capacity, and very low latency. How are Wi-Fi 6 and 5G Transforming the IoT? 5G and Wi-Fi 6 will fill up the speed gaps that our existing networks are not able to especially, in crowded homes or congested urban areas. It's not just about the speed. The two wireless technologies will increase network capacity and improve signal strengths. On the business front, 5G and Wi-Fi 6 are both living up to the hype they created since their introduction. Wi-Fi 6 has emerged, as the enabler of converged IoT at the edge. It has put IT into OT applications, connected devices and processed data from devices such as IP security cameras, LED lighting, and digital signage with touch screen or voice command. Wi-Fi 6 can now be used in office buildings for intelligent building management systems, occupancy sensors, access control (smart locks), smart parking, and fire detection and evacuation. It’s (Wi-Fi 6) built for IoT. It will connect many, many more people to mobile devices, household appliances, or public utilities, such as the power grid and traffic lights. The transfer rates with Wi-Fi 6 are expected to improve anywhere from four times to 10 times current speeds, with a lower power draw, i.e. while using less electricity. - Tom Soderstrom, IT Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Similarly, 5G will open doors for more devices and data. It will increase the adoption of edge computing for faster data processing close to the point of action. The hype around 5G is because of the three key attributes it comes with: enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), ultra-reliable low-latency (uRLLC), and massive IoT device connectivity (mMTC). But there is the fourth attribute that sets it apart from its predecessor: use of a spectrum that operates at the low-end frequency range (typically 600 MHz). Called as ‘low-band 5G’, it delivers high speeds with signals that go for miles without propagation losses and ability to penetrate obstacles. The 5G operates in the new millimetre-wave bands (24 to 86 GHz) delivering more capacity to enable many low-power IoT connections. If we were to point down the benefits, these two wireless technologies are bringing to the Internet of Things those would be: Increased Human-Device Interactions Increased Data and Devices More IoT investments Advancing to the Edge Acceleration towards Industrial IoT Enhanced use of IoT devices Better VUI 5G and Wi-Fi 6: Rivals or Allies? In February, Cisco estimated that by 2023 M2M communications will contribute to 50% or about 14.7 billion of all networked connections. Cisco’s Annual Internet Report reveals that 5G will enable new IoT applications with greater bandwidth and lower latencies and will accelerate innovations at scale. The same report estimates that 10.6% of global mobile connections in 2023 will be 5G, while Wi-Fi 6 hotspots will be 11.6% of all public Wi-Fi hotspots growing 13 times from 2020 through 2023. Wi-Fi6 will serve as a necessary complement to 5G. A significant portion of cellular traffic is offloaded to Wi-Fi networks to prevent congestion and degraded performance of cellular networks (due to demand). - Thomas Barnett, Director of Thought Leadership, Cisco Systems The two technologies are here to feed different data-hungry areas with gigabit speeds. With lower deployment costs, Wi-Fi 6 will be dominating the home and business environments where access points need to serve more users covering devices like smartphones, tablets, PCs, printers, TV sets, and streaming devices. With an unlicensed spectrum, the performance of Wi-Fi 6 depends on the number of users, that are using the network at the same time. 5G, with its longer range, will deliver mobile connections and accelerate smart city deployments and manufacturing operations. Like LTE, 5G speeds will depend upon users’ proximity to base stations and the number of people using that network. The performance of the two depends largely on the area where they are being deployed. For instance, Wi-Fi can very well handle machine-to-machine communications in a managed manufacturing unit, whereas 5G can enhance campus-wide manufacturing operations efficiently. Businesses will have a decision to make which among the two wireless networks fulfils their data appetite. In conclusion, the two wireless technologies continue to develop in parallel and causing the next big wave in the Internet of Things.

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Spotlight

BlackBerry

BlackBerry is a mobile-native software and services company dedicated to securing the Enterprise of Things. BlackBerry Secure software provides the embedded intelligence for the Enterprise of Things so that the Internet of Things can thrive. Today’s BlackBerry is a software company with a standard of security for managing the network of mobile and wearable devices, desktops and laptops, and other endpoints within enterprises. In addition to developing and providing applications, our BlackBerry Secure platform enables enterprises and independent developers to create applications for smartphones, medical devices, connected cars, consumer appliances and industrial machinery, and much more. The result is a secure Enterprise of Things where enterprise customers can transform their organizations for 360-degree secure mobility and have complete confidence in their endpoint management.

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