The Role of IoT in Wireless Sensor Technology

Emma Williams -
Illustration: © IoT For All

The true worth of technology lies in its potency to pull the world out of distress. In the given times when an unprecedented pandemic has restricted millions of people and has slowed businesses to a complete halt, investing in IoT development seems unaffected. According to Industrial IoT trends, industries will invest over $1.6 Trillion USD to install IoT solutions in 2020. This will empower the ecosystem of connected devices to automate as many processes as possible without human dependency.

With the inclusion of wireless sensors, the IoT portfolio has diversified into exclusive solutions for different ecosystems with the top industries gaining returns from IoT. Although distant devices and wireless sensors work closely with each other, they must be scaled to simplify more processes.

The Scope of IoT and Wireless Technology

Wireless sensors can empower multiple IoT applications to produce endless opportunities. The interference of connected devices in redefining our house chores needs no elaboration. From sensors on doors and windows to monitor the usage on mobile to repairing leaking pipes & toilets using wireless water sensors, the homes are now smarter, safer, and energy-efficient.

However, the most important usage at home comes from security systems that instantly notify the user about any untimely access to the property. And then some thermostats can be remotely monitored to adjust the entire HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air-Conditioning) system. In fact, by the end of this year, the number of IoT devices at homes shall rise to 12.86 billion.

As the IoT ecosystem braces up to address more complexities, the combination of wireless sensors is the thing to look forward to both indoors and outdoors.

Consider the case of monitoring Drones that must be built in compliance with security regulations. To drive them remotely as per the given guidelines, the air-pressure sensors are used to stabilize the altitude and keep the device within the allowed limits. Add to it the Barometric-pressure sensors followed by accelerometers and gyroscopes that collectively help business finance during business tax preparation drone fly with precision can be accurately monitored.

Current Wireless Applications

Cellular networks may not be the leading choice for most applications as the operational IoT project costs are high and the power requirements are beyond the scope. Services like Advanced Driver Assistant Services (ADAS), vehicle tracking, and traffic routing can all embrace high bandwidth facilities. Since 5G is around the corner, high-speed mobility coupled with ultra-low latency can simplify time-sensitive industrial automation and take a step towards the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT).

For those low power consumer IoT applications that can’t afford cellular connectivity, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) can be an alternative. BLE can be integrated into wearable devices such as smartwatches that can measure pulse oximetry, blood pressure, glucose, etc. Moreover, monitoring appliances over smartphones is the simplest of all BLE use cases.

As far as WiFi networks are concerned, they aren’t useful for battery-operated IoT sensors in large scale projects. Until now, they have found fair usage in smart home gadgets that are connected to the power source such as appliances, CCTVs, gadgets, etc. However, WiFi 6th generation (or AX WiFi) provides superlative network bandwidth of 9.6 Gbps to boost data throughput in congested ecosystems.

It’d be unfair to explore IoT with wireless technology and not consider RFID. Using radio waves to transmit data for shorter distances and drive multiple functions such as contactless payments, RFID applications have reincarnated in the pandemic era. The evergreen technology that revolutionized the logistics and retail industries, along with the backing of IoT, will mature into a smarter version. Whether in smart shelves in retail outlets, smart mirrors, or a smarter supply-chain network, RFID is at the helm of leading the contactless bandwagon.

Smart Cities Using Communicating Devices

All the advancements that we are brainstorming today are aimed at a common vision of building a smarter social setup starting with smart cities. So, whatever IoT use cases we visualize at a smaller scale must contrive towards building one city wherein each device acts as a node of one giant urban network. While the global smart parking market size could potentially touch 3.8 billion by 2023, all leading urban administrations want to embrace it.

It doesn’t require a complicated infrastructure yet can manage the vehicle traffic efficiently. Besides keeping a real-time track of the vehicle in-out movement, such parking solutions also notify the new entry about the available parking spots.

Waste management which is an unresolved bottleneck for most urban areas globally can be effectively simplified using a network of connected devices. The idea is simple – containers have wireless sensors that monitor the capacity to accommodate more waste. As the container capacity crosses a certain threshold limit, the sensors notify the driver who then leaves the collection spot for the next truck. As the waste collection efficiency improves, operational costs go down and other areas of environmental concern are focused upon.

However, the closest practical adoption use case is proposed by Siemens. Known as CyAM, the IoT solution captures and analyzes the air pollution index of a city. The technology forecasts the air quality and evaluates by how is it expected to exceed the threshold limits in the subsequent 3 days. The data that is accessed through a digital dashboard enables city administrators to take emission control decisions in advance.

Going Forward

IoT is big. The idea of one billion connected devices is being fully exploited and isn’t the end of the enticement anymore. In fact, the world looks forward to simplifying complex problems than just operating the thermostat through mobile. Smart homes, smart buildings, smart cities, smart agriculture, and supply chain management are just a few of the areas that the wireless sensor networks will dramatically impact. At the same time, the scope of connected devices with other technologies, the risks attached, and the endless use cases will set the narrative for the future for the talking devices.

Author
Emma Williams, Ioterra.com

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Guest writers are IoT experts and enthusiasts interested in sharing their insights with the IoT industry through IoT For All. If you're interested in contributing to IoT For All, cli...
Guest writers are IoT experts and enthusiasts interested in sharing their insights with the IoT industry through IoT For All. If you're interested in contributing to IoT For All, cli...