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What makes the Internet of Things work?

As the world of IoT continues to expand, understanding how different systems work together can spark innovation never seen before in the digital world

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a continuously evolving network of billion of connected digital devices. It is overwhelming just to comprehend how many devices are connected within the network, let alone the many standards and protocols attached to them.

However, having an understanding of how it works can help organisations grasp how to better leverage the technology in their workplaces.

Introduction on 5G

The introduction of 5G will change our assumptions about the possibility of connectivity. Unlike its processors Wi-Fi and 4G, 5G will leverage the power of IoT. The wireless network is designed with small, low-power, near-ubiquitous IoT devices in mind, which means that 5G can put emphasis on areas where communication and connectivity was previous unfeasible.

This new level of hyper-connectivity is prompting a number of different 5G communication standards. We often associate quality connectivity with power and speed and, on the surface, 5G will accommodate this. However, when it comes to how 5G and IoT interact and work together, this story is much more complex.

Talking machines

Machine-to-machine communication is a network where two or more devices exchange data directly without user intervention. This can be seen best in the autonomous vehicle where a collection of dozens of cameras, positioning sensors, databases and processors work together to perform its function. These IoT devices often run unattended and the fear is that they are then susceptible to hacking. However, a number of access and authentication protection schemes surround the devices to help prevent attacks on the systems and the overall network.

Connected lighting

Smart lighting systems are enabled by light fidelity (LiFi) and can offer an alternative to wireless networks in places where radio signal interference or security are a concern. LiFi uses LED lights to transmit data at high speeds within a tightly controlled environment. Because of its secure nature, LiFi is a strong option for use in industrial and commercial settings where IoT devices are positioned in the direct illumination path of a light fitting.

Software platforms

Due to the volume of IoT devices, it is impossible to manage and coordinate them without a comprehensive IoT platform. These platforms can enable data sharing across different system architectures and third-party environments, and ultimately bridge the gap between connected lighting systems and IoT devices.

The field of IoT is continuously growing and the strongest innovations are still yet to come. Understanding what makes IoT tick can unlock innovations which are yet to be anticipated. Once people learn about secure data exchange, unconventional networking and small but powerful computing, the possibilities for connectivity are endless.

Read more about the Technology Enablers for the Internet of Things here

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