What is the Internet of Things (IoT)? Simply put, it is connecting different types of things, such as people, assets or controls, to the internet in order to enable them to exchange data. IoT is really about being able to easily collect and analyze data that’s important to your operations. Think of it as if you had the Nest thermostat in your home, or a Ring Doorbell or Phillips Hue lights. These are all “IoT” devices/things that simplify and automate your day to day tasks in your home. On the commercial side, IoT offers similar solutions, but for much larger problems. Problems like school security, food safety, and compliance regulation can all be monitored and automated using sensors that connect your devices to the internet.
IoT systems come in two flavors, using two different technologies. Distributed IoT systems are used to track remote or widely dispersed assets like gas wells and storage tanks, as well as assets that are mobile like trucks. Distributed IoT systems use cellular technology to connect these assets to the internet. Campus IoT systems are used to track assets that spend their time in a single location like a hospital campus. Campus IoT systems generally use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to connect to sensors planted around the campus, which use WiFi to send that data to the internet.
With the deluge of connected devices that can potentially connect to a corporate WAN, industry leaders within their respective fields agree that having a solid security solution is critical. IoT will be another vehicle for hackers to tap into vulnerable networks via those connected devices to carry out cyber-attacks and many other business targets. Industry analyst have openly shared the need for higher end security solutions as they expect to see security breaches on the rise leveraging IoT devices, routers and Wi-Fi networks. The great news is that Opticom has you covered with a full security portfolio (with offerings like Private Cellular networks) that also includes IoT.
Many IoT devices leverage low power with minimal data network requirements. However, the 5G networks will revolutionize those applications that are more bandwidth intensive and have sensitive latency requirements. 5G will power connected vehicles, automation, Robotics, AI and many other areas. Smart Cities will have a greater level of efficiencies with connected sensors for lights, meters that will collect and analyze data to help improve utilities, overall infrastructure and much more.
If your business needs help understanding IoT and how it can be used to automate operations tasks important to your business, please contact us and we can talk about your requirements.