The evolution of the Internet of things (IOT)

Internet of things

The concept of “Internet of Things” (IOT-Internet of things) has spread exponentially in the last decade and is now an essential part of everyday life. IoT refers to a system of networks of interconnected digital and electronic devices, able to communicate with each other and collect and transfer data without direct interaction with man. These connections effectively facilitate and speed the exchange data to support a wide range of operations and activities.

To date, there are more than 16 billions of connected devices and globally operating, the equivalent of 2 devices per person, and it's a number expected to grow in the coming years, up to tap the 41 billion by 2020.
The most common examples are the IoT devices for the "smart home",such as programmable thermostats and equipment remotely controllable, but the IoT sector has applications in almost every area of ​​the economy, from trade to manufacturing, from health care to public safety.

The areas of application of IoT

The advanced capabilities of IoT technology are incorporated in many areas, including:

  • Residential: This area includes all the devices and systems for home automation, for example, for the remote control of lighting equipment and heating systems, appliances, entertainment and surveillance systems. Also included are Wearable devices, such as smartwatch and goggles for virtual reality.

  • Health: This category includes all those devices for health and personal wellness, from products for monitoring the physical activity to technologies that monitor and record vital data of patients.

  • Public safety and transportation: In addition to cars and smart roads for traffic flow management, IoT technologies are implemented in urban infrastructures in order to improve security and public services. These are for example electronic systems for accurate and real-time indication of arrival and departure times of public transport means, smartphone applications to pay the parking ticket, and devices to support the authorities to monitor criminal activities.

  • Industrial: in this area, the applications of the Internet of Things, also called machine-to-machine (M2M), are implemented to improve and increase production efficiency, to monitor the machinery and to optimize inventory.

  • Energy and environment: the IoT devices also find application in the field of power distribution, consumption monitoring (for example smart meters) and environmental conditions that could affect people's lives. IoT sensors can be used to detect water levels of the rivers leading to flooding or unsafe weather conditions.

These are just some of the many examples of current applications and potential benefits of Internet of Things technologies.

remote control

Technical challenges

In addition to the practical advantages, the exponential growth of the number of devices connected to the network also involves an assessment from a technical point of view. These products, indeed, incorporate wireless technologies and electronic components which bring different challenges in terms of design and compliance market regulations.

The creation of these complex systems implies first of all choosing a wireless communication protocol suitable for the characteristics and purpose of use of the products. Some of the most common communication technologies implemented by manufacturers of IoT are: WiFi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, GSM, UMTS, LTE, SRD.

Manufacturers not only have to correctly implement wireless applications to their product, but they must also take into account all aspects of electromagnetic interference and of safety related to devices that integrate several functions (analog, digital and radio). This can be complicated in the process of designing and debugging, especially in case of malfunctions and difficulties in identifying the source of the problem.

From a legal point of view, IoT devices must make a proper use of the radio spectrum, must not emit too much disturbance and be over-sensitive to noise emitted by other devices, and must ensure the safety of the user from both electrical and electromagnetic hazards .

Sicom laboratory is able to provide a consolidated service to assist companies in the IoT sector, offering pre-compliance tests and testing, certification services and technical investigations, and post production and batch control.

For the testing and certification of your products, contact Sicom at info@sicomtesting.com

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