The number of devices with capability for sensing and connectivity is growing at an exponential rate. Many companies look to the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) to drive new growth for existing products and open up new business opportunities. The concept of the IoT is far ranging. As the name implies it is the interconnection of many things which encompass different functions.
The IoT is more than individual devices. It involves bringing disparate sensors and systems together in order to derive intelligence and knowledge from the vast amount of data generated by various activities. Interoperability is a key issue for the growth of the IoT. A major concern is connecting all of the edge devices and the networks that use them. There are at least 35 different standards, some with several variations, which cover different applications. The early development of the IoT has been within what is described as “Silos.” These are independent markets with different standards which need to be bridged.
In its latest report “What Does the Internet of Things Need to Grow?”, Semico Research examines the numerous standards, both wired and wireless, within different markets which are critical to the growth of the IoT. What are the connectivity issues? What actions are standards bodies and consortiums taking to achieve interoperability? Which countries and regions will see the initial growth of IoT? Which markets will drive early growth and which will be the major markets over time?
Many companies are banking on exponential growth of IoT. The potential market size promises many business opportunities from the sales of the individual components, the software that will be used at all levels, the servers and communications equipment for data centers, and the services that will be delivered to consumers and businesses.
“IPv6 will be the unifying protocol for IoT,” says Tony Massimini, Semico’s Chief of Technology. “The challenge is to get the different standards to the Internet and develop networks and software for these standards to operate together.” There are ongoing efforts among international standards bodies, such as IEEE, and various consortiums and associations on the convergence of various standards under umbrella standards.
“The basis for the IoT is sensors,” says Tony Massimini. “These include both MEMS and non-MEMS devices. It is these sensor based devices which collect the raw data that is processed for the IoT to function.”
Companies noted in the report include Freescale, Bosch, Microchip, Qualcomm, Sigma Designs, Cisco, LG, Echelon, Honeywell, General Electric, STMicroelectronics, and Texas Instruments.