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How to Make IoT Batteries Last Longer

Make IoT Batteries Last Longer: IEEE Wake-Up Radio InfographicAnalyst firm Gartner predicts that there will be 8.4 billion connected “things” in 2017, which will then expand to 20.4 billion Internet of Things (IOT) devices by 2020. That number is staggering. And it is reasonable to expect that a great many of these devices will run on batteries. Yet battery life can be limited. How do we make IoT batteries last longer?

Consider the use cases:

  • Wearable medical devices that cannot be hard wired
  • Logistics sensors on vehicles, moving from place to place
  • Agricultural IoT devices in the middle of fields
  • Smart home consumer devices that are easier to install without hardwiring, increasing market adoption

…and these are just a few instances of the many IoT use cases that will require battery operated devices. Given the sheer number of devices, it is essential that IoT manufacturers create devices that have a long battery life while maintaining optimal performance. We must make IoT batteries last longer.

This is why the IEEE 802.11ba standards working group is developing the IEEE Wake-Up Radio standard. This technology has the potential to increase battery life in IoT devices from months to years. When you consider the cost of replacing 20.4 billion batteries (both the batteries themselves, as well as the time involved), this will have significant economic impact.

How it Works

IoT devices have an embedded radio that has to “wake up” in order for data to be transmitted. The longer the device is awake, the more power it consumes, but the higher the performance. To solve the power issue, a 2nd, low-power, duty-cycled Wake-Up Radio is added to the device that waits for transmissions. This Wake-Up Radio only wakes up the main device when it is needs to, allowing a longer device sleep state without compromising performance. Ensuring that the Wake-Up Radio uses duty cycling increases the battery life even more.

The result is a high-performance IoT device that last for years rather than months on a single battery.

The impact is clear. IoT devices that will run on IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi®) connections need IEEE Wake-Up Radio. Device manufacturers need this information now, in order to build this into their IoT devices of tomorrow.

IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio

To help IoT device manufacturers prepare for IEEE Wake-Up Radio even before the standard is released, IEEE is offering a technology report that outlines the technology, use cases, and more. The report will be released on 2 November, 2017, and is available for pre-sale now. Device manufacturers that begin planning for IEEE Wake-Up Radio now will have a competitive advantage, especially in consumer categories where IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi®) connections are ubiquitous. They will be able to make IoT batteries last longer in their devices.

Increasing battery life in IoT devices is essential. When it comes to devices that run on IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi®) connections, IEEE Wake-Up Radio is the solution. Pre-order the IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio now, and prepare your organization for a competitive advantage in the future.

 

References

Tung, L. (2017, Feb 7). IoT Devices Will Outnumber the World’s Population this Year for the First Time. ZDNet.

McCormick, D. (2017, Nov 2). 802.11ba Battery Life Improvement – Preview: IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio. IEEE Xplore.

 

 

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Significantly Improve Battery Life: IEEE Wake-Up Radio Infographic

IEEE Wake-Up Radio is a groundbreaking new technology being developed by the IEEE 802.11ba standards task group that will significantly extend the battery life of devices and sensors on wireless networks, particularly those that are part of the Internet of Things (IoT). The infographic below gives a high-level overview of this cutting-edge technology that will greatly improve battery life.

IEEE Wake-Up Radio infographic: Significantly improve battery life of Internet of Things devices with this low-power, high-performance solution

Ready to learn more about how to improve battery life in Internet of Things devices? Connect with an IEEE Content Specialist and pre-order your copy of the groundbreaking IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio today!

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3 Ways Low-Power, Low-Latency Devices Will Impact Healthcare IoT

low-power low-latency healthcare IoTAccording to a 2017 report by Markets and Markets, the Internet of Things (IoT) healthcare market is projected to reach $158.07 billion by 2022. As IoT devices revolutionize the medical landscape and provide numerous benefits to our long-term health, making sure these devices work reliably and efficiently is crucial. Below are three ways low-power low-latency healthcare IoT devices will impact the industry:

  1. Preserving clinical data: The healthcare industry can now collect, transfer, store, and display a variety of clinical data on cloud-based platforms using connected IoT devices (Lars, n. d.). Some devices even come with analytical software to display trends of the data collected automatically (thanks to wearables), so patients can see how their decisions are impacting aspects of their health over time (Al-Siddiq, 2016). Such information helps motivate patients to be more proactive and can inform health professionals ahead of time before conditions worsen (Al-Siddiq, 2016). In order for these IoT devices to operate consistently and preserve clinical data, however, they will need low-power, low-latency characteristics.
  2. Facilitating automated treatment devices: Many automated medical devices are now equipped to provide verbal training about a procedure and reminders of when users should take prescribed medication, check blood pressure, or exercise (Lars, n. d.). Ensuring that patients take better care of themselves at home will help considerably with their long-term health. According to Christopher (2016), “Health tech’s biggest advocates believe efficient remote health could dramatically cut down on the necessity for routine reviews and checkups.” Employing low-power, low-latency IoT devices will help facilitate efficient remote health with little power consumption.
  3. Making more reliable wearables: The wearables market is flourishing in general, but in healthcare it is playing an even more prominent role. According to Patrick (2016), “today’s patients can use wearable medical devices to monitor and take charge of their own health.” For example, smart glucose monitors can provide provide continuous blood-sugar monitoring for those with diabetes, the elderly can wear a device that can detect if they have fallen and transmit GPS coordinates to loved ones, and other wearables can help people track and maintain active lifestyles to assist in the prevention of future diseases (Patrick, 2016). In all of these cases, ensuring that devices operate efficiently without the need for frequent re-charging or replacement of batteries is paramount.

The Internet of Things is shaping a modern healthcare industry in plenty of other ways too. Simply put, low-power low-latency healthcare IoT devices will have a life-changing impact on healthcare IoT. Wake-Up Radio from IEEE 802.11ba standards task group provides such a low-power, low-latency solution for IoT devices developed for the healthcare industry.

You can read more about Wake-Up Radio and how to utilize this technology with IoT devices your organization develops in the IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio: An Application, Market, and Technology Impact Analysis of Low-Power/Low-Latency 802.11 Wireless LAN Interfaces, coming in November. Pre-order now!

To see an infographic illustrating the evolution of healthcare technology and the Internet of Things, click here.

References:

Al-Siddiq, W. (2016, Oct 1). How the IoT is enabling the next generation of medical devices. Medical Design Briefs.

Christopher, G. (2016, Jul 19). Internet of Things in healthcare: What’s next for IoT technology in the health sector. ComputerWorld UK.

Lars, N. (n. d.). Connected medical devices, apps: Are they lead the IoT revolution- or vice versa? Wired.

Patrick, M. (2016, Oct 20). How will the Internet of Medical Things change healthcare? Electronic Design.

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Power Players in the Internet of Things

Low Power Internet of ThingsInnovators, businesses, and consumers alike are eagerly catching the Internet of Things (IoT) wave as it gains momentum and magnitude. The technology that will continue to power this wave of connected devices remains debatable, however, as there are a number of power players contending for the spotlight in the low power Internet of Things space. Below are several big names that have emerged thus far:

  • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE): BLE (a.k.a. Bluetooth Smart) is the low-power version of its parent Bluetooth standard, which has often been considered a leader in the short-range wireless audio market (Frenzel, 2017).  Combining different radio and technical techniques along with low-power sleep modes and low duty cycles allow BLE to reduce power consumption and extend the battery life on a coin cell for years (Frenzel, 2012).
  • Wi-Fi® and Wake-Up Radio (WUR): Wi-Fi® is also a major short-range option widely used today, but the original standard versions alone may not be optimal choices for the Internet of Things (IoT) because “power consumption is generally high and its available data rate goes far beyond what’s needed for most applications” (Frenzel, 2017). White-Fi (a.k.a. 802.11af) and HaLow (a.k.a 802.11 ah) are both good options for long-range uses though. Wake-Up Radio, currently in development from the IEEE 802.11ba standards task group, is a groundbreaking solution for the Wi-Fi® power consumption dilemma, designed to preserve efficiency while consuming little power.
  • 5G: According to a 2017 Ericsson Mobility Report, 5G is projected to transmit data approximately 10 times faster than 4G LTE in the long-range cellular network (Shields, 2017). Such a change will reduce low latency, i.e. allow devices to quickly process and transmit large amounts of data, thereby increasing efficiency (Shields, 2017). Agwani (2017) calls 5G a “catchall for the next generation(s) of cellular networks” because it will be “ultra-reliable” and it will “enable real-time low-energy, low-bit-rate, seamless connectivity for billions of new IoT devices.”
  • LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network): Called LoRa for short, this specification from LoRa Alliance “is designed for long-range, low-power operation with sensors and controls that work off batteries or energy-harvesting devices” (Wong, 2017). It has a wide breadth of applications, spanning from the logistics industry to smart infrastructure and agriculture, and it is particularly beneficial for buildings because its range can penetrate barriers like walls (Wong, 2017). The only downside is that LoRa does not operate quickly, topping out at 50 kbits/s, but otherwise “LoRa fills a gap between LANs* like Bluetooth, Zigbee, and Wi-Fi and wide area networks like cellular” (Wong, 2017).

*LANs: Local Area Networks

These power players are only a few among numerous low power Internet of Things connectivity options that vary along the wireless range. With a growing number of IoT devices entering our personal and professional lives, utilizing a low-power option will be increasingly crucial.

Are you interested in learning more about Wake-Up Radio and how to utilize this technology with IoT devices in your organization? Check out the IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio: An Application, Market, and Technology Impact Analysis of Low-Power/Low-Latency 802.11 Wireless LAN Interfaces coming this November. Pre-order now!

References:

Frenzel, L. (2012, Nov 29). What’s the difference between Bluetooth Low Energy and ANT? Electronic Design.

Frenzel, L. (2017, May 16). Long-Range IoT on the road to success. Electronic Design.

Frenzel, L. (2017, Jul 21). How Bluetooth Mesh impacts IoT design. Electronic Design.

Shields, N. (2017, Jun 15). Here’s how 5G will revolutionize the Internet of Things. Business Insider.

Wong, W. (2017, Jul 10). LoRaWAN is made for IoT. Electronic Design.

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Make Batteries Last Longer: IEEE 802.11 Wake-Up Radio

How to make batteries last longer: An Introduction to IEEE 802:11 Wake-Up Radio

It’s no secret that our increasingly technological world depends on increasingly available and sustainable energy sources. The onset of the Internet of Things (IoT) is only adding to this need. Imagine farmers using sensors in smart agriculture to monitor soil moisture and track their animals’ locations/conditions. Or imagine an elderly or ill person at home relying on wearable health monitoring devices to keep doctors informed of his or her well-being. In the former case, having to replace batteries in sensors will be a time-consuming and costly task; in the latter case, insufficient battery power could put someone’s health at serious risk. We have to make batteries last longer.

Both cases illustrate the need for reliable, long-lasting batteries. One revolutionary solution is on the horizon, however: the IEEE 802.11ba task group is developing a new standard for Low-Power IEEE Wake-Up Radio (LP-WUR) for WiFi networks. This standard will slash remote-device power consumption and significantly lengthen battery life by adding another low-power radio receiver to the device. The low-power radio waits quietly for a signal to “call its name,” upon which it turns on the primary WiFi radio to begin data exchange. It is estimated that a low-power IEEE Wake-Up Radio that stays on will consume an extremely small amount of power, reducing power consumption by 94%.

In addition to the power reduction from the IEEE Wake-Up Radio, engineers plan to reduce the duty cycle further and streamline signal handling to increase battery life a thousand-fold, extending the life of a single charge to years. Such an increase will have a tremendous impact on cost savings (for both batteries and replacement labor). With the Internet of Things (IoT) weaving seemingly endless connections between people and devices, the demand for longer-lasting batteries becomes ever more pressing. IEEE Wake-Up Radio is a solution that every device and sensor manufacturer needs to be aware of, and prepare for, in order to make batteries last longer.

You can find out more about IEEE Wake-Up Radio and how to utilize this technology with devices that your organization develops in the IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio: An Application, Market, and Technology Impact Analysis of Low-Power/Low-Latency 802.11 Wireless LAN Interfaces. Pre-order your copy today!

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Can You Extend Battery Life in Your Wearable?

Extend battery life in your wearable with Wake-Up Radio from IEEE

Wearables have taken the accessory market by storm. Gone are the days of wearing a simple analog watch that only tells the time; at least not when you can get one that tracks your steps, monitors your heart rate, syncs with apps on your smart phone, and much more. But how long will your wearable last between battery charges? Devices that can extend battery life are becoming essential.

According to Lauren Goode (2016), “Battery life is, arguably, the biggest pain point in wearables right now.” Many activity tracker or smartwatch batteries last anywhere between five days and several months on a single charge, depending on how much they can do. James Park, Fitbit co-founder and CEO, agrees that battery life is a difficult issue to address, as most advancements rely on the processor makers (Goode, 2016).

While there has been little significant progress within batteries themselves, the connectivity that wearables use can also affect power consumption. For sending a small amount of data over a short range, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is ideal, but higher quantities of data are better suited for Bluetooth Classic or Wi-Fi (Gough, 2016). Sensors and trackers placed at farther distances (as opposed to a smartwatch that is often close to a smartphone) will need low power, low latency options to extend battery life and preserve efficient data transfer.

Wake-Up Radio being developed by IEEE 802.11ba standards task group is one such option that can be used in conjunction with a Wi-Fi radio. This device only activates the Wi-Fi radio when it receives a signal unique to that device; otherwise, it “sleeps” quietly while using minimal power. Using Wake-Up Radio can significantly extend battery life to years, which would make Internet of Things (IoT) devices like wearables more useful and worthwhile.

You can find out more about Wake-Up Radio and how to utilize this technology with IoT devices your organization develops in the IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio: An Application, Market, and Technology Impact Analysis of Low-Power/Low-Latency 802.11 Wireless LAN Interfaces, coming soon!

References:

Goode, L. (2016, Jan 15). Don’t expect battery life miracles in wearables anytime soon. The Verge.

Gough, P. (2016, Aug 17). Provisioning reliable wireless connectivity for wearables. Electronic Design.

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How Smart is your Smart Home?

How Smart is Your Smart Home? from IEEE Continuing and Professional Education

The Internet of Things (IoT) is quickly cropping up all around us, especially on the smart home front. Voice assistants responding to your verbal requests or smart phones serving as all-in-one remote controls over various home devices are only the first rays of this dawning digital revolution. A recent study by Intel Corporation revealed that 71% of consumers believe that all homes will own at least one smart-home device by 2025. But despite the increasing number of capabilities that these smart devices boast, just how smart are they when it comes to efficiency and power usage?

Not too long ago, the popular Nest device experienced an unexpected malfunction for many users. According to Nick Bilton (2016), “the ‘smart’ thermostat suffered from a mysterious software bug that drained its battery and sent [their] home into a chill in the middle of the night.” Bilton further pointed out that such a malfunction posed particular risks to the elderly or ill, or to those who have infants. Fixing the Nest required users to follow a nine-step procedure, including recharging the device via USB cable for over an hour.

While smart home devices carry many benefits to users, such an incident underscores the need for IoT devices to maintain efficiency and reliable, long-lasting battery life. Having to recharge batteries or wait on delayed responses is not only irritating, but it can also be dangerous for consumers.

Wake-Up Radio is one way that future devices can significantly extend battery life of smart devices while preserving efficiency. Find out more about this groundbreaking solution in IEEE’s Wake-Up Radio Technology Report, coming soon!

References:

Bilton, N. (2016, Jan. 13). Nest thermostat glitch leaves users in the cold. The New York Times.

Forbes Technology Council. (2017, June 6). Best smart home devices and how IoT is changing the way we live. Forbes.

 

 

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Why We Need Low-Power, Low-Latency Devices

Why we need low-power, low-latency devices from IEEE Educational Activities

We need low-power, low-latency devices. The Internet of Things (IoT) is expanding rapidly, creating an environment of devices and sensors that in many cases will function entirely on batteries. In some use cases where batteries are difficult or even impossible to change (environmental sensors, etc.), the length of the battery life may determine the useful life of the device. However battery life has often been dictated by how long the device stays “awake.” The longer the device sleeps, the longer the battery lasts, but at the expense of performance. A new technology is required that extends battery life without affecting performance. These devices will have many applications, including smart homes, smart warehouses, wearable health monitors, logistics and transportation, and many, many more. It is estimated that companies will spend close to $5 trillion on the IoT over the next five years (Shields, 2017).

Currently, the majority of Internet of Things devices rely on cellular networks. The vast amount of data on these networks, however, slows the rate at which it is processed. According to Shields (2017), “That also creates high latency – the amount of time between when data is sent from a connected device to when it returns to the same device – which in turn limits IoT solutions’ effectiveness.” Low latency is ideal for devices to work efficiently.

Low latency often comes at the price of high power usage, however. Faster data transfer usually requires devices to expend more energy. As a result, we need a mechanism for reducing latency while conserving power. Recharging and replacing batteries for the multitude of IoT devices will become extremely cumbersome. According to Maria Guerra (2017), “Designers of IoT solutions are relying on power management solutions to efficiently handle the power needed to energize a wide range of IoT devices, as maintenance and battery replacement are not cost-effective approaches.”

Wake-Up Radio from IEEE 802.11ba standards task group is the solution to this challenge. This low-power, low-latency solution will allow our devices to work efficiently without expending considerable amounts of power.

You can read more about Wake-Up Radio and how to utilize this technology with IoT devices your organization develops in the upcoming IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio: An Application, Market, and Technology Impact Analysis of Low-Power/Low-Latency 802.11 Wireless LAN Interfaces. Pre-order today!

References:

Guerra, M. (2017, Jun 15). The power of IoT devices. Electronic Design.

Shields, J. (2017, Jun 15). Here’s how 5G will revolutionize the Internet of Things. Business Insider.

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