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A Solution to Latency in IoT Devices

IoT Latency Solution IEEE Wake-Up Radio

In 2016, a PwC survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers found:

  • 45% reported owning a fitness band
  • 27% a smartwatch
  • 12% smart clothing

Furthermore, 57% said they’re excited about the future of wearable technology as part of everyday life. In order for the full power of these devices to be realized, however, it is important to ensure that latency isn’t a problem.

The Latency Problem with Internet of Things (IoT) Devices

The challenge with IoT devices is that they run on batteries. This makes them convenient…no one wants to be tethered by a cord. But it also brings challenges. In order to preserve the lifespan of batteries, IoT devices systematically wake up from sleep mode to retrieve new information. The longer the device is asleep, the less power it consumes. This also means that there are fewer opportunities for information to be exchanged. This impacts the performance of the device, causing it to run slower (known as latency).

In today’s devices, low power consumption and low latency are in conflict with one another. Because of the advent of Internet of Things technologies, however, finding a low-power, low-latency solution is of the utmost importance.

IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio - Buy Now!The Most Viable Solutions to Latency

There is a great deal of research going on right now in the low-latency low-power field, with two dominant solutions emerging: Wake-Up Radio (created by IEEE 802.11ba standards working group) and Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth Smart). In this context it’s worth noting that Bluetooth Low Energy is not the same as the Bluetooth prevalent in today’s consumer devices. Rather, it’s a new technology needs to be included in devices moving forward in order to take advantage of Bluetooth Low Energy.

Internet of Things device manufacturers must be cognizant of their options when it comes to these technologies. If your company is considering Internet of Things devices, it’s essential that you understand how Wake-Up Radio works, and how it may impact your products and your business, especially if the device will run on IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi®).

Based on work of the IEEE 802.11ba standards task group, the IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio highlights current and projected developments in this groundbreaking technology that allows devices to achieve low power and low latency at the same time, greatly reducing the frequent recharging or replacement of batteries. This report is especially useful for helping manufacturers analyze and prepare for the implementation of Wake-Up Radio when the standard is finalized within the next 2-3 years.

To purchase your copy of the IEEE Wake-Up Radio Report, click here. Or, contact an IEEE Content Specialist about an institutional purchase of the report.

Resources

16 Aug. 2016. IoT Facts and Figures. What’s the Big Data.

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Is Your Smart Device Spying On You?

Is your smart device spying on you?A regulatory agency in Germany just announced a ban on children’s smartwatches. This illustrates a growing concern among regulators and consumers alike regarding the privacy implications of smart devices. Is your smart device spying on you?

In the example of the smartwatch ban in Germany, the devices in question contain a remote listening capability. According to the regulators, this means the device counts as a spying device under German law. Worse yet, some smartwatches were found to transmit and store data without encryption. Parents could listen, unnoticed, to their child’s classroom, for example. But so could others who hack the device. Parents in Germany are being urged to destroy the smartwatches.

Concerns about smart device spying are not limited to Germany, however. According to a recent Deloitte survey, 40% of consumers are concerned that smart home devices reveal too much about their daily lives. After all, cameras and microphones within these devices can be hacked, and they are often found in the most intimate areas of the home, listening in on every conversation. While cheap devices that have been rushed to market may be more susceptible to hacking than larger brands, 60% of consumers in the survey felt that they had little or no information at all about the privacy of these devices. Smart device spying is a real and growing concern.

And it’s not just about listening to private conversations. These devices can also be controlled remotely by hackers to coordinate large distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on sites around the world, all without the device owner’s knowledge. Privacy cannot be taken for granted, and device manufacturers must make the security of devices a primary element in the design.

However consumers of these devices have a role to play as well. Here are some ways that consumers can protect their smart devices:

  • When available, enable two-step authentication that requires physical access to the device in order to log in.
  • Ensure your internet connection is secure.
  • Install software updates issued by your device manufacturer immediately.
  • Change device passwords frequently.

Smart devices can be remarkably convenient for consumers, but the security of those devices cannot be ignored. Device manufacturers certainly have a role to play, ensuring privacy by design. However consumers must also do their part to make sure that their devices can’t be hacked. This is the only way to ensure that the benefits of smart devices outweigh the risks.

Want to learn more about cyber security, and how it related to not just smart devices, but other areas too? Explore the IEEE online course program Cyber Security Tools for Today’s Environment.

 

References

Griffin, A. (18 Nov, 2017). Low-Quality Devices Could Be Damaging the Idea of the Internet of ThingsIndependent.

Wakefield, J. (17 Nov, 2017). Germany Bans Childrens’ Smartwatches. BBC. 

Tung, L. (20 Nov, 2017). Is Germany Right to Tell Parents to Destroy Kids’ Smartwatches Over Snooping Fears? ZDNet. 

Cakebread, C. (15 Nov, 2017). Consumers are Holding Off on Buying Smart-Home Gadgets Thanks to Security and Privacy Fears. Business Insider. 

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Industry IoT Growth Trends

Industry IoT Growth TrendsThe adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) systems for business continues to rise. In a recent study of manufacturing, transportation, and oil and gas organizations, 86% say that they are adopting IoT solutions, and 84% believe they are very and extremely effective. (Hedge, 2017) In this article, we take a look at some of these IoT growth trends, and what is driving them.

According to a recent Technavio report, the industrial wearables market is forecast to grow over 10% through 2021. (Burns, 2017) What is driving this growth? There are three trends that we see:

  • Digitalization and automation
  • A focus on workplace safety and efficiency
  • Growing adoption of smart sensors

One interesting example of an industrial wearable is smart glasses. Smart glasses allow an industrial worker to see not just the physical plant, but also computer generated images and sound over the plant. Imagine looking at machinery and seeing the placement and operational status of every sensor. This type of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) device eliminates the need for workers to carry additional electronics such as tablets and cameras.

Another recent study of IT professionals found that 77% of companies that have invested in IoT systems have adopted IoT security services, which is another of the IoT growth trends we’re seeing. (Reisinger, 2017) In fact, the top three reasons these IT professionals say they have invested in IoT solutions include:

  1. An opportunity to boost security
  2. Improve operational processes
  3. Reduce costs

Given the fact that IoT security is such a pressing issue, it is interesting that IT professionals see IoT systems as an opportunity to boost security. Perhaps the increased focus on IoT security enables IT professionals to bring a renewed focus on many security practices within the organization, and are the driving force behind this as one of the IoT growth trends.

In the industrial sphere, however, 90% of IIoT adopters say that the primary reason that they have adopted IIoT solutions is device health. IIoT devices enable industrial users to monitor and greatly improve the efficiency of their operations. In fact 73% plan to increase their investment in the IoT over the next 12 months.

Several of these studies note, however, that there is still opportunity to make greater investments in deep data analytics. Beyond the efficiencies generated by IoT devices, a great deal of data is also created. By investing in the artificial intelligence/deep learning systems that can make intelligent use of this data, organizations can experience even greater rewards from their investment in the internet of things.

Would you like to learn more about the Internet of Things? Check out the IEEE Guide to the Internet of Things. This 8-course online learning program will help you learn the foundations of the Internet of Things, and help you get started in this growing field.

 

Resources

Reisinger, D. (2017,  13 Nov.)  Study Finds Internet of Things Will Continue Rapid Growth Rate in 2018eWeek.

Hedge, Z. (2017, 13 Nov.) New Research Shows Industrial Organisations Increasingly Focused on IoT Adoption, but Most are Still in Early StagesIoTNow.

Burns, M. (2017, 11 Nov.) IoT-enabled Industrial Wearables Market – Drivers and Forecasts by Technavio. The Daily Telescope.

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Is Your IoT Device Harming the Environment?

IoT Environmental ImpactInternet of Things (IoT) devices will have significant environmental impact, both positive and negative. The IoT environmental impact is important to consider.

On the positive side, IoT devices can provide significant energy savings by, for example, turning on streetlights only when they’re needed or alerting water processing plants when there is a leak, saving precious natural resources.

Negative IoT Environmental Impact

There’s a dark side, though. For one thing, IoT devices will produce and send a significant amount of data. All that data will require energy as it passes through the network. On top of that, many of these devices will run on batteries. The more frequently batteries need to be replaced, the more batteries end up in landfills. Billions of “things” mean billions of batteries, which can cause a growing problem as our appetite for the IoT grows.

While we must consider a multi-faceted approach to offsetting the negative IoT environmental impact, one thing is clear: the less power an IoT device uses, the longer the battery lasts, and the better it is for the environment. IEEE Wake-Up Radio will allow IoT devices to use significantly less power, extending battery life from months to years. This reduces the number of batteries that wind up each year in landfills. And that makes a difference in the IoT environmental impact.

What is IEEE Wake-Up Radio?

Designed to work with IEEE 802.11 wireless networks, the IEEE Wake-Up Radio standard that is being developed by the 802.11ba standards task group will place a small, additional low power radio in IoT devices that will tell the main radio when it is needed. Only then does the main radio “wake-up” and use power. This solution significantly increases battery life.

With planning and strategic thinking, the energy savings of IoT devices will offset the negative environmental impact. IEEE Wake-Up Radio is one part of that strategy. IoT device manufacturers need to start planning now for their next generation IoT devices to offset environmental impact while creating a positive user experience.

The IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio, released on 1 November, 2017, and available now for pre-order, provides information on this technology in development by the IEEE 802.11ba standards task group. Every IoT device manufacturer needs to be aware of, and prepare for, this technology.

IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio provides:

  • An overview of IEEE 802.11ba Wake-Up Radio
  • Near-and long-term use cases
  • Market forecasts
  • A comparison of Wake-Up Radio to other technologies
  • A look at potential future developments

The IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio can give your organization a competitive edge. Pre-order your copy of the IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio today!

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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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Millennials, Ownership, and the Internet of Things

Millennials, Ownership, and IOT PrivacyMillennials are concerned, and rightly so, about connected devices and security. Nearly 75% of Millennials surveyed by KPMG indicated they would be likely to “use more IoT devices if they had more confidence that the devices were secure.” (Strother 2017) As developers of IoT devices consider the market viability of their devices, this creates a two-fold challenge. Not only must they develop more secure devices. Developers also need to convince Millennials that these devices are more secure, and worth adopting.

As digital natives, Millennials potentially have greater exposure and access to devices. As a result, this is one area Millennials can offer some insight and guidance to older generations. While Millennial use of IoT products is lower than other generations, one considerable factor is because they are not yet homeowners. (Strother 2017) Many of the developments in IoT devices are in smart home technology, which Millennials may just not need yet. Yet there are also other concerns, most notably IoT privacy.

The Millennial reaction to privacy concerns and adoption of IoT devices can lead the way in how other generations should view these devices. Perhaps because they are digital natives, they have a different understanding of ownership, and having control over your things continues to evolve in our digital world.

Those in Gen X and Baby Boomers were raised during times where the definition of ownership was simple. You bought something and it was yours. Today, however, we are more likely to rent access than own anything. And often times that access comes at the cost of the information collected by our devices. Today an individual’s private information is currency, one we often give up in exchange for the convenience of digital devices. Since IoT devices generate and pass a great deal of personal information, the cost of these devices can be high, paid in the currency of privacy. IoT privacy is a pressing concern.

So, how can one build and develop IoT devices that consider the new ideas of ownership and take into account growing privacy concerns?  There must be a fundamental understanding of how standardization will play a role in IoT privacy and ownership, as well as plans to evolve as quickly as technologies and questions arise.

Could your organization benefit from a more comprehensive understanding of the Internet of Things? IEEE offers courses to help businesses prepare through the online course program IEEE Guide to the Internet of Things.

 

References

Strother, N. (2017, March 24) IoT and Millennials. Forbes.

Michels, D. (2017, September 12) Today’s Property Rules Don’t Work in our IoT World. Network World.

 

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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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A Day in a Connected Life with the Internet of Things

IEEE IoT: A Day in a Connected LifeHow does the Internet of Things (IoT) affect your everyday life? In this new interactive infographic from IEEE, you’ll learn about the opportunity and risks posed by the devices you use every day. From your home to your car, from the office to the store, learn what data your interactions generate and how it can be used. Experience it by clicking here.

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Finding the Right Wearable

Internet of Things Wearables at CES 2017

Internet of Things Wearables at CES 2017

The 2017 Consumer Electronics Show was, among other things, a showcase for the latest developments in Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. Wearables is a huge category in the Internet of Things, as consumers choose devices that do everything from track their health and fitness to making driving safer. In this article from IEEE Transmitter, discover some of the wearables that were introduced in 2017 at CES.

Click here to read the article

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