With millions of new and exciting devices connecting to the Internet every day, the Internet of Things a.k.a. “IoT” is an IT trend that has the potential to dramatically change the way we see our electronics. Yet, the most significant change brought about by the IoT may actually come from devices that aren’t all that shiny.
Even though sexy devices like smartphones, smart cars, and smart homes are getting all the hype when it comes to the IoT, it’s the forgotten-about, behind-the-scenes devices which drive the way forward. Devices like gas meters, water gauges, trash cans, soil moisture sensors, and more, are the unnoticed actors propping up the rest of the cast.
They’re primarily tasked with a underrated singular purpose, like collecting and transmitting data so that the rest of us can get things done more efficiently.
Devils in the details
Devices like these present a unique challenge: how can we connect these devices to the Internet in such a way that little (if any) maintenance is required? Or in locations without a reliable Internet connection?
Having these devices achieve such requirements is necessary to enjoy the benefits of a connected world. Otherwise, implementing small IoT devices on a wide scale wouldn’t be worth it, with the expenses of providing power, device maintenance, and Internet coverage.
For example, installing an Internet-connected gas meter to a log cabin in the middle of the woods would prove difficult due to poor 4G coverage. Not to mention it would be inconvenient and expensive to send a technician to service the meter.
How then do we equip important IoT devices to hard-to-reach areas?
The answer lies in narrowband Internet of Things technology (NB-IoT), a development that allows for billions of obscure devices to be connected to the Internet, earning it the reputation as “the glue that holds the IoT together.” NetworkComputing explains:
“NB-IoT, originally called the cellular Internet of Things, is an emerging industry solution designed to enhance the global deployment of low-power wide area (LPWA) networks.
Through licensed operator spectrum, in-band, guard band and standalone deployments, NB-IoT can provide connectivity to devices in hard to reach places without requiring much power to do so.”
The ways that NB-IoT technology expands the IoT breaks down barriers and opens up a whole new world of Internet connectivity. Think about IoT devices deep underground, attached to buried pipes, or those on islands that lie beyond the services of normal infrastructure. NetworkComputing cites further examples:
“This is where NB-IoT and LPWA technology come in, because they can provide a long-range mobile connection with low power consumption.
This combination of connectivity and low-power needs means a utility company can install connected flow meters around a water distribution network to automatically detect leaks without worrying about whether or not the sensor will work.”
At Protek Support, we’re excited about how the IoT has the potential to dramatically change things, and with more than five million devices being added to the Internet every day, it’s critical to stay up to date.
The best way to achieve this is to have a dedicated technology team behind you who has the know-how you need to succeed. Give us a call at (801) 999-4767 and let’s discuss ways that technology can help you and your business reach new horizons.