The internet has been around for a while. Within that, the people created all the data in numerous aspects cherish data in recordings, images, videos, games, posts, e-commerce, then on, on varied platforms. Since the bubble for the internet is ceaselessly expanding, it has undertaken several unimaginable aspects. The internet is therefore deep into the roots of all the domains creating survival usually tough on an outsized scale. Even for regular users like you and me, with the pandemic under the spotlight, usage has grown even more extensively. Previously when the internet was not hyped, SMS (Short Message Service) was the only means to communicate, a lot of sales happened back then through this service, but with the world wide introduction of the internet, things have been transformed in a manner unimaginable, the bigger picture has completely changed. Internet, as we see, can be imagined as a digital fabric that has woven us into it in one way or the other, such that it is solely responsible for making people connect with one another extensively; hence it can be termed as the Internet of People. Times have changed since then. The thought of connectivity has been seen evolving in a manner such that what if, like humans, even ‘things’ started connecting with one another, making them communicate, which can be used for our own advantage personally and even commercially? This is where the Internet of Things comes up in the picture where the things can share their experience with other things – this may seem confusing – share experience? Yes, all we have to do is give ’things’ the ability to sense and communicate; there, we get an opportunity for things to interact and collaborate with other things.
The connectivity between the things comes with a lot of challenges. To a certain extent, this challenge can be resolved. IoT primarily utilizes standard protocols and networking technologies. However, the major aiding technologies and protocols of IoT are RFID, NFC, low-energy Bluetooth, low-energy radio protocols, LTE-A, and WiFi-Direct. These technologies assist the specific networking functionality needed in an IoT system in disparity to a standard uniform network of typical systems. With the connection range of wireless devices, the connectivity can be classified into geographical areas such as Wide Area Network (WAN), Local Area Network (LAN), and Personal Area Network (PAN). The existing WiFi networks are being modified to conquer a comprehensive coverage, and also with the StarLink project in place undertaken by SpaceX, which ensures that the coverage may increase massively to support giant mesh networks, along with that the conformity on the communication path of IoT is really necessary to understand the information exchange within IoT. Each IoT network uses various techniques, standards, and protocols to propagate information. It becomes essential to support Device to Device, Device to Server, and Server to Server Communications to expedite information sharing within the IoT on a high level. Considering we are just scratching the surface, for now, all we need to know that there are a lot of standards and protocols involved with IoT communication not only between us and the devices but also among the devices, even from devices to servers and vice versa as mentioned above.
Talking about Chaos in Connectivity – with the beginning of 2021, connected devices will continue to grow with a number of industries in the coming years. The data intensive experiences that utilize IoT such as wearable devices or self-driving cars to health care and medical safety, as in the case of COVID-19, are taking the mainframe which is motivating the extensive use of wearable devices for medical monitoring purposes, along with that the consumer motivation spikes really high due to the pandemic factor and insurers like to have an additional data about their customers which may give them ideas about the outcomes. At the same time, IoT can be found into pieces, each having various standards, applications according to their industry use cases, and various connectivity options. These pieces will continue to co-exist along with new fragments produced day by day, making the connectivity options diverse rather than uniform.
Although 5G should be the holy grail of the Internet of Things, analysts say that there may be a variety of connectivity options. Since there is no single connection option that can meet the needs of every IoT use case, businesses can expect to have an order to look forward to shifting on low power alternatives like Zigbee, Bluetooth, both private and public WiFi, and 5G, and maybe even satellites to make the standardization work. Referring to the timeline for the past couple of years, there has been a lot of hype concerning 5G connectivity and its great potential for data intensive processes, which does not mean that 5G will be the only option for organizations with IoT applications. The organizations may really have to think through about what use cases they need to chase and what kind of connectivity makes more sense because a smart vehicle may need a different kind of connectivity as compared to industrial machinery or even simply a wearable device. There are multiple ways in which the connectivity standards considering the present scenario at hand may get even more diversified - 2021 pandemic where it may not be possible for an organization, manufacturing plants, or production line owners to be physically present at the site to control and monitor all the activities and the numbers running continuously without quality control, for that the virtue of remote monitoring kicks in. Having a few people on the plant lines, remote monitoring capabilities become much more rampant, for those who never believed in remote monitoring until now have turned them on, they started using the system out of helplessness, it is now believed that even post pandemic the organizations are not going to turn it off because of the convenience that it offers where they can proactively avoid equipment failures or prepare for them and alert field level technicians to have spare parts available and ready should a machine need maintenance.