The Internet of Things and Mobile Networks: What are their gaps and how to mend them?

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The Internet of Things and Mobile Networks: What are their gaps and how to mend them?

It seems that everybody is in on the Internet of Things (IoT). Most people who are interested in the technology know its various applications. How these devices could collate information, and how they could transmit these information for a variety of uses. We all have heard about the Internet of Things being able to expand the functionalities of everyday objects. A system that tracks your car, so that it could turn on the lights and your air conditioning if you get within a certain distance from your house. Or a refrigerator that tells you what you need to buy the moment you set foot at a grocery store.

These functionalities are possible because the IoT device you are using communicates with other devices or transmits data to an app or software that does the processing for you. Most of these devices rely on affordable computing resources and low power radios. This helps IoT devices save on energy consumption, while also being able to connect to the Internet. These low-power radios are not compatible with Wi-Fi or mobile network technologies.

In short, IoT devices would not be able to rely on mobile networks to transmit its data, at least not directly. The problem with the current scheme of Internet of Things devices is that there is always a tradeoff. You could let the device connect to a mobile network or Wi-Fi connection to access the Internet, but that would mean that it becomes bigger in size and requires more power.

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The solution

It would seem that the solution to bridge the gap between mobile networks operating at higher frequencies (from 1GHz up) and the Internet of Things, is in printed diodes. A researcher from the Laboratory of Organic Electronics at Linkoping University has come up with a printed diode that works in the GHz band, allowing it to harvest energy from the signals of a mobile phone.

The printed diode concept shows that you could tweak an Internet of Things device to communicate directly with a smartphone or mobile phone. At the very least, it would help solve one part of the IoT equation: that of requiring it to be energy efficient. Because it can turn radio signals from smartphones into energy, you worry less about how to power your Internet of Things device.

In the long run, it may be possible to let an Internet of Things embedded device to work on its own, connect directly to a mobile network to get on the Internet, all these while also being able to power itself. This might be a preferable scenario than what is happening today, wherein you need to worry about power if you want this kind of connectivity. Of course, this will give rise to security issues because your embedded device is connected or is able to connect to an external mobile network, making it vulnerable to attacks.

Looking to get into the Internet of Things and benefit from all the data you can get from these devices? Consult with Four Cornerstone. The teams at Four Cornerstone are certified professionals who constantly update their knowledge, ensuring that you are on top of every emerging trend and allow you to take advantage of these before the competition does.

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