Chapter 5: The Internet of Things
21 Enabling Technologies
There are many technologies that enable IOT. A key foundation piece is the network used to communicate between nodes of an IOT installation, a role that several wireless and/or wired technologies may fulfill:
- RFID and near-field communication – In the 2000s, RFID was the dominant technology. Later, NFC became dominant (NFC). NFC have become common in smartphones during the early 2010s, with uses such as reading NFC tags or for access to public transportation.
- Rapid developments in the Optical technologies like Li-Fi, Cisco’s 40 Gbit/s bidirectional optical technology (BiDi) may aid the development of IoT.
- Optical tags and quick response codes – This is used for low cost tagging. Phone cameras decode QR code using image-processing techniques. In reality QR advertisement campaigns gives less turnout as users need to have another application to read QR codes.
- Bluetooth low energy – This is one of the latest tech. All newly releasing smartphones have BLE hardware in them. Tags based on BLE can signal their presence at a power budget that enables them to operate for up to one year on a lithium coin cell battery.
- Low energy wireless IP networks – embedded radio in system-on-a-chip designs, lower power WiFi, sub-GHz radio in an ISM band, often using a compressed version of IPv6called 6LowPAN.
- ZigBee – This communication technology is based on the IEEE 802.15.4 2.4 GHz-band radio protocol to implement physical and MAC layer for low-rate wireless Private Area Networks. Some of its main characteristics like low power consumption, low data rate, low cost, and high message throughput make it an interesting IoT enabler technology.
- Z-Wave – is a communication protocol that is mostly used in smart home applications. It uses a radio protocol in the 900 MHz-band.
- Thread – Like ZigBee, this IoT communication technology relies on the IEEE 802.15.4 2.4 GHz-band radio protocol. A key difference is that its networking protocol is IPv6-compatible.
- LTE-Advanced – LTE-A is a high-speed communication specification for mobile networks. Compared to its original LTE, LTE-A has been improved to have extended coverage, higher throughput and lower latency. One important application of this technology is Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communications.
- WiFi-Direct – It is essentially WiFi for peer-to-peer communication without needing to have an access point. This feature attracts IoT applications to be built on top of WiFi-Direct to get benefit from the speed of WiFi while they experience lower latency.
- HomePlug – This networking standard can be used to enable IOT communication over a home or building’s power lines
- MoCA – This networking standard can be used to enable IOT communication over CATV-type coaxial cable
- Ethernet – This general purpose networking standard can be used to enable IOT communication over twisted pair or fiber network links