IoT Design Considerations: Interoperability

As more manufacturers enable their products for the IoT, consumers will be introduced to many different cloud applications due to lack of cooperation between difference devices and companies. This is where the emerging IoT standards can help. Device manufacturers who support these standards will be able to ensure their products will be able to work and communicate with other manufacturers’ products that support the same protocols. This makes operating many IoT-enabled devices together much more simple and convenient. This also opens up new business opportunities by allowing for new features that the original manufacturers never dreamed of. For example, interoperability means that one day it might be possible for a consumer to simply say, “good night, house” to their home automation app, and the app will programmatically turn-off all of the main house lights, TV’s and appliances and turn on the outside lighting, set the alarm clock for the morning and set the coffee pot to start brewing when the sun rises. In this example, each device could be from a different manufacturer, but since they all support the same standard, the application knows how to talk to them all and create new service offerings.

Some of the emerging interoperability standards include: Thread (supported by the likes of Google/Nest, Samsung and more), HomeKit (supported by Apple), AllJoyn (supported by Microsoft and Sony, part of the AllSeen Alliance), IETF (an internet standards body) and ETSI (a European-based standards organization – primarily in Telecom). The standards landscape is changing rapidly and manufacturers need to adapt their products to work with these standards as they are consolidated and settled in the future.

To download the complete Internet of Things Design Considerations White Paper, click here.

IoT Design Considerations: Antenna

Most IoT products use wireless technologies to connect with the world. The type and number of wireless technologies used will impact the type and number of antennas needed. For example, 900MHz, 2.4GHz and 5GHz radios all may have different requirements for antenna design.

Module manufacturers often provide multiple options in this area, such as an on-board chip or ceramic antennas. They may also offer a wire (or “whip”) antenna, a “trace” antenna, or a “pin-out” so the manufacturer can add their own (either internal or external connector elsewhere on the circuit board).

In addition, manufacturers may offer U.FL (also called IPEX) connectors for external. In this case, the connection from the U.FL connector to the external antenna is accomplished with a short coaxial “pigtail” that has the mating U.FL connector on one end and the mating connector for the antenna on the other end. The costs of the pigtail and antenna are often overlooked but need to be included in a manufacturer’s BOM for their designs.

When selecting between internal and external antennas, designers must consider the material (metal, plastic, etc.) of the housing and the potential placement of the product within a home or business. If a product is placed behind a couch or under a desk, it may have difficulty getting a wireless signal from the nearest gateway, access point, or router. Metal housings almost always require an external antenna design because the metal in the housing greatly reduces the amount of radio frequencies getting in or out of the housing.

To download the complete Internet of Things Design Considerations White Paper, click here.

 

#50onFire: The 18 People and Companies Heating Up B2C Tech in Chicago

This week Chicago Inno announced the 150 nominees for 50 on Fire, Chicago Inno's winter awards event. The nominees represent the people and companies that are making moves in Chicago's tech scene across several industries, including B2B tech; B2C tech; education; marketing and advertising; civic; investment; health and medicine; food, dining and delivery; and lifestyle, fashion and fitness.

To give you a closer look at the nominees, Chicago Inno wanted to highlight the contestants in each sector to show you how they are heating up Chicago's tech scene. (A group of judges will determine the 50 winners). Over the next couple of weeks we'll be publishing deep dives into the different sectors, starting now with B2C tech.

To read more about the 18 B2C tech nominees for 50 on Fire, click here.

Join Us at RE.WORK Internet of Things Summit (Boston)!

When: May 28-29, 2015
Where: Boston, MA

The Internet of Things Summit brings together entrepreneurship, science and technology to re-work the future and tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges. The event will showcase the opportunities of the internet of things and the potential for a positive impact on business and society.

Conference Website: https://www.re-work.co/events/iot-boston

Tech In Motion Panel: IoT: More than Just a Buzzword

When: March 25, 6:00PM
Where: TechNexus, 20 N. Wacker Drive Suite 1200, Chicago, IL

Session Title: IoT: More than Just a Buzzword

What the heck is the Internet of Things? Everyone's heard of it, but it seems like few have the ability to articulate what this buzz phrase actually means. Part of that is because the definition of IoT is so fractured. Everyone seems to have their own take on it.

For this event, we're talking to several panelists whose companies specialize in interconnected devices, whether they be for businesses, for the home, or wearables, and asking them the hard question: What is the Internet of Things to YOU? We'll also be talking about the future of this phenomenon. 

Panelists:
Adam Justice, VP and General Manager of Grid Connect
Harold G. Clampitt, CEO and Founder of American RFID Solutions
Jason Kolb, CTO of Uptake
Mahesh Ramananjaiah, Senior Architect at HERE
Aubrey Jackson, Senior Software Engineer at HERE

Moderator:
Matt Krzus, Lead Data Scientist at Kaplan

About Tech In Motion:

Tech in Motion is broad by design, the goal of this group is to be interactive and allow technology enthusiasts to learn from other professionals, have questions answered in real-time, discover new tech, and hear stories that inspire. This group is a place for technology professionals who wouldn’t normally cross paths to meet, collaborate, and learn about what their peers are doing across the city. To learn more about Tech in Motion, click here!