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Why the Internet of Things actually matters for manufacturers

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One may wonder, after reading and hearing about the ‘Internet of Things’ whether it really matters – this is a question often asked whenever a new technology emerges from the horizon. 

However, unlike other changes in technology the leap to an IoT can be considered as revolutionary instead of evolutionary – and thus it does matter.

The ability for something to be connected to a network is tremendous. With intelligence provided by bespoke hardware at the client side, they can now receive or send data when the device is programmed to do so at an appropriate time. A few examples have been provided below to help understand the importance of the Internet of Things.

Monitoring temperatures of multiple points in a production facility 

Instead of using a wired connection back to the main system, each temperature sensor can be equipped with a wireless module and communicate to the server via Wi-Fi. Sensors can be relocated, added or deleted without any need to rewire; given the advances in energy harvesting they can possibly be self-powered. 

A minimal microcontroller between the sensor and wireless module can also continuously monitor all status and notify the server of an error, while the server can detect a total failure and alert technicians without delay via many channels.

Consumer-device interaction 

The technology that enables a smartphone to control an LED light can be utilised in many more ways. For instance, one can arrive home at night and have their car communicate with the home system to turn on various lights, HVAC system, and even the stereo. Likewise, it can be used in an alarm system that emails, tweets and texts the homeowner images of the room where motion is detected, and also alert the authorities.

Upgrading existing M2M connectivity solutions 

Existing devices that communicate with a server over custom wireless data solutions or expensive GPRS packet-data links can be upgraded to communicate using IP via Wi-Fi.

For example, an operator of multiple vending machines in an airport that has terminal-wide Wi-Fi access can switch the communications from cellular to Wi-Fi to save on line subscription and data charges, as well as interact more easily with the machines for status updates and alerts. 

Converting equipment to standard wired or wireless IP communications allows integration with a wide variety of current and future IoT systems, giving flexibility and more possibilities than ever before.

The Internet of Things does matter since it enables almost anything to communicate with anything or anyone. A company can therefore, be ahead of the competition by creating solutions that make life easier, simpler and more convenient for customers via IoT technology.

As a partner, LX group will discuss and understand the client’s requirements and goals, and help them navigate the various hardware and other options available to help solve their problems.

LX Group is an innovative contract electronics design company specialising in the design of embedded systems and wireless technologies.

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