Is Connected System Hype or Reality?

by October 21, 2016 0 comments

From wearable electronics to machine condition monitoring, from home automation to smart factories, connected systems are promising more reliable systems, increased efficiency, convenience and of course, better quality of life. This year, at NIDays, experts from the industry and academia came together to discuss the trends, opportunities, and challenges that lie in the future of connected systems. Many unique trends in communication systems, embedded electronics, security and automated test systems that address the challenges and opportunities for next generation connected systems were discussed in detail.

With all of the excitement around Internet of Things (IoT), it can be difficult to separate hype from reality. IoT is expected to offer advanced connectivity of devices, systems, and services that go beyond machine-to-machine (M2M) communications.

Industry experts believe that Internet of Things is just hype and will take years to be materialized. However, there are many important issues that need to be addressed before the industry gets ready for the next big thing.

IoT has received considerable attention in the past few years and according to experts, it will add almost 50 billion objects by 2020.

Data load

If the world does reach 50 billion devices by 2020, then the number of cellular IoT/M2M devices would be about 2.5 billion which is expected to produce a million terabytes of data per month. How will all this data be transported? How will it be stored? How will it be analyzed? How will it be kept secure and private? Each of these issues needs to be addressed.

Speaking at the NIDays Graphical System Design Conference, Venkatesh Kumaran, VP, Strategy & Operations, IESA said, “Finding timely, actionable information within these vast data stores is going to be difficult and expensive. If 50 billion devices really get connected by 2020, undoubtedly some of the data generated will need to be carefully secured.”

The another big challenge is to share data across all of the different levels and still have meaningful information.

Getting “the next billion online”

If an estimated 6.4 billion things are connected today, as Gartner estimates, we’ve got four years to connect another 14.4 billion to 43.6 billion. How is this going to work? What do businesses, government and standards organizations should do to prepare for this growth?

India still lacks a defined policy framework when it comes to data security and privacy laws.

Also, connectivity is a major concern around the world as the broadband internet has failed to reach billions of people living in the developing world, including 90 percent of those living in the poorest nations.

According to The State of Broadband report produced by the UN Broadband Commission, 57 percent of the world’s people remain offline and are unable to take advantage of the internet. To get more things online, we need to expand cellular connectivity across regions. Getting these people connected is going to be a major challenge for businesses and governments.

Data security

When a large number of things are creating and disseminating increasing amounts of data, it is important that security measures are built into the process from the start. While access is still the primary concern for stakeholders, internet security is something which can’t be ignored in a world where people are connected. Globally, cyber crime is the core issue that needs to be addressed by government, followed by connectivity, data protection, and privacy.

Language of communication

The goal of Industry 4.0 is to make machines more efficient and easier to maintain. For this, it is necessary to determine the common language of communication. Talking about the communication aspects of IoT, Chandra R. Murthy, Associate Professor, Department of Electrical Communication Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore said, “Apart from basic interoperability, you need to get the systems to talk the same language to make use of the data and, for that, new semantic standards are required.”

At the recently concluded NIDays conference held in Bangalore, industry experts voiced their support for open and flexible frameworks along with addressing the communication issues to create industrial IoT standards.

New technologies such as 3D printing, drones, connected and autonomous vehicles will transform the industries and new ones will be created. The supporting technology is already there and IoT is going to play a major role in shaping the future.

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