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It won’t be long now

Posted by Andrew Shephard on 24th May 2017

Are you weary of the IoT? It is here as far as I’m concerned. I am able to check remotely that my tool shed is still secure, or what temperature the office is – from my phone. I know where my kids are right now and where they’ve been; I’d be surprised if my car-stereo doesn’t have an IP address for goodness sake.

Look out this year for technologies that accommodate vastly more ‘Things’ at the edge of the network. Think of a number and then add a few zeros. I remember seeing Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli speak at an IEF event 10 years ago, explaining his view of the sensory swarm, where sensors and tags were developing at the edge of the network connecting to the smartphones and other devices we already carry with us.  He was bang-on and lots of people have echoed his thoughts and presentations over the last 10 years – look him up.

Developments are now focused on making it cheaper, more reliable, properly secure and allowing the world to affordably act upon the information it provides. Deployments at the hazy edge of the manufacture of IoT elements will become so inexpensive the cost becomes irrelevant. It will involve the billions of things everyone comes in to contact with every day. There will be new approaches to the data structures needed to accommodate the necessarily huge data-sets we’ve now identified. We’ll all do more with less and remove tedium, make better decisions, and maybe even conserve some of those dwindling global resources… We live in hope.

It’s taken a while but we’ll finally see NFC and RFID allowing us to locate and track literally any ‘Thing – at costs that makes it worth doing. Brand owners will know what you bought, where and when it was purchased and maybe how recently you handled, used or consumed it. The Internet-enabled fridge finally finds purpose, by scanning itself and telling Alexa what to order tonight. Recycling plants will gain a whole new level of efficiency because tagged goods will be properly databased and can be identified instantly with zero error – and manufacturers will automatically be billed daily for the actual recycling cost.

It won’t be long now.

Andrew Shephard

Andrew’s engineering background and ‘fluff-free’ attitude combined with probably the broadest knowledge of technology installed in one PR brain ensures critical insight for Wildfire’s clients. He has driven campaigns for major forces in the semiconductor industry over 18 years including NEC Electronics, Sun Microelectronics and TSMC along with game-changing start-ups like Achronix and Nujira.