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How to Choose the Right IoT Connectivity Protocol for Your Connected Device

Choosing the right IoT connectivity protocol for your business is an important decision.

However, it’s not so black and white. Our team finds that customers underestimate the advantages and disadvantages for certain radio technologies. In some cases, we actually recommend cellular protocols to companies who are planning to deploy indoors. That’s because cellular IoT connectivity protocols can be easier to set up, provide better reliability, and allow the maker of the device to be in control of the data.

Many other decisions can impact the type of radio you should choose, such as availability of infrastructure (cellular network and Wi-Fi networks), or the price sensitivity of your customers. That’s why in this guide, we’ll discuss different IoT connectivity protocols, and which one could be the best connectivity option for your IoT solution.

Everything You Need to Know About Wi-Fi Connectivity 

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  • Minimal to no recurring cost — Unlike cellular devices, Wi-Fi connected devices come with no recurring costs. That’s because cellular devices require a SIM card and carry the cost of a data plan from a cellular provider. Wi-Fi also tends to be cheaper because you don’t have to pay to access the network infrastructure (i.e. the Wi-Fi network). It should be noted that IoT platforms often charge a small recurring fee for connectivity usage, including Wi-Fi. However, this recurring fee is much cheaper than your typical cellular connectivity data plan.
  • No bandwidth restrictions — No bandwidth restrictions make Wi-Fi a good choice for high bandwidth applications (like audio and video streaming). If you intend to stream security video footage from one place to another, Wi-Fi may be the way to go. For businesses, you don’t need to consider the cost of bandwidth because your devices will leverage your customers’ existing Wi-Fi networks.
  • Low latency — Due to complex carrier networking infrastructure, cellular devices typically have to transmit data through more systems than Wi-Fi. If the device is roaming, messages must go even farther and are often given lower priority. Additionally, in order to reach long distances from the tower, cellular radio protocols have to tolerate significant message loss by taking extra time to retransmit. As a result, Wi-Fi based devices exhibit lower latency than cellular devices.


  • Control of IoT connectivity — Wi-Fi connected devices are dependent on the router’s connection to the Internet. If your home router provides a weak Wi-Fi signal, your device will have a poor connection. Unlike cellular, a Wi-Fi device requires that your customers know how to configure the device for access to their network. Wi-Fi connectivity also puts device data in the hands of your customer, and that is less than optimal if the value of the solution resides in the data. 
  • Barriers — Wall construction material (such as drywall, metal framing, and building materials) often interfere with Wi-Fi signals.
  • Home Routers — Wi-Fi is great for many indoor connected products, as the devices are generally close to the router. Although, outdoor smart products (like connected hot tubs) are often too far from the home router to establish a reliable connection. Many products are available to help extend a Wi-Fi signal. However, this requires extra setup to get started. For outdoor coverage, Wi-Fi extenders or special outdoor access points are necessary, which also require power and add additional points of possible failure, plus additional costs.
  • Setup experience — Users constantly change SSIDs and passwords, which can easily disrupt a device’s connection to a router. Certain firewalls and other connection filtering solutions also require IT administration to configure a “work-around”, creating more setup complications. Cellular simply ‘works’ without any end-user configuration.

Everything You Need to Know About Cellular Connectivity

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  • Connect anywhere, anytime — Cellular networks cover 90 percent of the world’s population, allowing you to connect your IoT device pretty much anywhere.
  • Low power, low-cost — In recent years, the power and cost of cellular chips have reduced dramatically, meaning you can swap out cellular for Wi-Fi at a similar cost and power consumption. Cellular is now comparable in cost and power to Wi-FI, so you can consider them for more use cases.
  • Designed for traffic — Existing cellular infrastructures are designed to handle constant communication. Unlike Wi-Fi networks, cellular network quality is going to be more consistent across the United States. That’s because you’re essentially paying a company (like AT&T or Verizon) to manage and provide a strong connection. You’re also are not limited by how much data you can send over a cellular network due to no limiting regulations.
  • Penetration — Cellular communication protocols are better at reaching hard to reach or underground places because they can penetrate solid barriers easier.
  • Security — With a cellular network, you are paying another company to manage security for you, which makes security breaches less likely. On the other hand, Wi-Fi networks can easily be hacked if end-users don’t properly update and patch their home Wi-Fi networks. 


  • Data Plans – Accessing cellular infrastructure carries a recurring cost that not all IoT business models can support.
  • Managing carriers — Cellular carriers can be a pain to work with. It’s best to choose an IoT platform that takes care of the cellular carriers for you. Cellular carriers are more likely to respond to IoT providers faster because they are taking care of a larger amount of devices. If you’re a small business, you’re not going to be as high of a priority for cellular carriers. They will take care of larger clients before they take care of the smaller use cases, which is why IoT providers have an advantage to negotiate strong cellular carrier relationships.
  • Changing cellular IoT connectivity standards — Newer and better cellular standards are always coming out. Once it was about 3G, now it’s all about LTE. Fortunately, current LTE standards are designed to be deployable for the next 10+ years. So, you don’t need to change any time soon. However, Wi-Fi formats and structures change frequently with changing technologies. Cellular infrastructure is regulated by governments and maintained by companies dedicated to uptime.

How to Choose the Right Cellular Connectivity Option 

Unlike Wi-Fi, you have to make additional considerations on the type of cellular IoT connectivity you want for your IoT device. At the moment, 2G and 3G radio technologies are being phased out, so that eliminates some of the potential options. But there are still other radio technologies that need to be considered like Cat-M1 (LTE) and NB-IoT.


Category M1 (Cat-M1) is one of the newest cellular protocols available for IoT applications. Cat-M1 is an LTE chipset that is designed to integrate with sensors — it consumes less power, which means fewer truck visits and longer uptime. Verizon and AT&T just launched Cat-M1 networks a year ago, and IoT platforms  are starting to offer Cat-M1 as a part of their cellular connectivity offerings.

Narrowband IoT 

Narrowband IoT (also known as NB-IoT or LTE-NB1) is a proposed Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technology that is supposed to work anywhere. NB-IoT can be deployed within the existing LTE spectrum and carriers will be able to update their networks through firmware updates. NB-IoT can also be used as a standalone deployment within its own dedicated spectrum where deemed necessary.

Everything You Need to Know About Mesh Connectivity

As IoT platforms have matured, they have started to embrace a low-power, low-cost alternative that can bridge the gaps between these devices: wireless mesh networks.

wireless mesh network is an infrastructure of nodes (a mesh topology) that are wirelessly connected to each other. These nodes piggyback off each other to extend a radio signal (like a Wi-Fi or cellular connection) to route, relay, and proxy traffic to/from clients. Each node spreads the radio signal a little further than the last, minimizing the possibility of dead zones.

It should be noted that not all wireless mesh solutions provide these benefits, but this is the complete list that is unique to Particle Mesh:

  1. No Single Point of Failure – Build a local mesh network that is self-healing — if an individual device goes offline, the network can reconfigure itself to the closest connection. This means no data loss, no dead zones, no problems.
  2. Self-Extending – Additionally, if you need to get more range out of a mesh system, you can add another node and the messages can hop through the mesh back to the gateway.
  3. Reliable Networks – Interconnected devices can simultaneously transfer data smoothly and will not complicate the network connection. If one node goes down, another nearby node can pick up the connection and continue data communication.
  4. Low-cost, low-power – Using wireless mesh networks eliminate the cost and complexity of installing fiber/wires between facilities. As more or less coverage is needed, wireless mesh nodes can be added or removed. Mesh uses comparable amounts of energy as Bluetooth, so you can design devices that last for 3-5 years then get tossed and replaced.

Is Wireless Mesh Networking Right for You?

When using wireless mesh networks for your IoT project, it is important that you consider these three core variables: installation, network management, and support.

  1. Installation — This aspect entirely depends upon your intended application. You need to ask yourself if you actually needed a distributed set of mesh nodes for your use case. If you intend to implement wireless mesh networking for your home, this is relatively easy deployment that can be achieved with low-cost hardware. If you intend to implement mesh for commercial or industrial applications, you should setup a small-scale, prototype, mesh network to determine the efficiency of the system before deploying a mesh networking system at large.
  2. Device Management — Most wireless mesh networking solutions come with some form of device or network management through a desktop or mobile application. When comparing solutions, it’s important to find one that allows you to manage fleets of devices, monitor event logs, perform diagnostics, and send updates wirelessly. The more control you have over your mesh-topography the better.
  3. Support — When selecting a mesh-solution, it’s also important to consider the community surrounding it. Mesh networking solutions with limited adoption will have fewer resources available to aid you in development. For example, Particle’s development kits have a large developer community surrounding it, which makes it easier to find information and support when needed. Also, by selecting a more widely adopted wireless mesh networking solution, you will ensure that integrating your IoT device with existing cloud services will be easy.

How to Choose the Right IoT Connectivity Platform

IoT connectivity, Particle, IoT Platform

When examining IoT connectivity protocols, you also need to examine the current IoT platforms on the market. You need to choose an IoT platform that provides the right IoT connectivity for your solution. It’s often difficult to choose the right IoT platform because they all market themselves in a different way and don’t provide the same solutions. So, here are some questions you should ask yourself when choosing an IoT platform for your connectivity needs:

  • IoT Connectivity — How well does the vendor’s network coverage fit your business’s current and future initiatives?
  • Method of IoT connectivity — What type of IoT connectivity do you need? Do you need a Wi-Fi or cellular solution for your IoT product? You need to assess these needs and see how the vendor can address them.
  • Geographic Coverage — Do they provide embedded sim with global support? Does the IoT platform cover the regions your business needs?
  • Data Plan — Does the vendor offer a fair data plan? You’ll want the ability to pause or suspend your data services at any time and the ability to control how much data that is used.
  • Data Access  How will you integrate the data acquired through the IoT platform with your enterprise back ends and current cloud service? What do you plan to do with this data? Does the service match those needs?
  • Type of service  How does the IoT platform describe and sell themselves? Some services are purely IoT connectivity platforms, while others are end-to-end solutions that offer the hardware, software, and connectivity. You need to assess what your business needs. How will your needs change over time?

The Bottom Line

Choosing the right IoT connectivity protocol for your business or connected project is an important decision. You must consider the advantages and disadvantages of each radio protocol before moving forward with your project. Taking the time to become acquainted with the benefits of each radio protocol will save you a lot of headache and heartache down the road.

Here’s Why IoT Development Is a Necessity for Your Business

IoT development is essential to the prosperity of your business. Click here to learn more about the wide scale of applications for enterprise IoT.

The Internet of Things (IoT) has changed our perception of technology and its application in our daily lives. IoT is a technology that links all other technologies together! The IoT development market is expected to reach a value of over $457 US Billion dollars by the year 2020. Further fueling this growth, many of the top non-IT companies have already invested in IoT services by outsourcing it to IoT development companies.

On the other hand, we have other buzzwords and trends in technology such as blockchain. A technology which is hyped up so much due to its potential, yet not many know too much about it. It is true; the theoretical descriptions about blockchain applications are indeed revolutionary if these find a practical implementation. But nothing, yet, has been done with blockchain development, which proves anything about it.

But when it comes to IoT, its potential is clear, and its application in today’s smart devices has changed the way we perceive and understand objects and scenarios in our daily lives. Just about every sector and element in the corporate world has been affected by IoT development, and an iot development company today finds many clients willing to leverage this technology to attain competitive advantage. Here are all the reasons why your business needs it.

IoT Is Gradually Taking Control Over Hardware Operations

IoT development is mostly connecting smart devices to the Internet via a website, app, or software. Yes, IoT is mostly a better utilization of the Internet. But while its conventional uses involved the sync of virtually existing websites, images, and all multimedia elements within the world-wide-web interface, IoT takes it to a new hardware level.

The simple and traditional Internet could have, at most, affected how a website or app loads. IoT affects how collections of hardware function as a whole! Until the dawn of IoT, offline and online/cloud-based businesses were considered completely different from each other.

Today, as it stands, the online and virtual world is gradually taking control of the physical hardware. At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the greatest technologies, such as the steam engine, were almost entirely manually controlled. After the scientific revolution and in today’s age of information, the manufacturing of electronic and hardware-controlled devices is highly automated through software running on Internet networks. Even a finished, electronic product, such as a Tesla vehicle, can be controlled through a smartphone app today!

So, the future isn’t far when the doors of your office, the lights, software, computer systems, payroll, and everything else you could add in between could be controlled through a single device synced with every activity within the business environment.

And unlike something like blockchain, these examples aren’t merely an imagination of the mind. Instead, a primitive stage of such a use case can already be found with smart devices, such as the Philip hue Bulbs, Smart Routers, Smart Cameras by Nest, and Amazon Alexa-powered smart appliances of today.

The businesses of today are defined by their online presence and the ease with which it can deliver services through these mediums. In the future, the best companies will be the ones that make maximum use out of their IoT networks. 

Also read: How to leverage IoT & Big Data for Digital Transformation

IoT Can Be Combined With Anything!

To put the heading into context, we can consider IoT as a flavor enhancer in the world of technology. It can be used anywhere, and not just that; almost every existing technology can benefit from the application of IoT.

Let’s start with blockchain. This is, perhaps, the most hyped technology since the Internet. The integration of IoT with blockchain can result in revolutionary new methods for tracking supply chain operations. The transactions during the entire process of obtaining raw materials from suppliers and its transfer from middlemen to finally the retailer can be recorded on an immutable blockchain network and synced to smartphones through IoT to be viewed by consumers.

IoT can also be enhanced through AI and machine learning. Use cases of smart cameras using AI/ML for face detection and for identifying suspicious behavior have been discussed for a long time now. IoT can further enhance the technology by providing alerts to connected devices in case of threats and other notifications.

Yet, another technology where IoT finds its use is in chatbot development. Chatbots are considered to take the human-business interaction to newer levels with its neat interface, interactive communication experience, and instant delivery of information. With the use of IoT, chatbots can directly communicate with customers on behalf of the businesses. Chatbots equipped with access to sensors on appliances can inform its users about defects in the product or about any repairs or refillings that may be required. 

Also read: What can Chatbot development do to Revitalize your Business

That’s not all. IoT can be implemented in other applications, which include digital identity authentication, device authentication, and detection of counterfeit products through its integration with blockchain, AI/ML, and other technologies.

Remotely Accessing the Real World Through IoT

While the Internet was and is all about accessing tons of information through the world wide web, IoT is all about accessing the real world through the same technology. A company making full use of IoT can manage nearly all its operations through a single controller device. The next generation of consumers will be able to manage routine activities in their daily lives the same way, but the service they would be using to do so depends on which company puts its feet forward the earliest.

Companies such as Google and Amazon were able to capitalize on the Internet to make themselves successful. It is these companies yet again, which are first in the race to develop an ecosystem of IoT powered devices. Yet, it is unlikely that these two giants will hold a monopoly on this technology.

Today, new and emerging startups are coming up with new applications of IoT, and the advantage they have over the corporate giants is their unique specializations, something that top companies catering to wide audiences cannot gain so easily.

As long as you, as a business owner, have a specialization the product/service offered, and as long as you have an audience that can benefit from IoT, it makes absolute sense to have it implemented in your business. Unlike other technologies, like blockchain, IoT isn’t a hope for the future; it exists in the present, and companies are already leveraging it to the fullest.

Download The Comparative Guide to Rules Engines for IoT to learn what are the most common automation technologies used in the IoT domain for application development

IOT in Smart Cities: Future Urban Development Plan of Building One Community around Wireless and Internet Connectivity

Smart city is an urban development plan which is economically sustainable and offer high living standards to its residents. Technology has a key role to play in building smart cities. A smart city infrastructure incorporates various factors like Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Internet of things (IOT), public-private partnerships, social and human capital.

What is Internet of Things (IOT)?

Internet of Things (IOT) is connecting electronics devices (other than computers and smartphones) to internet for efficient monitoring and handling of day to day activities. They can be kitchen appliances, buildings, vehicles, health gadgets, lightings, waste disposal, security systems, energy management etc. These devices are connected to internet and monitored remotely.

The beneficiary of these devices are consumers, government and private enterprises. According to an estimate by Gartner INC, there will be 20 billion IOT devices by 2020.

IOT and Smart Cities

.In urban development ICT and IOT are important building blocks in creating a smart infrastructure for managing ever increasing city population. A smart city needs technological efficiency in transport, communication, safety measures and planning infrastructure.

In order to make cost effective, qualitative and self-sustainable infrastructure construction companies are incorporating IOT devices and solutions in their architecture plan. Governments of both developed and developing countries are working on public private partnerships (PPP) to bring IOT solutions in smart cities creation.

Some research firms estimate that by 2020 there will be investment of $400 billion every year in creating smart cities. Nearly $6 billion will be spent of IOT devices which will generate income of $13 trillion by 2025.

Must have technologies for every Smart City

1. Traffic Management and Parking Solutions

Traffic woes are a major problem faced by city dwellers. IOT devices can help immensely in giving dynamic and intelligent solutions to ever increasing traffic problems and parking space. The IOT devices can help in avoiding traffic jams, suggest feasible time to travel and give parking information about crowded places. IOT monitored traffic signals can function on vehicle density instead of time bands. Parking sensors can suggest a spot free for parking. These measures will save time, energy, gas emissions and maintain an easy flow of traffic.

Many European cities have incorporated these technologies successfully. A crowded city like Paris has minimized its traffic problem by adopting parking sensors. London is also working on its smart parking project that will help drivers in locating free parking spots. These cities are also experimenting on electric car and bike sharing models. Some examples of parking apps in Europe and US are ParkingPanda, SpotHero, Parker, and BestParking.

2. Waste Management

Waste management is a big issue for municipal bodies in urban areas. Large population generates large amount of waste. IOT enabled smart bins, garbage disposal methods, monitoring devices for wastes will help neighborhoods to maintain a clean and green surrounding.

Many waste disposal companies are developing devices powered by renewable energy. Some localities are using solar powered devices to assess the required capacity of garbage bins. Identification of trash in the form of bio-degradable, e-waste, non-degradable will save our environment from further degradation. Both government and private firms are looking for smart solutions which have least impact on our eco-system. Big Belly, Smart Bin, Zero Cycle are some companies which are giving IOT enabled waste management.

3. Security Systems

Safety and security are prime concern of Governments world over. Without technology it is difficult to trace the negative elements in overly crowded towns and cities. Top grade surveillance programs are required to eliminate the suspects. IOT sound sensors, smart video surveillance, smart streetlights and latest drone technology can quickly help police and security personnel in detecting the place of terror, number of gunshots or strikes, suspects involved and number of people affected.

IOT in security systems can also help in efficient monitoring of public places like markets, malls, airports, hotels, metro stations, banks and hospitals. They are must haves in residential and commercial buildings.

The recent surge in the market of security and surveillance products around the globe depict their necessity. Both developing and developed world are vulnerable to terror attacks. IOT in this segment can help tremendously in saving people’s lives and resources.

4. Smart Energy Consumption

Technology has made our lives easier but it has also impacted our environment negatively in last 100 years. Over utilization of natural resources in the form of nonrenewable energy like petrol, diesel, coal, wood has harmed our ecosystem. To safeguard the future of our coming generations’ countries are investing in renewable form of energy like solar, wind and water.

In lighting segment, LEDs are game changer. They reduce cost and excel on longevity factor. It is estimated that United States will convert all its streetlights into LEDS that will save $14million every year.

In renewable energy segment, European countries have taken the lead. Germany, United Kingdom, France, Italy have fared well in this segment. China, Australia and Japan are also harnessing solar, wind, hydroelectricity.

The new form of energy consumption will be linked with IOT devices which will help individuals, civic bodies, industries to check energy metrics. This will help in saving water consumption, improve air quality, sewage disposal and effective power generation.

5. Healthcare Services

Modern age has brought in sedentary lifestyles. Even though advancement in medicine and technology has improved ‘Life expectancy’ of human beings, it has also created new kinds of diseases and health problems in urban population. IOT in health sector helps in remote monitoring, smart sensors and activity tracker devices.

Smart cities need smart hospitals which can track patients remotely, provide emergency services quickly, offer preventive measures, analyze patient’s data and utilize them in better research practices. For example, some hospitals have smart wristbands for newborns which alert the staff if baby is taken outside the nursing room.  Also, medical staff receive alerts if any patient is critical or need emergency care.

Apart from medical application, they are creating sustainable development through better utilization of food, energy, hospital waste management, inventory management etc. Future of smart cities will be incomplete without proper health and wellness centers for its residents.

Downfall of Internet of things

Like any other new thing IOT comes with certain disadvantages as well. Foremost is security and privacy. All these devices collect lots of personal data and unless it is not encrypted, it can be shared and misused by a known or unknown. These devices are still in a nascent stage and security experts feel that a lot has to be done in this domain.

Complexity is another issue to be tackled. IOT devices make use of multiple technologies based on different platform or architecture. Problem in one device can malfunction the whole system which might incur more cost and time.

Also while implementing them right assessment of infrastructure and capacity, management of different devices, avoiding interference and checking security lapses must be covered.

As it is still in the development process, new and innovative standards are applied by different organizations. It is essential to form a stable, wholesome and common ground for IOT to overcome the disadvantages, reap the positives and benefit the mankind. In the end, smart cities are ever growing phenomenon and without IOT devices it is impossible to see the future of our cities.

In Search of Perpetual Power for IoT Devices

Some IoT devices are able to operate for years on a single battery, but there is demand for devices that will operate even longer, or with much smaller power sources. Some experimental technologies hold the promise of (almost) perpetual power.

Powering small remote Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as sensors that can’t be connected to an external power source has been one of IoT’s big challenges: you don’t want to be changing the battery on a buried parking sensor or water meter every year.

Thankfully that’s not necessary. One of the main claims for all the low powered wide area radio networks such as LoRaWAN, Sigfox and NB-IoT is that they are sufficiently niggardly with their energy requirements for radio communication that devices using them can cheerfully operate for a decade or so on an AA battery.

But that’s not good enough for some people. In particular if you are embedding something into a human body, you don’t want to be digging it out to change the battery: not even once per decade. So there are a number of companies developing technologies that, they say, will keep an IoT device running indefinitely.

One of the most easily understood, and most plausible, is harvesting the radio frequency (RF) energy that is all around us: radio and TV broadcasts, WiFi, mobile cellular communications and even other IoT networks like LoRaWAN and Sigfox.

Some of the others candidates can only be truly understood with at least a PhD in physics, and seem to violate the laws of physics, but I’m going to attempt to give you some insights into them.

Let’s start with the most easily understood: RF energy harvesting. Such products are already available. Freevolt, for example, claims to have technology that harvests RF energy from wireless and broadcast networks such as 2G, 3G, 4G, WiFi and Digital TV.

Evercell: Energy from Thin Air?

Far more interesting, and exotic, is Evercell. According to its developers it will be a postage stamp sized device that will come in three variants producing, respectively, 4.32 microwatts, 400 nanowatts and 800 nanowatts of continuous power at 1.2 volts.

Not a lot, granted, but you could string a whole lot together in series and parallel to generate usable electrical power. And where does that power come from? Well, it’s all around us. At any temperature above absolute zero all matter is in motion and the hotter it gets the more energetic that motion becomes.

Evercell claims to be able to tap that energy, and convert it into electricity. On the face of it that makes the device a perpetual motion machine, almost: you could use it to suck energy out of the environment and power a motor until Doomsday, or more precisely until the Universe was at absolute zero and there was no energy left in the environment.

The second law of thermodynamics, as stated in classic physics at least, says you can’t do that. We encounter this very day in our homes: your fridge extracts energy from its contents by cooling them but consumes more energy than is extracted to achieve that cooling.

Evercell claims its device works by implementing an idea put forward only as a ‘thought experiment’ by pioneer physicist James Clark Maxwell, known as Maxwell’s Demon.

Maxwell’s Demon was able to separate the faster moving particles from the slower ones, thus extracting in the form of these faster mobile particles. But it was only a thought experiment, with no expectation that such a function could be realised.

Evercell essentially claims to have developed technology that mimics the action of Maxwell’s Demon, to put it crudely, in the form of some sort of semi-permeable membrane that lets only the faster particles pass through.

Where it gets interesting, and well beyond me, is that recent studies suggest that the second law of thermodynamics might need some modification and that such a device might be theoretically possible. (If you’ve got a PhD in physics send me an email and I will send you some links).

So, it’s just possible that Evercell is real and will be available to buy someday soon.

Wave Energy, Graphene Style

Even more exotic is graphene as a source of energy. Graphene is exotic enough on its own: a one atom thick layer of carbon with some truly amazing properties.

Now, according to this August 2018 article from the World Economic Forum (WEF), “A team of researchers at the University of Arkansas has found evidence to suggest graphene could also be used to provide an unlimited supply of clean energy.”

There was nothing new in the WEF article; it was basically a rehash of a November 2017 press release from the University of Arkansas. It says: “The research of Paul Thibado, professor of physics at the University of Arkansas, provides strong evidence that the motion of two-dimensional materials could be used as a source of clean, limitless energy.”

Thibado, according to the article, “predicts that his generators could transform our environment, allowing any object to send, receive, process and store information, powered only by room temperature heat.”

In principle at least Thibado’s technology is rather easy to understand. His team discovered that a sheet of graphene is in a constant state of micro-motion, rippling up and down, and he has designed a “Vibration Energy Harvester” to extract energy from this motion.

“A negatively charged sheet of graphene [is] suspended between two metal electrodes. When the graphene flips up, it induces a positive charge in the top electrode, and when it flips down, it positively charges the bottom one, creating an alternating current.”

The samples of graphene are about 10 nanometers by 10 nanometers. He claims each can generate 10-11 watts. At this size, 20,000 could fit on a pinhead.

According to the University of Arkansas, Thibado plans to produce a proof of concept—a device capable of charging a capacitor using only ambient heat and the motion of graphene—within a year.

No mention was made of the energy likely to be available from said capacitor, or how long it would take to charge.

Evercell and Thibado’s experiments have something in common. Evercell’s technology seems to impose order on the random movement of matter via some sort of membrane with selective permeability, and so extract usable energy from the energy present in all matter above absolute zero.

Thibado seems to have discovered some order inherent in the motion of atoms in a sheet of graphene; they have a wave motion that can be harnessed and converted into electrical energy.

If either, or both, of these developments prove to be viable they will have profound and far-reaching impacts.



This article was originally publishedhere on www.iotaustralia.org.au on November 27, 2018.

Written by Stuart Corner, Editor at IoTAustralia.org.au.

Most Popular Internet of Things Protocols, Standards and Communication Technologies

Now, let’s get to the specifics of IoT wireless protocols, standards and technologies. There are numerous options and alternatives, but we’ll discuss the most popular ones.



MQTT (Message Queue Telemetry Transport) is a lightweight protocol for sending simple data flows from sensors to applications and middleware.

The protocol functions on top of TCP/IP and includes three components: subscriber, publisher and broker. The publisher collects data and sends it to subscribers. The broker tests publishers and subscribers, checking their authorization and ensuring security.

MQTT suits small, cheap, low-memory and low-power devices.


DDS (Data Distribution Service) is an IoT standard for real-time, scalable and high-performance machine-to-machine communication. It was developed by the Object Management Group (OMG).

You can deploy DDS both in low-footprint devices and in the cloud.

The DDS standard has two main layers:

  • Data-Centric Publish-Subscribe (DCPS), which delivers the information to subscribers
  • Data-Local Reconstruction Layer (DLRL), which provides an interface to DCPS functionalities


AMQP (Advanced Message Queuing Protocol) is an application layer protocol for message-oriented middleware environments. It is approved as an international standard.

The processing chain of the protocol includes three components that follow certain rules.

  1. Exchange — gets messages and puts them in the queues
  2. Message queue — stores messages until they can be safely processed by the client app
  3. Binding — states the relationship between the first and the second components


Bluetooth is a short-range communications technology integrated into most smartphones and mobile devices, which is a major advantage for personal products, particularly wearables.

Bluetooth is well-known to mobile users. But not long ago, the new significant protocol for IoT apps appeared — Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE), or Bluetooth Smart. This technology is a real foundation for the IoT, as it is scalable and flexible to all market innovations. Moreover, it is designed to reduce power consumption.

  • Standard: Bluetooth 4.2
  • Frequency: 2.4GHz
  • Range: 50-150m (Smart/BLE)
  • Data Rates: 1Mbps (Smart/BLE)


ZigBee 3.0 is a low-power, low data-rate wireless network used mostly in industrial settings.

The Zigbee Alliance even created the universal language for the Internet of Things — Dotdot — which makes it possible for smart objects to work securely on any network and seamlessly understand each other.

  • Standard: ZigBee 3.0 based on IEEE802.15.4
  • Frequency: 2.4GHz
  • Range: 10-100m
  • Data Rates: 250kbps


Wi-Fi is the technology for radio wireless networking of devices. It offers fast data transfer and is able to process large amounts of data.

This is the most popular type of connectivity in LAN environments.  

  • Standard: Based on IEEE 802.11
  • Frequencies: 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands
  • Range: Approximately 50m
  • Data Rates: 150-200Mbps, 600 Mbps maximum

Cellular LTE & NbioT

Cellular technology is the basis of mobile phone networks. But it is also suitable for the IoT apps that need functioning over longer distances. They can take advantage of cellular communication capabilities such as GSM, 3G, 4G (and 5G soon).

The technology is able to transfer high quantities of data, but the power consumption and the expenses are high too. Thus, it can be a perfect solution for projects that send small amounts of information.

  • Standard: GSM/GPRS/EDGE (2G), UMTS/HSPA (3G), LTE (4G)
  • Frequencies: 900/1800/1900/2100MHz
  • Range: 35km (GSM); 200km (HSPA)
  • Data Rates: 35-170kps (GPRS), 120-384kbps (EDGE), 384Kbps-2Mbps (UMTS), 600kbps-10Mbps (HSPA), 3-10Mbps (LTE)


LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network) is a protocol for wide area networks. It is designed to support huge networks (e.g. smart cities) with millions of low-power devices.

LoRaWAN can provide low-cost mobile and secure bidirectional communication in various industries.

  • Standard: LoRaWAN
  • Frequency: Various
  • Range: 2-5km (urban area), 15km (suburban area)
  • Data Rates: 0.3-50 kbps


The Internet of Thing has become the basis of digital transformation and automation, developing new business offerings and improving the way we live, work and entertain ourselves.

Choosing the appropriate type of connectivity is an inevitable part of any IoT project. This article gives you a general idea of how to link your smart thing to the net. If you want to make a precise IoT protocols comparison or need professional help in other IT services, request consultation with a SaM Solutions’ specialist. For 25 years, we have been providing IT consulting and custom software engineering services to our clients, and have versatile experience in different areas.


Designing for Peak Power in Mobile Electronic Devices

Consideration of peak power requirements via careful design and battery selection can dramatically increase battery runtime and, ultimately, customer satisfaction.

Most electronic devices exhibit a pulsing behavior, where peak power is much higher than standby power. This includes mobile (i.e., battery-operated) devices. Some common examples of battery-operated devices with pulsing behavior include:

  • Wireless sensors that periodically transmit information across a long distance
  • Electric hand tools and toys with actuating motors
  • Bluetooth audio speakers with high dynamic range
  • Medical-device pumps with backup-battery supplies

A major design goal for a mobile device is to maximize battery runtime (no one wants to face the ire directed at Apple over their phones’ battery problems). Typically, the largest design efforts to achieve this involve minimizing standby power through careful selection and implementation of components with low quiescent power. An example of products that do this well are biometric sensors powered by energy harvesting. However, there should be an equal emphasis on designing for peak power, because an inability to support these peaks will result in premature battery replacement.

As a battery loses charge, it diminishes its ability to deliver peak power. This is due to a property of batteries known as internal resistance. This resistance is modeled in series with the battery output, and is a function of the battery’s size, chemistry, age, temperature, and state of charge. Figure 1 shows an equivalent circuit of a battery driving a simple load, with internal resistance shown as parameter ‘r’.


1. Here’s an equivalent circuit of a battery driving a simple load, with internal resistance shown as parameter ‘r’.

As the internal resistance increases, more power is dissipated across it and less is available for the load. Eventually, the internal resistance becomes so large that the battery will not be able to deliver sufficient peak power, especially in a pulsing application. A significant factor of internal resistance is state of charge—as a battery becomes depleted, it increases internal resistance. This behavior is shown in Figure 2.

A pulsing application requires low internal resistance for proper function. For example, consider a scenario where a 3-V battery needs to periodically deliver 0.5 A to a pulsed load such as a smoke alarm. From analysis of Fig. 1, if the battery’s internal resistance is 3 Ω, then the voltage available for the motor is 3 – (3 × 0.5) = 1.5 V, and the motor would not run well at all. If the battery matched the behavior shown in Fig. 2, it would reach this bad state (internal resistance = 3 Ω) when it still had 60% capacity left and would already need to be replaced! This is an example of peak power limiting battery runtime. Ideally, a battery should be usable across its entire range of charge.

Fortunately, several design techniques can prevent this from happening:

1. Peak power pulses can be reduced by introducing large capacitors near the load circuit, by spreading out discharge energy over time. This ability is limited by the size and cost of the capacitors that the device can accommodate.

2. Peak power pulses can also be reduced by slowly ramping up (e.g., soft starting) the load. This is limited by the dynamic requirements of the circuit, and how slowly it can ramp up while still functioning well.

3. Series resistance within the circuit can be lowered through careful design of connectors, wiring, and PCB layout. For very high peak power devices like motors, a small reduction of 100 mΩ can have a noticeable effect. One pro tip is to avoid using battery “spring” connectors like those shown in Figure 3 for high-power applications. These connectors can have hundreds of milliohms of series resistance and thus have a detrimental impact on applications with motors.

5. Finally, choose the right battery for the application. Careful consideration should be paid to internal resistance over the life of the product, to prevent premature battery replacement. Good examples of variation are shown in Figures 4 and 5, which indicate significant differences in internal resistance for coin-cell and alkaline batteries.

3. Avoid battery spring connectors, like the ones pictured here, in high-power applications.

The HelmetFit product, a wireless air pump designed at Bresslergroup, employed several of these techniques to optimize performance and battery life. Careful selection of the internal pump (technique #4) and battery (technique #5) were combined with a soft-start algorithm (technique #2) to maximize battery life while delivering peak performance in all applications.

4. There are significant differences in internal resistance for coin-cell and alkaline batteries. Compare this chart showing alkaline AAA battery internal resistance (IR) vs. depth of discharge to that in Fig. 5. (Source: Radio Shack)

5. Choosing the right battery for the application is key to preventing premature battery replacement. This chart shows coin-cell 2450 battery internal resistance (IR) vs. depth of discharge. (Source: Energizer)

Internal resistance can prevent using the entire battery capacity in pulsing applications. Consideration must be given to peak power requirements, through prudent design and battery selection, to significantly boost battery runtime.

 (This article was first published in Electronic Design as Designing for Peak Power in Mobile Devices.)

IoT in Healthcare: Remote patient monitoring

Medical or healthcare industry exists when our species exists. In modern times, our healthcare industry is far away from what we need. The doctor-patient ratio is over 25000:1 in some less developed area. In some developed country, the ratio is also over 200:1. Nowadays, people are finding a way to increase the number of patients that one doctor manage.

IoT(Internet of things) is the solution about that. With IoT medical devices, the doctors can take care of more patients. There are many benefits of IoT for hospitals and healthcare.

1.  Decreased Costs

When healthcare providers take advantage of the connectivity of healthcare solutions, patient monitoring can be done on a real-time basis, thus significantly cutting down on unnecessary visits by doctors. In particular, home care facilities that are advanced are guaranteed to cut down on hospital stays and re-admissions.

2.  Reduced Errors:

Accurate collection of data, automated workflows combined with data-driven decisions are an excellent way of cutting down on waste, reducing system costs and most importantly minimizing errors.

3.  Enhanced Patient Experience:

The connectivity of the health care system through the internet of things. places emphasis on the needs of the patient. That is, proactive treatments, improved accuracy when it comes to diagnosis, timely intervention by physicians and enhanced treatment outcomes result in accountable care that is highly trusted among patients.

IoT in Healthcare: Remote patient monitoring

With this solution, there are several advantage:

1. 1 or 2 doctors can manage hundreds of patients(Non-emergency condition)

2. Doctors needn’t collect the data from patients, and they can do more important work.

3. Compared with manual data collecting, the system is more efficient and accurate.

4. Doctors can read the historical record in the database. No worry about record missing.

What is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?


A minimum viable product (MVP) is a concept from Lean Startup that stresses the impact of learning in new product development. Eric Ries, defined an MVP as that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort. This validated learning comes in the form of whether your customers will actually purchase your product.

A key premise behind the idea of MVP is that you produce an actual product (which may be no more than a landing page, or a service with an appearance of automation, but which is fully manual behind the scenes) that you can offer to customers and observe their actual behavior with the product or service. Seeing what people actually do with respect to a product is much more reliable than asking people what they would do.

Expected Benefits

The primary benefit of an MVP is you can gain understanding about your customers’ interest in your product without fully developing the product. The sooner you can find out whether your product will appeal to customers, the less effort and expense you spend on a product that will not succeed in the market.

Common Pitfalls

Teams use the term MVP, but don’t fully understand its intended use or meaning. Often this lack of understanding manifests in believing that an MVP is the smallest amount of functionality they can deliver, without the additional criteria of being sufficient to learn about the business viability of the product.

Teams may also confuse an MVP–which has a focus on learning–for a Minimum Marketable Feature (MMF) or Minimum Marketable Product (MMP)–which has a focus on earning. There’s not too much harm in this unless the team becomes too focused on delivering something without considering whether it is the right something that satisfies customer’s needs.

Teams stress the minimum part of MVP to the exclusion of the viable part. The product delivered is not sufficient quality to provide an accurate assessment of whether customers will use the product.

Teams deliver what they consider an MVP, and then do not do any further changes to that product, regardless of feedback they receive about it.

Potential Costs

Proper use of an MVP means that a team may dramatically change a product that they deliver to their customers or abandon the product together based on feedback they receive from their customers. The minimum aspect of MVP encourages teams to do the least amount of work possible to useful feedback (Eric Ries refers to this as validated learning) which helps them avoid working on a product that no one wants.


2009: The concept of MVP gained popularity after Eric Ries described it in his book the Lean Startup

Signs of Use

A team effectively uses MVP as the core piece of a strategy of experimentation. They hypothesize that their customers have a need and that the product the team is working on satisfies that need. The team then delivers something to those customers in order to find out if in fact the customers will use the product to satisfy those needs. Based on the information gained from this experiment, the team continues, changes, or cancels work on the product.

Further Reading

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

Six IoT predictions for 2019

From security issues to skills shortages, these are the most important Internet of Things things to look for in the new year.

1. IoT growth will continue — in devices, data, and investment

Well, duh. According to IDC, the IoT is going to stay hot, with investment expected to top $1 trillion by 2020, just one year after 2019. That will help fund a 30 percent annual growth rate in cellular IoT connections until 2023, per Ericsson (as reported in Forbes), which I calculate to result in about 1.3 billion connections in 2019. Looked at another way, IoT devices and services will reach an inflection point of 18 to 20 percent adoption in 2019, per DBS Asian Insights (pdf).

Heck, at this rate, 2019 might even be the year when average consumers finally get the message of what the IoT is actually all about, and why they should care.

2. 5G networks will make their presence felt

Sure, lots of IoT devices rely on low-powered, low-data-rate networks such as NB-IoT and Cat-M. But the rollout of of 5G networks will have a big effect on high-end IoT applications linked to robotics and automation, virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) and artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML).

As Warren Chaisatien, Ericsson’s global director of IoT customer engagement marketing, said on the company blog, “5G will enhance the capabilities of edge and cognitive computing, which will be particularly vital to certain applications, like self-driving cars, where computing must be performed as close to the device as possible to reduce latency of decision making. The list of industries ready to take their businesses to the next level with 5G finally becoming available is long, including manufacturing, transport/logistics, public safety/emergency, and smart cities.”


3. IoT security will be a more important than ever

Put as simply as possible, the huge increase in the number of IoT devices in use pretty much automatically leads to an accompanying rise in security vulnerabilities. And more vulnerabilities leads to more attacks and more damage, in everything from smart homes to high-security government and corporate installations. In fact, weak security on many devices means the IoT isn’t just a victim of these attacks; it can also be used to create powerful botnets that hackers can leverage to carry out cyber attacks on the IoT and other targets. Panda Lab, for example, expects to see more attacks on IoT devices, routers, and Wi-Fi networks.

4. Big will be beautiful

Observers such as Data Art expect the biggest players to dominate the IoT marketin 2019 in a variety of ways. While platform vendors such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Google increase their footprint, other organizations will “flock to them for the promise of simplification at scale.” Similarly, Analysys Mason sees carriers such as AT&T, Verizon, and Vodafone remaining bullish about IoT.

While big IoT platforms battle for market share, we’ll see smaller players focus on niche areas to survive (e.g., data movement, industry-specific challenges, certain types of devices, etc.).

5. Some players will give up on IoT

At the same time, though, other firms may find they’re not up for the rough and tumble IoT market. This is already happening — to an extent — as evidenced by GE’s move to spin off its Predix IoT platform. Smaller players may have to focus on niches such as data movement, industry-specific challenges, and certain types of devices, according to Data Art.

But Analysys Mason expects small operators to face the hardest choices in supporting IoT: « Without the funds to invest in their own capabilities, they are stuck with unattractive options: sell connectivity (and compete largely on price) or also try to sell capabilities developed by others (but offer nothing unique). … Some operators, especially small single country operators or low-cost challengers, will simply invest elsewhere.”

6. The IoT skills shortage will continue

IDG Connect reports that according to a Canonical report, more than two-thirds of companies can’t hire the IoT experts they need, and Experis’ Tech Cities Job Watchreport says the demand for technology skills has jumped by a third due to the huge increase in connected IoT devices. Big data pros and cyber security experts are said to be in especially high demand, along with IT workers who have experience in device equipment, application development, and general utilization of IoT technology.

Clearly, there’s an opportunity here!


By Network World   https://www.networkworld.com/article/3330738/six-iot-predictions-for-2019.html

IOT Data Secured Forever



Ubirch presents a « Blockchain on a SIM » solution at MWC Barcelona 2019
21.02.2019, Cologne/Barcelona. « Blockchain on a SIM » – Under this motto, Ubirch presents its
award-winning blockchain-based technology from February 25th to 28th, 2019 for the first time,
at the MWC Barcelona (Mobile World Congress).
The Ubirch procedure works in a similar way to the notary’s certification and sealing of a
document. It seals the data directly within the device, only milliseconds after the measurement,
not after transmission in a cloud. The Ubirch client is extremely lightweight and efficient – so even
the smallest edge devices and even SIM cards can be used.
Stephan Noller, CEO of Ubirch: « The trustworthiness of the SIM-card in combination with the
Ubirch technology to secure IoT data – this can be a game changer for the industry, especially for
the protection of industrial equipment and critical infrastructures. »
At the Ubirch booth, visitors can see a demonstrator, which shows how the Blockchain solution
makes the Internet secure so that businesses and consumers can trust the delivered data of the
billions of devices which are connected to the internet.
Ubirch booth at MWC Barcelona: Hall 8 / booth 8.OG8
Ubirch CEO Stephan Noller is available for interviews at the exhibition stand on February 25th and
26th February in Barcelona.