According to multiple analyst reports, the Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to see at least 10 times growth between now and the year 2020 – forecasts based on both market size and the number of connections across the globe. The adoption of IoT technology is resulting in significant advancements across all kinds of industries, from consumer to industrial, and making the possibilities of a connected world almost limitless.
Despite the undeniably intriguing future of a connected world, IoT is still very fragmented. Very recognisable on the industrial side, these diverse markets require vastly different solutions based on specific considerations for security, networking, technology and probably most pointedly, daily operations. For example, oil and gas producers have different requirements than manufacturers, which have different requirements than government entities, and so on. There is however, one common thread ever-present across the fabric of the entire industrial IoT ecosystem – wireless networks.
With regards to IoT, most people think of data and devices, and how the two are inextricably linked together; thus the concept behind Machine-to-Machine (M2M). Without wireless communications as the conduit to deliver data between devices (or machines), M2M and therefore IoT wouldn’t exist. After all, a “smart” device with no connection isn’t really “smart” at all. Wireless, therefore, is ubiquitous in the IoT and M2M ecosystem, and if fragmentation is the question, wireless – the glue that connects everything, everywhere together – is the ultimate answer.
“The underlying force behind M2M and our increasingly connected world is the communications technologies that bring it all together,” explained Sam Lucero, Senior Principal Analyst at IHS. “Mobility, productivity and connecting geographically distributed resources provides a strong case for wireless as a strategic business tool for the future.”
Connecting the unconnected to automate process, access data and control things from afar, and one company that has done a good job of this is FreeWave Technologies. For more than 21 years, FreeWave has been in the thick of designing, manufacturing and delivering M2M communications solutions to enable the most diverse and challenging industrial IoT projects known to man – from the peaks of Mount Everest to the oilfields in Texas, for the U.S. military to some of the largest manufacturers on the planet.
2014 proved to be another banner year for the Boulder, Colorado based innovator. On the product side, the company launched its award-winning WavePoint® platform, a versatile high speed wireless networking platform that securely communicates industrial data over long distances to enable M2M, broadband and SCADA system applications. Just last month, FreeWave also introduced its WaveContact product family, expanding the company’s wireless I/O solutions for industrial M2M and IoT applications in remote and hazardous locations. Both of these products reinforced the central core belief that surrounds FreeWave’s direction for the future.
“Our goal is to enable a world where implementing the Internet of Things (IoT) is effortless through universal wireless access to data from any Machine to Machine (M2M) device from any location across the world,” explained Kim Niederman, CEO of FreeWave Technologies. “WavePoint and WaveContact are our first steps toward making this vision a reality.”
Adapted from press release by Joe Green