For the first time in history and at some point during 2016, the total number of connected devices will surpass the volume of people on the earth. The American market research company Gartner, have calculated that during 2015, there were approximately five billion devices, such as tablets, smart electricity meters, smartphones, factory machines and cars with the ability to communicate by means of the Internet. During 2016, it is anticipated that this figure will rise to somewhere around seven or eight billion, which is a higher number than the 7.4 billion people who currently live on earth. There is already talk among analysts that the anticipated number of connected devices will be somewhere around 24-35 billion by the year 2020. The IOT (Internet of Things) has been rapidly expanding at a rate of 40% per annum. BI Intelligence market researchers anticipate the entire outlay for system integration, application development and hardware could reach to some $6billion dollars over the course of the next five years.
Due to an extensive number of applications and user added value, the Internet of Things is thriving. With devices such as Smartphones it is possible for users to shop online, use the GPS to navigate round an unfamiliar city, check flight details, and much more. Cars, washing machines, traffic lights, and trains deliver warning signs that they require servicing. Consumption data is automatically sent by electricity meters, and the robots in factories have PC boards which send signals so the robot knows which components to choose.
However, complexity goes hand in hand with quantity, and there already exists an obvious problem. Consider a modern office, by way of example. As well as many thermostats and smoke detectors there are a whole host of other sensors from other services covering the entire building. There may be one for lights to come on in a room if someone is present. Another example could be the building’s security system, or perhaps a sensor which reduces or increases the heating/air conditioning after the last person has left the room. Maybe there is something which controls the window blinds?
Reducing the level of complexity is the key factor here, one which simplifies the processes. It is paramount that communications between the devices is harmonized and perhaps by means of using an existing infrastructure, the Internet of Things can be docked. Anywhere there are people, either in their homes or out in the towns and cities, there will always be artificial lighting. In many of the street lights, there is sufficient space to incorporate a microchip or digital sensor. If you think about it, for today’s more modern LED’s it is necessary to have digital electronics.
Furthermore, because the street lights require electricity, a power supply has already been integrated. So there are no concerns about changing batteries, or cabling individual senor’s every 1-2 years. Sometimes this may need to be done more often, and for large commercial buildings, it means a lot of manpower and a lot of work hours. The lights in most commercial buildings are installed either in the ceilings or walls, which is the best location for the sensors. Communications with these wall and ceiling installations and their connection to access points can be undertaken using existing data cabling or wirelessly.
In brief, a building’s existing light set-up is the most ideal foundation for the Internet of Things. To put it a different way, the Internet of Light has to be the most highly-effective instrument when it comes to turning the Internet of Things into a handy tool for the future.
ce the luminaires need electricity the power supply is already integrated, so to speak. No one need worry any longer about cabling the individual sensors or changing batteries, which they would otherwise have to do every year or two or even more often – which in large buildings means a lot of work. What’s more, luminaires are mostly installed on walls or ceilings and therefore in the best places for including sensors. And communication with them and connection to the access points for the internet can be either wireless or via the data cabling that is already in place anyway.
In short, the existing infrastructure for light is the ideal basis for the Internet of Things. Or to put it another way, the “Internet of Light” is the most powerful instrument for developing the Internet of Things into the useful tool that it can be in the future.