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Living Up to the Potential of IoT


The Internet of Things (IoT) has been deemed one of the drivers of the 4th industrial revolution, which is a lot of hype for the technology to live up to. Cisco predicts the number of devices connected to the internet will hit 30 B by 2020 and jump to 500 B by 2030. It’s clear that IoT is still in its infancy and there is a lot of economic and social impact this technology can bring to our world but reaching the full potential of IoT is not without its challenges. One of the keys to success will be the integration of IoT with other transformative technologies such as next generation networks, 5G, security, and artificial intelligence (AI). Leveraging and leading IoT innovation will be a defining factor of the winners and losers in the next technological landscape.

What’s the value of having 500 B devices connected to the internet? From a simplistic outlook, IoT is data that is generated, collected, and analyzed from sensors, meters, and other devices interconnected through the internet. The goal is to use that data to increase asset utilization, lower costs, and introduce new services. Harnessing the potential of IoT will enable businesses and communities to make smarter decisions through a data-driven approach to achieve operational efficiencies, revolutionize their value chains, and improve their relationships with their customers

In Canada, IoT has the ability to make significant enhancements to our country’s telecommunications sector as well as other industries. According to IDC, it’s expected that the global IoT market will hit over $1 T by the year 2022; it’s important for Canada to be a big part of this. Vertical markets such as manufacturing, automotive, retail and health care will benefit from IoT, as well as Canada’s natural resources industries in agriculture, mining, and energy. We’re starting to see advancements and new initiatives to help drive innovation and growth within these industries through the use of IoT sensor and automated device technologies.

Complete end-to-end solutions will be required for IoT to be a transformative force, and in this regard partnerships are key. Rarely do companies have the resources to build an end-to-end IoT solution, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). A high-performing IoT solution often has several elements including the sensor, network, security, software for analysis, artificial intelligence, data management, and storage. Validating that the different components for a fully-functional IoT deployment are properly integrated with one another is vital. For example, the company developing a software analytics program will need to ensure that their solution is compatible with sensors, networks, and other parts of the IoT cycle.

With 500 B devices connected to the internet by 2030, there is going to be a lot of data to manage, which also infers there will be a lot of data to secure. Concerns grow when topics such as autonomous vehicles, connected healthcare, and smart city services enter the equation making it easy to see the gravity of what can go wrong in the event of a security breach. When rolling out new IoT products and solutions the focus is often on moving items to market and ROI, which can leave security as an afterthought. The billions of devices interconnected by the internet present additional avenues for hackers as the devices can also serve as entry points into networks and systems. We are set to see high-growth for the IoT sector and it’s important that innovative security solutions are produced at the same pace.

In addition to security, IoT will rely on a strong and durable network to perform successfully. IoT deployments produce high-volumes of data from sensors that need to be transported across networks in real-time. Next generation networks and 5G are the foundational elements that will enable the success of IoT. As a leader in next generation networking, CENGN provides a commercial-grade infrastructure and technical expertise to help Canadian businesses validate and scale their technology to succeed in the global marketplace.

IoT is one of the project areas that CENGN offers to SMEs, and we expect the number of companies we work with in this field to grow rapidly. Due to the many moving parts of a complete IoT deployment, most SMEs don’t have the resources to create fully functional and scalable testbeds. A CENGN project gives these companies access to a commercial-grade infrastructure, including LoRaWAN, LTE-M, and NB-IoT capabilities, as well as technical support and resources from our members and partners. Companies have completed CENGN projects to strengthen their technology and business in a number of ways from validation of their technology on our platform to scaling their solution. What’s really interesting about working on these projects with IoT companies is seeing the range of industries that their solution can support. This is further indicative of how IoT will help sectors across the economy. Below is a table of some of the innovative IoT companies we have worked with. I encourage you to read the articles describing their companies and solutions.

CompanyArea of Solution
ABsoftLoRa Application
Aditum HealthConnected Healthcare
AP1Intelligent Proximity Infrstructure
BluWave-aiClean Technology
ConnioIndustrial IoT
Smart Building AppsSmart Parking
SmatsAutonomous Vehicles
Pilot ThingsInformation System Management
Studio 1 LabsConnected Healthcare
Ukko AgroSmart Agriculture
WeTraqLocation Monitoring

Coming up May 8thand 9thin Ottawa is IoT613, a two-day event dedicated to all things IoT that offers workshops, training courses, hackathons, and speakers to promote IoT in Ottawa and Canada. JC will be moderating a panel on the Impact of IoT in Canada. This will be a great event to connect with CENGN and the IoT ecosystem. Interested in attending? Click here to register and use promo code “10cengn613” to save 10% on IoT613 tickets. *Promo code does not apply to the UX Workshop on May 8th.

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About the Author

CENGN, Canada’s Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks, drives technology innovation and industry growth through our testbed, technical expertise, talent development, and partner ecosystem. Through our projects, CENGN enables small and medium Canadian Enterprises to test and validate promising technologies, removing barriers to product commercialization and accelerating market growth.

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