Jason Lomberg, North American Editor, PSD
Few sectors benefit more from the IoT than transportation. But in truth, the IoT will affect nearly everything we do – hence the IoT’s nom de plume, the Internet of Everything.
And not surprisingly, this month’s contributors approach the IoT from very different perspectives.
If the automotive space is the most financially lucrative beneficiary of the IoT, the medical segment is arguably the most beneficial to humanity at large. The ability for everything to network with everything could have profound ramifications for early detection of disease, and nowhere is that more apparent than the boom in medical wearables.
Rakesh Sethi, with TDK, discusses these devices (and tips for extending their battery life) with “Power Requirements of Biosensor-based Wearables.”
As Sethi mentions, wireless medical devices are part of the broader adoption of telemedicine, but if these wearables are to serve the greater cause of disease prevention and diagnostics or take part in clinical trials, they have to “provide uninterrupted data beyond what is the current, typical battery life for wearables operating in pulse detection mode.”
Thus, power – as in most areas – is absolutely paramount. Designers certainly have their work cut out for them.
“The current power design challenge of achieving a minimum two-week life span for 50mAh to 200mAh battery-based devices with pulse-measuring capability is daunting,” Sethi says.
But no reward is greater than the preservation of life, and medical wearables – if they persevere – can help provide that.
Of course, the most obvious problem with literally connecting everything with everything is the formidable cyber risk, and Sectigo’s Alan Grau addresses “How Manufacturers Can Protect Their Appliance Products from Cyberattacks.”
If our relatively primitive computer networks present an irresistible target for hackers, imagine the danger when every appliance, wearable, home, and car is intertwined in one global web.
Grau notes that most in-home appliances cannot be fixed once they are infected – botnet attacks “target any connected appliances and small IoT devices within a home or a business,” and these cyber assaults can scale up to shut down a nation’s power grid (or, like Stuxnet, cripple a uranium enrichment program).
One of the coolest new technologies – that’ll receive a huge facelift from the IoT – is augmented reality. Having access to an unlimited amount of useful data will, to paraphrase a Disney song, create a whole new world, and that’ll be especially true for those with AR lenses.
James Colby, with Littelfuse, covers that and more with “Augmented Reality and the Internet of Things (IoT): Connecting to Circuit Protection.”
An AR system that’s, no pun intended, augmented with the IoT, could bring navigation, facial recognition, fitness tracking, first-person photos and videos, health-sensing, and travel applications into our lives in a way that’s more seamless than we ever thought possible.
North American Editor, PSD