The world of technology, internet and communications is evolving rapidly and, with the correct application, is set to make life incredibly interesting and vastly accommodating. Terminology like ‘Internet of Things’ and ‘Fibre Optics’ are fast becoming commonplace but it’s important to know exactly how they will be affecting everyday life…very soon. Here’s a breakdown of the concept, the service and the overall impact.
IoT and Fibre
What is the Internet of Things?
At its most basic, the Internet of Things (IoT) is the connecting of every device (or ‘thing’) throughout a home or office space – and even further afield – with the internet. Smartphones, tablets and computers will be able to directly engage with previously ‘dumb’ devices that can have a sensor inserted. These could be coffee makers, washing machines, lighting and temperature-control systems, alarm systems and any other lifestyle-affecting device that can be remotely activated. For everyday use, this means you can wake up to freshly-brewed coffee, clothes being washed and the temperature adjusted perfectly for those chilly winter mornings. This will extend beyond the home to vehicles, allowing cars to analyse the traffic and adjust the route accordingly. Medical conditions will be monitored through wearable devices that track vital statistics and remotely diagnose illnesses with all necessary data conveyed directly to healthcare practitioners.
Read more: A guide to the Internet of Things
What is Fibre Optic?
Fibre optic cables are replacing all previous internet connections with enhanced speed and reliability. The cables, created out of a glass or special plastic fibre, make up the ‘nervous system’ of internet connectivity, with the material harnessing the speed of light and transferring data at incredible speeds. Dark fibre is the dormant cabling that is yet to be activated with connectivity options referred to as fibre to the node (FTTN) – fibre connection to the general area – and fibre to the premises (FTTP) – which is fibre optic cabling directly to a building.
How will Fibre Optic Benefit IoT?
The rollout of fibre optic brings everybody one step closer to the futuristic Internet of Things way of life. Here are some of the impacts of fibre optic on IoT.
1. Enhanced bandwidth
Smart devices will be constantly updating their statuses which means multiple streams of data being disseminated throughout the day. While the data from one device may be small, data from several devices could create a problem with slow internet capability. The IoT requires second-to-second information updates if it’s going to work. Alerts from security or fire alarms – as well as medical emergencies – need to be disseminated instantaneously. Traffic and weather updates, if not in real-time, are completely ineffective. Therefore, seamless integration of all smart devices is pivotal to the realisation of IoT. The enhanced bandwidth and reliability of fibre optics makes IoT the perfect partner.
2. Fibre sensors
Fibre optics provide the actual sensor needed for IoT applications. The cables can measure across a wide frequency band and have enhanced light transmission performance, making them the ideal form of transmission where sensitivity and high performance are called for.
3. Beyond the home
While the IoT will impact consumer directly within the home, the bigger picture is much more interesting and it requires wholly on a reliable internet connection such as fibre optics. Factories and warehouses will implement the IoT for the control of machines – these potentially hazardous situations require reliability in data transmission. This means a definite implementation of fibre optics across the industrial sector as well.
The impact of fibre optics on IoT is substantial and brings us one step closer to this reality. Reliability and speed are key to the efficient implementation of IoT and fibre optics are the first real solution available today.
ECN is a division of Reunert Limited and a leading telecommunications and business fibre partner in South Africa. ECN offers a broad set of cost effective voice, data and hosted services to meet our customers ever growing technological needs. Our market leading Fibre for business provides our customers with the option of replacing their existing voice service provider to substantially reduce their monthly telecommunications bill. Contact ECN today for leading telecommunications solutions.