Indesign and DeveloperTown hosted an event focused on IoT technologies at DeveloperTown. Our presentation focused on IoT applications and connectivity, while DeveloperTown continued the discussion with a focus on data communication, security, and updating.

We examined different wireless technologies and methods to collect data in the field with end point devices. There are many options to consider in the wireless technology arena, but here is a sample of the technologies we see used most often. Each one comes with its own set of pros and cons – depending upon the specific needs of a product, it may make sense to use one protocol, or to combine several to provide the best solution.

  • Bluetooth® protocols
  • Bluetooth protocols have extensive availability and accessibility. It can be easy to use and energy efficient. However, it has possible security vulnerabilities and a limited range.

  • Wi-Fi® protocols
  • Wi-Fi protocols are convenient and mobile, but can be unreliable in areas with poor RF reception.

  • LoRa® technology
  • LoRa protocols are low power and have decent long range (10+ miles), but data rates are low and there can be latency issue.

  • Zigbee technology
  • Is usually low power which promotes long battery life. There are some security considerations to be careful of when using Zigbee Technology.

  • Emerging cellular
  • Cellular IoT tries to respond to the unending search for better low-power, long-range, low data.

    • Cat-M1
    • NB-IoT/Cat-M2
    • 5G

  • Proprietary Wireless Protocols
  • Proprietary wireless protocols can increase development time, but can lower product costs as it targets a specific need.

Other topics discussed were antennas, NFC, GPS/Satellite modems and EMI/EMC. Indesign has been developing products in the wireless arena for over twenty years. Our client’s products collect data in a variety of applications and they have the ability to pass that information to cloud services/applications. In addition to the embedded software/firmware, you also need to have software in place to allow the device to communicate, provide updates, and retain functionality.

For more on the software side of IoT visit DeveloperTown’s blog at: DeveloperTown Blog

Questions about designing an IoT device to collect data? Give us a call at 877-561-0274.