The idea of IoT has been around for more than a decade and after years of market development, a wide range of applications are recently coming into reality. The industry now has growing needs for IoT solutions and particularly focuses attention on NB-IoT, which can help developers quickly build high-performance platforms based on current network infrastructure. At AMobile Solution Forum, executives of IoT solution expert AMobile Intelligent and industry leaders shed light on the development of NB-IoT technologies and applications in their engaging presentations.
Speaking at the event, Jasmine Chang, Deputy CEO, AMobile Intelligent, noted with information technologies (IT) rapidly advancing and networking being a critical trend of IT industry development, today devices are connected not only within an industry but also across industries, enabling different industries to interconnect and thereby create all kinds of applications to make people's life more intelligent. However, to get more and more things connected, wide-ranging technologies and applications are being developed. From the technological point of view, sensor, gateway, database for big data, cloud platform, and even upcoming 5G communication and blockchain technologies each attempt to address different aspect of IoT. It is unlikely that an individual firm will be able to develop all solutions independently so building up an industry ecosystem will be the only approach to IoT development.
Not only does IoT encompass wide-ranging technologies but it also brings never-before-seen applications across different fields. IT products used to focus on consumer devices. With the advent of the smart era, IoT is being put to use in automotive systems, transportation, warehousing, logistics, retail, energy, healthcare and manufacturing. Each of these areas imposes its own system requirements and industry-specific know-how is imperative in order to develop the ideal solution. This is the reason why AMobile Intelligent joins forces with MediaTek, Arbor, Honeywell, Wistron, and Konka Group to form close partnerships, through which AMobile Intelligent will be able to integrate professional expertise of different fields and thereby optimize IoT platforms for customers.
Enabling optimal energy efficiency and system performance, NB-IoT holds promising potential for widespread applications
To build the ideal architecture, every element of the system needs to be optimized. Communication technologies have reached maturity. In fact, network bandwidth and performance today is already too powerful for applications that are not bandwidth-hungry and data-intensive but include a large number of nodes. For this type of IoT applications, NB-IoT is a suitable communication standard. According to Garry Ganis, general manager, Arbor Technology, Australia, among LPWAN technologies for IoT connectivity, aside from NB-IoT, LoRa is also one of the communication standards that catch market attention. NB-IoT enables better transmission performance compared to LoRa but the two standards have distinctive characteristics and are suitable for applications in different fields. LoRa will be used in equipment condition monitoring and energy management, such as predictive diagnostics of end devices in factories and new-generation super-capacitor uninterruptible power supplies (UPS). NB-IoT will mainly be used in sensors, smart meters, asset tracking, smart parking and smart agriculture.
Ganis further pointed out NB-IoT has been successfully applied for asset tracking with many use cases in smart grid, gardening, water management and sharing economy. Featuring simple design and installation, NB-IoT builds a network system and expands the area where data can be collected so that users across different fields can quickly develop an IoT architecture suited to their needs.
Elaborating on what Ganis was talking about, Hector Lin, executive vice president, AMobile Intelligent, noted system integrators have been putting NB-IoT to use in different application scenarios based on NB-IoT's unique features. For example, IoT systems are used in smart agriculture to monitor and control pH level, humidity and lighting in farm environments. A large number of sensors are used to detect vacant parking spaces in parking lots, monitor shelf space at warehouses and check air quality in cities. Achieving a low power consumption and deep signal penetration, NB-IoT is an ideal choice to connect the network of sensors.
AMobile Intelligent offers a spectrum of value-added services to meet different application requirements and customer needs, including private label service, semi-custom design and ADMS manufacturing model. Private label service encompasses customization of software, button colors and brand logo. For semi-custom design, AMobile Intelligent provides the internal motherboard design and customers decide the casing material and style as well as the internal sensors. ADMS manufacturing includes OEM and ODM service models, wherein AMobile Intelligent has modularized the essential components such as the battery, CPU, RF device, sensor and power supply to enable quick assembly and shorten time-to-market to meet customer demands.
AMobile Intelligent products have been put to use in a variety of systems across different fields. With advances in technologies and increases in applications, IoT architectures continue to evolve, among which edge computing and distributed processing are the most important trends in recent years. According to Joey Yeh, product sales manager, AMobile Intelligent, with edge computing, the data collected at the bottom layer of the IoT model can first be consolidated, filtered, selected and processed before being sent to the upper cloud layer. Edge computing can reduce bandwidth usage at the communication layer and ease computational load at the upper system layer, thereby boosting overall performance.
Building an industry ecosystem, AMobile Intelligent strengthens partnerships
In addition to its own executives, AMobile Intelligent also invited leaders of its key partner firms, including MediaTek and Honeywell, to speak about IoT technological trends at the forum. According to MediaTek product manager Jo Wang, market research reports indicate 150 million NB-IoT devices will be shipped by 2020, representing 50% of the IoT market. MediaTek also offers highly-integrated NB-IoT solutions to help customers build high-performance IoT products. Honeywell BD Director Kai Figwer gave an in-depth look into sensor technologies used in IoT. Although sensor technologies have matured and are widely used in different application scenarios, they will have to further evolve to keep up with burgeoning applications in different industries arising from advancing IoT development. Not only do sensors have to be more precise and stable but they also need to have communication capabilities. In view of the fact that NB-IoT will be an important communication standard going forward, Honeywell is fully prepared for NB-IoT opportunities.
With the history of IoT development, worldwide industries have gained sufficient understanding of IoT and are beginning to engage IoT technologies in their operations. As everything becomes connected, NB-IoT, featuring low energy consumption, easy development, deep signal penetration and long transmission range, will rise to be the main communication standard used in various types of sensors and smart meters. In response to emerging market demand for NB-IoT solutions, AMobile Intelligent offers a complete portfolio of products and services to help customers address design and manufacturing needs so as to speed up time-to-market and capture massive IoT opportunities.
At AMobile Solution Forum, Hector Lin, executive vice president, AMobile Intelligent, noted NB-IoT is an ideal choice to connect the network of sensors.
NB-IoT will be a communication standard going forward, Honeywell BD Director Kai Figwer said.
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