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10 Things Your IoT Sensor Provider Should Fulfill

News   •   Jul 02, 2020 07:55 CEST

Stockholm, Sweden July 2, 2020

IoT devices for buildings are becoming a huge market and Stefan Sandhagen, CPO at Yanzi Networks, has put together ten bullets to guide you through the jungle of technology and sensor providers.

  • Fully automatic provisioning. There are a lot of things an IoT system needs in order to start operating and all of it must be made automatic. Radio channels, network addressing, security, introspection, and asset configuration must all be done automatically by the system to allow for large deployments and fast scaling.
  • Real-time. Occupancy and many other use cases dependonreal-time data so make sure the delay from sensor to cloud is less than 500ms for good application feedback. And the same requirement is true for cloud to sensor communication for actuators.
  • IP all the way. IP is the only protocol proven to scale to billions of devices. IP does not need intermediate equipment to understand the overlying protocol and encryption keys. Application stacks like Bluetooth, Zigbee, and Z-Wave require protocol adapters between the sensor and the Gateway for large networks, heavily limiting the scalability.
  • Interoperable. In a building there are many IoT systemsand WiFi networks that must work together. Communication protocols must therefore be made to operate friendly with each other. Bluetooth, for example, negativelyimpacts the performance of your existing WiFi and other wireless protocols due to the lack of simple features like “Listen-before-Talk”.
  • On-prem storage. Internet connectivity is great, but it doesn’t always work. In order to avoid losing data when Internet connectivity is dropped, local data storage must be available in the Gateway or the sensors.
  • Flexible API. To retrieve all your data from sensors, the API must be flexible to provide not only real-time data as subscription but also historical data in the case something happened. Adapters to the large data lake providers such as Microsoft and IBM area given.
  • Enterprise security. All systems claim security but make sure to look under the hood because this is one of the most important aspects of IoT. Unique encryption keys per device, private/public key pairs based on NIST approved curves for key exchange, signed binaries for firmware/software upgrades, are just a few examples of what to check for. Security is an advanced field so don’t hesitate to contact experts in this matter before making your choice of IoT solution.
  • Simple to install. Installations must be possible to do with inexperienced personnel to allow for fast deployments and large scaling. Make sure no configuration is required during installations.
  • Short range radios. This may sound counter intuitive for many people. The available wireless bandwidth is shared by all devices so when one device transmits, no other device within that radio range can transmit simultaneously. This means that devices must use as short range as possible for transmissions to allow other devices to re-use the bandwidth on the next floor or further out on the same floor. If the wireless range is hundreds of feet, there is a fair chance your system will be interrupted by the building across the street. This is solved by using efficient control of output power and range.
  • Long battery life. When you have thousands of sensors in a single building, changing batteries becomes an important part of maintenance. Make sure this does not occur too often. 5 years battery life is typically a good starting point.

  • A final note. Data is the next big thing in company evaluation. Make sure your sensor data belongs to you and not your sensor or cloud provider.

    For more information, please contact: Jonas Storåkers, CCO, +46 70 63 880 73  jonas.storakers@yanzinetworks.com