Internet of Things (IoT) is a popular term in the field of digitalization. It’s used on almost every article which somehow relates to Internet connectivity, wireless technologies or energy efficiency. IoT as a term is however very much Hype, like the term WAP during dot-com bubble or newer Cloud technologies under XaaS-terms or Big Data. IoT however is not something new, it’s just term for devices with Internet connectivity, which have been around for few decades already. The term itself even has been mentioned first time around the Millennium.
The overall picture what ordinary people think when they hear the term IoT is something like all machines such as coffee machine is somehow magically communicating directly with the doorbell. That kind of general compatibility between random devices is however very far stretched. Competing technologies which enables Internet connectivity are almost as abundant as are the number of companies developing IoT devices. In the future, device intercommunication will be more compatible in the fields of home automation and such. However, true Internet of Things which enables all devices to communicate and use data from each other directly is in the very far future.
Nokeval for its part acts as a service provider for IoT-devices and a SaaS cloud service. At the moment, we are able to measure a number of physical quantities with several different wireless and wired technologies and deliver the measurement results into our Ovaport cloud service. The measurements can be integrated to Big Data analysis services or other services via Ovaport API interface. We are aiming for maximum connectivity and we are not limiting our solutions to any one technical solution. We aim for open systems.
Nokeval can build wireless networks with different network topologies, which means the way how devices are connected to each other. Depending on the application, we use either a closed 433.92MHz star topology, which enables over five-year battery life and a very good indoor range from difficult rooms such as a full metal cold rooms. On very large installations we use 2.4GHz Ovanet mesh-technology, where every device has a routing connection to each other. Our mesh network is created using Wirepas Pino, which is the current the bleeding edge technology on wireless networks. The network enables almost unlimited node count and is auto-configuring and self-healing. On wired connections, we rely on the Modbus RTU-protocol, which is very widely supported although it is technically quite limited. Modbus enables connecting different special measuring devices to our Ovaport cloud service.
All the above-mentioned technologies are naturally supported at the same time on our gateway devices. The Gateways can use 3G, LAN or PoE-connection to connect to the Ovaport cloud service via Internet. In the near future, we will launch devices and support for Bluetooth Smart devices. Also, if we encounter some application areas which greatly benefits from using LoRa or Sigfox technologies we also have the ability to add support to these technologies on our devices. Naturally future 5G-technology with NB-IoT technology will also be one of the supported connectivity technologies.
Text: Jani Vähäsöyrinki, Chief Technology Officer
Pictures: flickr.com, felnottkepzes.hu/education-center