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BLE & NFC prove instrumental to widespread IoT deployment

BLE & NFC prove instrumental to widespread IoT deployment

The advent of Internet of Things (IoT) technology is expected to have a huge impact on modern society, bringing with it a whole new era of connectivity that could radically change the way we lead our lives. It will enable us to engage with technology all around us to an elevated degree - resulting in the sharing of far greater quantities of data and more comprehensive control. Among the consequences of this will be increased productivity in factories, better healthcare, more sophisticated home automation, etc.

Though it has been talked about extensively over the last few years, IoT is now starting to see real implementation occurring. Analysts firm Gartner predicts that during 2016, around 5.5 million new IoT nodes will be added every day. This will result in there being a total 6.4 billion IoT nodes in operation worldwide before the end of the year (a 30% increase on the figure from 2015).

There are 4 key operational issues that need to be addressed when implementing system designs where a portable device of some form (such as a smartphone and tablet computer) is going to connect with an IoT node (and its associated hardware). These are:

  • Minimising the current consumption of remotely located, battery-powered nodes
  • Limit the draining of the battery power of portable devices connecting to these nodes.
  • Ensuring that security is maintained so that only those permitted have access to data
  • Maximising user convenience and eliminating any sources of frustration

As Bluetooth® is now such an integral part of contemporary consumer electronics design, with billions of Bluetooth-enabled portable devices being shipped every year, it is clear that this has an important part to play in the future of IoT connectivity. In particular the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) standard, which is optimised specifically for low power systems, can deliver the levels of data transfer needed to satisfy a large proportion of IoT applications.

The addition of Near Field Communication (NFC) brings in another valuable dimension. It presents a straightforward, low power, low cost and reliable way of taking care of the pairing aspect. As NFC only operates over a very short distance (just a few centimetres), it safeguards against the possibility of unwanted devices being connected without the user’s knowledge or permission.

The combination of BLE with NFC is providing a highly appealing mechanism for connecting of wide array of different items of IoT hardware with portable devices. To find out more about the contribution that these wireless technologies will have on the future uptake of IoT click here:

Click here to learn more about how Bluetooth and NFC are helping to make the Internet of Everything safer and more secure

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