Writer's Series

4. IoT and beyond

4. IoT and beyond

IoT or the Internet of Things has arrived. The world is expanding in the reach and use of technology, allowing people and businesses to connect in ways like never before. 2020 saw the first time that IoT connected devices outnumbered non-IoT devices. Connected devices include smartphones and computers. But this is just the beginning. From around 12 billion connected devices in 2020, there are expected to be around 31 billion connected devices. And that the future brings beyond that? Only time will tell. Naturally HLDS' IoT Platform is the ideal way to make use of this tech – and we’ll talk more about that later in this article. For now, let’s take a look at the base concepts of IoT.

What are the foundations of IoT?

In this section, we will discover the concepts of IoT and how they provide the framework that will drive future growth and understanding. And they come together to give the IoT its power und usefulness.

Ubiquitous computing is a concept that uses software, hardware and computer science to ensure that computing is available anyplace and at any time. This means that any device can access and use ubiquitous computing. The tech behind it allows different devices and different operating systems to work on the same system.

Smart grid is an electrical framework that allows a more effective use of energy for the IoT. Renewable energy is a large part of this, as well as energy storage. If you want to be connected all the time, then you need a boundless supply of energy to achieve that.


Wi-Fi Direct is the direct link between a device and the internet without cables or other connections. We all know Wi-Fi – asking for the password whenever we enter a café to ensure we are always connected. Well, IoT devices also need that connection to transfer and receive data.

DLNA or Digital Living Network Alliance is group set up by multiple consumer electronic companies to move towards the sharing of data and operability across platforms and devices. For example, we struggle using software for one device on another. DLNA moves us towards a shared framework, allowing all devices connected to the internet to communicate.

Bluetooth is another wireless technology that enables devices to talk to each other – and to share data. The IoT is all about building mass data models that deliver the information needed to make improvements to our life. Bluetooth is another brick in this wall.

Together, these are the foundations of IoT.

What technologies are involved?

The tech or protocols as they are known, help systems pass data on the Internet of Things. Primary data is collected and processed in order to process and be shared in a usable format. Here are the main protocols used, and what that means for users -

Wi-Fi is the best known IoT protocol, already in use on our smartphones and access provided across businesses globally. Wireless signals have become the norm, moving on from wired connections only a decade or so ago.

5G is the latest mobile communication standard, enabling faster speeds than the 4G it is replacing. This is important for the IoT because faster communications allows real time data to be passed and processed effectively.

Zigbee is popular in the IoT because it has a lower power usage and a larger range than some of the others on this list. It is also very easy to scale up, making it a popular choice for those on the smart grid.

LoRaWAN is a protocol that is also known as a MC, or Medias Access Control IoT protocol. It allows low power devices to communicate directly with other internet applications wirelessly.

BLE is also known as Bluetooth Low energy, which fits nicely with the ability to transfer data and keep power consumption low. As we pass enormously more sets of data, power usage becomes the issue. We have a finite amount of traditional power. Preserving this is paramount to the success of the IoT.

LwM2M is becoming more popular, especially in machine-to-machine communication. It stands for Light weight Machine 2 Machine and again enables the transfer of data in low power situations.

Why does location matter?

Great question! The location tracking of devices connected to the Internet of Things is significant. The data that comes from a device needs to be refined in order to ensure it its usefulness. For example, data related to a machine in Singapore might not be relevant to the same machine in Russia. Differences in temperature, use, operation, human interface and other factors can change the data. This is why the location of devices is important.

Examples of location-based services include –

  • Communication chip/module
  • Use of GPS
  • Using Wi-Fi in indoors through Beacon
  • Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology

Location is vitally important for the open communication channels of the IoT, making sure that each device knows its place and which other devices it is communicating with. That’s why this has been seen as one of the biggest developments in the Internet of Things, bringing data together as needed.

HLDS' HL-DP platform integrates, manages, and processes primary data collected from IoT sensors to link necessary data to customer servers in a form that customers can use immediately. The speed of operation is a crucial part of the success of the IoT. Get in touch if you want to find out more about how we make this happen.

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