Imagine you walk out of your house and your smart device locks the door behind you, the device automatically unlocks your garage port and opens the car for you to enter and sets your vehicle on ignition. The smart device automatically detects traffic on your way to… (Featured image is for representational purpose alone and has been sourced from https://pixabay.com/en/communication-internet-1927706/)
Imagine you walk out of your house and your smart device locks the door behind you, the device automatically unlocks your garage port and opens the car for you to enter and sets your vehicle on ignition. The smart device automatically detects the traffic on your way to office and selects the shortest route for you. And once you reach office your smart device locks the car door behind you. This is just the glimpse of the new world – The Internet of Everything – and this will soon be permeating everything around you.
IoE is an intelligent connection of people, processes, data and things. It is a world where every virtual and physical object is made compatible to transmit data without human-to-machine input. These objects will have the capability to detect measure and assess their status; all connected over public or private networks using standard and proprietary protocols.
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Internet World Stats indicates that there are approximately 3.7 billion users on the Internet, as of data collated until March 2017. While this user base forms only 49.7% of the total world population, the number of connected devices via the internet in 2017 exceeded the world population of 7 billion. Although, this may seem like a lot of devices on the internet, it represents less than 1% of the objects that could otherwise be connected. Cisco estimates that 99% of physical objects will one day be connected. For now, there are few devices such as microwaves, alarm clocks and lighting systems that have largely been kept away from the IoT/IoE ambit – more due to lack of awareness.
The four pillars of Internet of Everything
The concept of IoE stands on four pillars – people, processes, things and data.
People: IoE is poised to increase interaction among people multifold. Take for instance the use of sensors. When fitted either to the body or clothes, these sensors can collect data such as health statistics, emotional level and location and transmit it to healthcare providers, and family and friends.
Process: Advanced technology, methods and processes will be needed to handle large amount of data and fetch meaningful results. Predictive data analytics will power the medium to carry out orders and automate an explosive growth in connections, data accumulation and analysis.
Things: Things include all objects such as sensors, devices and actuators that can be connected to the network for sharing information. These things will be capable of collecting data, responding to control inputs, and providing information to help people and machines make decisions.
Data: Data facilitates smart decision making. As the size of data increases, capabilities of devices connected to the Internet will also increase. They will be able to send higher-level information and insights back to machines, computers and people in real time.
Are you IoE ready?
One needs just three things to be IoE ready:
– An environment where objects or things are capable of fetching real time information.
– Things are capable of analyzing data and forecasting future trends and behavior.
– IoE devices can provide accurate prediction based on a user’s requirement and process these predictions seamlessly without user intervention.
Qualcomm leads patenting race, Cisco and Samsung follow
Patent filling focusing on Internet of Everything started in 2013. Analysis shows that Qualcomm filed 36 patent applications in the last five years followed by Samsung with 20 IP assets and Cisco with 4 patent applications.
Qualcomm is a clear leader in this space filing patents in the early stages. Patent application WO2013163437A1 titled “System and method for reducing power consumption in a wireless communication system”, is one such IP asset. It discloses a system and method that helps devices in a wireless communication system consume less power. This feature is desirable for devices involved in constant data transmission. US patent application US20160269486 A1 discloses a wireless communication network to discover and select IoE devices. These devices experience a low path loss to a base station and can hence, relay their discovery information. This can be captured by other IoE devices to relay data.
Cisco is another pioneer in conceptualizing IoE, filing four published patents till date. There are two interesting patent applications – US20160261474 A1 and US20150195212 A1 – that are related to techniques for implementing an IoT/IOE environment.
Samsung ‘s patent application US20160277658 A1 titled “Image signal processor and devices including the same” explains a method for data processing of image signal using IoE devices.
We are still years away from an IoE world, yet the future seems promising. Cities like Barcelona are setting the stage for an IoE vision by connecting all its people and things to a city Wi-Fi. This has helped Barcelona create new services, richer experiences, and unprecedented economic opportunity for its people, businesses and partners. While we await the coming of the IoT era, followed by IoE, one thing is for certain – the Internet is changing the way we live.