It’s one of the big buzz words alive in the media today: the Internet of Things (IoT). To me, it seems to have a mysterious connotation to it, but when I attended the Fluidmesh Networks press conference at ISC West this year, Umberto Malesci, CEO and co-founder of the company, replaced this “mystery” with clarity and excitement of what is to come with the future of IoT.
Breaking down the term IoT into manageable thinking, Malesci explained that the Internet of Things is basically making our devices intelligent by connecting them so that they can communicate. Makes sense. I can see my smartphone, for example, being wirelessly connected to my coffeepot. I use my smartphone as my alarm clock, and when it goes off, my smartphone could communicate to my coffee pot to brew my morning cup of java juice! Instant gratification for getting up when my alarm goes off! (But, I digress. Back to Fluidmesh and Malesci.)
I found out that wirelessly connecting devices is what Fluidmesh does best. You see, over the past 10 years, this company has sold and installed approximately 24,000 miles of wireless links. That’s enough wireless connections to go around the whole world, and they’re not stopping there. Their next goal is to total 162,000 miles of wireless links – enough to go the distance from Earth to the moon. Sounds like a pretty lofty goal, but with Fluidmesh’s 10 years of experience, I’d say it’s more than doable.
Now that I had a working definition of IoT in my mind, Malesci took it one step further. He wanted to make sure the audience understood exactly what IoT does, so he created making “sense” of IoT:
Sensing – leverages sensors attached to things.
Efficient – adds intelligence to manual processes.
Networked – connects objects to the network. Sensors must be connected and communicating with each other.
Specialized – customizes technology and processes to specific vertical; each specific application that creates value is vertical specific.
Everywhere – deployed pervasively.
Okay, got it. IoT leverages sensors that are attached to things to make manual processes intelligent. The sensors must all be connected and communicating with each other; hence, they create a network. Each connected technology can be customized to fit into a specific vertical and it can be deployed virtually everywhere. Wow! This IoT stuff isn’t too difficult!
So, with a working definition and an understanding of exactly what IoT does, Malesci gave a couple of real world examples in which Fluidmesh is being an enabler of IoT. In cities across the world including Chicago, IL; Charlotte, NC; Vancover, BC; Milan, Italy and Birmingham, UK, Fluidmesh wireless sensors connect video cameras for security applications, making each of these places an integral part of the smart cities movement. In addition, via a single wireless network, Fluidmesh connected the Royal Navy’s radios to provide a way to transmit audio across a large area, making their public addressing system more efficient and powerful.
In the days to come, it is estimated that 28 billion devices will be connected and Fluidmesh’s main goal is to be an enabler of IoT when it comes to these devices.