The development of consumer and industrial IoT innovations pose very different use-case challenges that require very different solutions. Further complicating the picture is that for all the differences between consumer and industrial IoT innovations, they share something in common: the need to integrate outstanding design with scalable manufacture.
At Pivot International, we help companies across the globe capitalize on the $128 billion market for IoT innovations. We bring nearly fifty years of experience and broad technical diversity across consumer, industrial, fitness, and medical markets. Using our in-house DFM expertise that spans over fourteen industries, we integrate design and manufacturing to create award-winning products that successfully scale.
To better understand why consumer and industrial IoT innovations require different solutions, let’s take a look at the use-case challenges of each.
Protocols for Consumer IoT Innovations
When companies are ramping up their efforts to bring a consumer IoT product to market, two of the most common technologies they’re likely to use are Wi-Fi and BLE.
Wi-Fi is a wireless networking technology that relies on an ethernet connection, modem, or a mobile phone with a data package. Wi-Fi connects multiple devices to the internet without the use of cables (wires). Its range is limited by multiple factors, including antenna type, frequency, power of transmission, and location.
BLE (short for Bluetooth Low Energy) is a wireless personal area network technology designed for novel applications in healthcare, fitness, entertainment, security, beacons, and more. Despite its name, it is a different technology from Bluetooth Classic.
Using low-bandwidth, low-power, and low-cost NB-IoT protocols, Wi-Fi and BLE easily overcome common use-case challenges related to most consumer IoT products. As long as these products remain within a relatively short distance of communication infrastructure, they can operate for long periods, even without being plugged into an AC outlet or charger.
Protocols for Industrial IoT Innovations
For many industrial products, Wi-Fi and BLE are inadequate for solving complex use-case equations. For one, industrial IoT products are often deployed in remote locations well outside the signal range of cell towers. (Or in places — factories or forests, for example — that pose barriers to unobstructed signal access.) This can make these IoT innovations difficult, impractical, or expensive to regularly access, posing challenges related to range, battery life, and maintenance. To overcome these challenges, a wide-area, low-power solution must be found.
LoRa (short for Long-Range access) is this solution.
Benefits of LoRa
LoRa enables successful deployment of IoT innovations that require long-range connection, extended operability (battery life), and infrequent maintenance in challenging conditions. LoRa-supported IoT communications enable access to cell signals from as far as ten miles away and penetrate through objects that other protocols can’t breach. And LoRa is the ultimate protocol for extending battery life. Its ultra-low power requirements mean a device can run on a single charge for as long as five years.
Compared to other protocols, LoRa is exceptionally energy-efficient and resistant to interference. (Between its small receiving bandwidth and coding scheme, LoRa can achieve receiver sensitivity as low as -140dBm.) These characteristics make LoRa the go-to solution for IoT innovations with low power requirements, limited data collection, and long-range communication.
The market opportunity for IoT innovations has never been greater. And with the proliferation of IoT innovations, creating one that differentiates itself from its competitors (and goes from concept to distribution without a hitch) is a steeper challenge than ever. Pivot’s one-source model and DFM expertise ensure a seamless process, impact-making design, and expedited time-to-market. If you’d like to learn more about how we can turn your product vision into a profitable reality, contact us today!