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IoT Communication Technologies for Smart Homes

Technology disruption has impacted our lives as it has never before and one such innovation is home automation. Home automation has evolved from smart appliances that have led to the development of integrated smart homes. It consists of four functional segments: lighting, security, audio/video & heating, ventilating & air conditioning (HVAC). The global smart homes market is estimated to reach $135.5B by 2025 and the Indian market is projected at $6B by 2022. [1]

There are multiple wireless IoT protocols by which the device communicates and each one has its own use cases. Some of the widely used ones are cellular, LPWAN, LoRaWAN, Bluetooth, NB-IoT, RFID, among others. The most commonly adopted for IoT are LPWAN and LoRaWAN technology because of their distinct advantages like longer read range, lesser power consumption, and affordability.

Wireless IoT Home Protocols

LPWAN: Low power wide-area networks (LPWAN) are used in smart homes to allow long-range communications at a low bit rate. LPWANs send only small packets of information by an external trigger or at pre-programmed intervals. LPWAN data packets and sensors can even report from underground, difficult climates, and from far away gateways or towers. LPWAN operates between 902-928 MHz ISM bands. They often operate in license-free bands such as the Industrial, Scientific, and Medical ISM bands which include 915 MHz, 2.4 GHz, and 5 GHz.

LoRaWAN: The Long Range (LoRa) and LoRaWAN belong to the category of non-cellular LPWAN wireless communication network protocols operating in the license-free spectrum. It transmits over license-free sub-gigahertz radio frequency bands like 169 MHz, 433 MHz, 868 MHz, and 915 MHz. LoRa enables long-range communications with more than 10kms in rural areas and consumes lesser power. The LoRaWAN networks are offered by over 70 network operators and LoRaWAN IoT deployments are in more than 100 countries. It has become the main non-cellular LPWAN solution because of its distinct advantages and has a strong ecosystem of hardware, development partners, system integrators, and telecommunication providers.

Components of Network Topology

It consists of end nodes such as sensors for capturing various parameters such as temperature, humidity, location, and many more data for transmitting it to the gateways within its range. These gateways relay all the messages between end devices and central network servers using IP. Recent innovations around this have given rise to edge computing devices. These devices are capable of processing data from millions of devices within themselves and only sends relevant information to a data center or cloud. This technology is used to optimize the cost of bandwidth for data to travel longer distances.

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Syrma SGS TechnologyIoT Communication Technologies for Smart Homes

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