Sensing Need for Data, Wi-Fi
New IoT devices, like home energy sensors, will give rise to a profileration of network endpoints.
As the Internet of Things grows, we will see all sorts of innovative uses of sensor technology, new applications, and more and more network endpoints.
In the consumer market, for example, a company called Sense Labs is targeting energy consumption with a new monitor that will install on electrical panels and connect to WiFi. The Sense device will monitor usage of household appliances and deliver that information to consumers via a mobile app. This way, a consumer would know how long the TV has been on or how much energy the washing machine has consumed, for example. (Sense Labs is accepting preorders for a September ship date.)
The Sense home energy monitor uses Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n) to provide "electro-feedback" about each home device or system's energy consumption. Sense detects patterns and associates each pattern to a device or system and then provides usage and cost so that consumers know which are and aren't working efficiently.
While I am embellishing about "electro-feedback" the real takeaway is that Sensor Labs hopes to use data collection and metrics to convince consumers to change their habits and attitudes about energy consumption. This is essential in addressing the problem, as I wrote back in a 2008 No Jitter post, "Challenging the System to Heal & Green Itself."
The Sense home energy monitor is but one more example of the new types of endpoints that will creep onto networks, whether those are personal area network, LANs, or wireless LANs. They'll keep network managers and architects busy planning on how to keep the sensor and metric data flowing while ensuring security.