So, what exactly is bringing the Internet of Things to fruition? A big factor is the plunging cost of connectivity, which is being driven by the emergence of Heterogeneous Networks (often referred to as “HetNets”). HetNets offer a way to increase the density and bandwidth available to mobile devices.
To give you an idea of their potential scale, Free.fr, one of the world’s first HetNets, located in France, has more than 4 million WiFi hotspots connected to the network and enjoys data transfer costs that are probably far below $1 per gigabyte. (...)
The second major factor driving the Internet of Things is the explosion of low-cost, smart, standardized sensor networks. Consumer hobbyists are leading the way here. Kickstarter, the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects is hosting numerous sensor projects that are designed to enable consumers to rapidly deploy and utilize large numbers of sensors around the home and office.
Raspberry Pi is one of the most popular recent initiatives in this space. The company has created a credit card-sized computer that integrates with physical devices like TVs and keyboards to give users PC functionality, such as spreadsheets and word processing, without having to buy a computer. Designed for hobbyists, it starts at a mere $25.
Another interesting initiative is Sensordrone, a multi-sensor device for smartphones that was recently funded by Kickstarter that gives phones even more capabilities, like connecting to printers. In another development, Nokia pledged to push the envelope in terms of adding new and innovative sensors and geo-location capabilities to their phones.
By Paul Brody
30 Dec 2012
Via Spaceweaver, ddrrnt