Challenges of IoT- IoT deployment is diversifying from consumer-based applications such as smart home devices and wearables to mission-critical applications in the areas of public safety, emergency response, industrial automation, autonomous vehicles and the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT).
As these mission-critical applications proliferate, engineers and designers must address important design and test considerations and tradeoffs from early design phase to manufacturing outcomes.
Addressing technical challenges through the 5Cs of IoT
The top five challenges of designing for IoT, the ‘5C’s of IoT’, are Connectivity, Continuity, Compliance, Coexistence and Cybersecurity.
Connectivity: Enabling a seamless flow of information to and from a device, infrastructure, cloud and applications, is a top IoT challenge because wireless connectivity is highly complex, and dense device deployments further complicate operations. Yet, mission critical IoT devices are expected to work reliably without fail even in the toughest environments. Fast-evolving wireless standards add to the complexity, and engineers face constant challenges in keeping pace with the latest technologies while ensuring devices can work seamlessly throughout the ecosystem.
Responding to connectivity challenges requires design and test solutions that are highly flexible and configurable, and upgradable to meet future needs. Flexibility is needed to test devices with many radio formats, to assess device performance under actual operation modes, and to support over-the-air (OTA) testing in signaling mode without the need for a chipset-specific driver. The solution should be simple, inexpensive, and able to be used in both R&D and manufacturing to leverage code and minimize measurement correlation issues across the different phases of development.
Continuity: Ensuring and extending battery life, one of the most important considerations for IoT devices. A long battery life is a huge competitive advantage in consumer IoT devices. For industrial IoT devices, a battery life of five or ten years is the common expectation. For medical devices such as pacemakers, device life can mean the difference between life and death. And of course, battery failure is not an option.