The rapid growth of Internet of Things projects, also known as IoT, in office and industrial buildings is creating tremendous value through increased efficiency and advanced technology. Sophisticated sensors are providing lighting designers and energy experts reams of data to better understand how people relate to their work environment.
No Wireless Standard
These complicated methodologies require wireless networks to bring all the sensors together. At this time, however, there is not a wireless standard that is an economical and efficient solution for modern industrial Internet of Things applications such as controlling lighting systems.
Many of the networking protocols developed for wireless applications were created for specific situations. For example, Zigbee is a network wireless standard created for home networking. Recently it has been stretched beyond its limits in order to meet the needs of individual projects. However, it was never designed for large scale installations and does not really have the capacity to work under these data loads.
While Zigbee filled a need for a reliable wireless network standard, the technology is moving so fast that advanced lighting control systems need a more robust answer. The Internet of Things is producing data in such large quantities that current standards like Zigbee are feeling the strain. It was not created for many of the tasks it is being asked to support – it’s like asking a 1980s personal computer to run applications from a modern tablet or mobile device. New standards are needed to handle huge amounts of data consistently and reliably.
Another challenge is that Zigbee was developed by a closed organization. The better answer for developing Internet of Things protocols is to turn to open application programming interfaces. Several new standards are being developed by manufacturers and organizations to better handle the tidal wave of data being produced by Internet of Things applications.
Yet many of them were still developed with the goal of handling small-scale installations. A new and powerful networking standard that will accommodate intensive Internet of Things applications is on the horizon. Open APIs provide the best opportunity for rapid deployment, constant innovation and worldwide implementation of these new protocols.