With the global population expected to reach 9.7 billion people by 2050, innovation in the agricultural industry is more important than ever. This growth brings with it a need for increased food production and a dwindling availability of arable land. Projections show that feeding a population near 9 billion people would require raising global food production by some 70%. To provide for such steep demands, old farming techniques are simply no longer adequate. Thankfully, the agriculture industry is a burgeoning sector within the Internet of Things, and farmers globally are ready to reap the benefits.
Getting your Internet of Things devices connected is just the beginning to running a complete IoT program. Once they’re online, you want to know what those things are doing, are they running efficiently, are there problems, how much data are they using, how much is this going to cost, and more. Clarity and insight into your IoT deployment is essential to managing the product lifecycle. Let’s look at the crucial elements of an IoT connectivity management platform that you should look for.
The Global Positioning System (GPS) was founded by the United States Department of Defense in 1973 to track objects on Earth in real time. It uses 24 active satellites known as the Global Navigation Satellite System, and three backup satellites in case an active satellite fails, all on a 12-hour orbit of Earth. While GPS is mainly funded and managed by the US Department of Defense, non-military users are allowed to use its standard positioning system without fees or restrictions. GPS is invaluable to an IoT system since it quantifies and records location, speed, time, and direction.
In the past, many Internet of Things or machine-to-machine communication applications transmitted small, discreet amounts of data on a regular basis. A weather device would send temperature reports every few minutes, or a vibration sensor on a piece of machinery might report hourly to the factory headquarters on the machine’s status. That temperature or vibration information could be a mere few MBs of data. While an entire IoT / M2M deployment could have thousands of devices in the field sending data, each sensor wasn’t sending very much data at a time.
If you have a smartphone, you probably use LTE often –updated iPhones and Android phones these days are able to use the LTE protocol for blazing fast Internet access. Sometimes called 4G, this wireless standard has superseded the older, slower standards of 2G and 3G for mobile phones in much of the world, with over 75% penetration across the US, Europe, and especially in Asia. But when it comes to the Internet of Things and machine-to-machine communications, LTE is just beginning to make an impact.