How Big Data Affects Networks in the Internet of Things

[fa icon='calendar'] Aug 8, 2016 3:21:09 PM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in business, connected devices, data, data analytics, echI, Edge, Edge IoT, General, industry, information, Internet of Things, IoT, Joe Duncan, network, oT data, predict, resolve, tehcnologyt

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By Joe Duncan, Marketing

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been talked about as an industry dealing in data, because of the massive amount of information produced by sensor technology. In fact, harvesting data from connected devices has become one of the key excitements concerning IoT technology, as it allows for the drastic advance in the analytics of failure, evaluation, implementation and efficiency. With the newfound information, businesses and industries can know sooner and with more accuracy how their products/production are being affected by external factors. This information could be used in an industrial environment to regulate the humidity of a manufacturing facility when dealing with a sensitive material, or it could be used in the context of a grocery store advertising different coupons to a regular customer who is known to never purchase coffee. In these cases, advanced data analytics is crucial to the development of quick fixes when opportunities arise. Efficacy and speed is the name of the game.

However, the difficulty that has already begun to arise with this technology is the volume at which this data is gathered. Cisco throws out the fact that the past 2000 years have garnered about 2 exabytes of data altogether, while in the current era we are generating that amount every day. Questions arise about the value of all this data, and how to sort through it effectively so that a timely response can be implemented. One suggested resolution has been in the development of more advanced network technology at the local level. With the cloud being a big source for the analytics of IoT data, there is progress to be had by moving that process back to the device itself. This has process has been called moving toward the Edge, or more simply, Edge IoT analytics.

Companies able to invest in the stability and speed of their networks will have the ability, with the development of advanced data analytics through the IoT, to predict and resolve problems earlier. In addition, the cost in bandwidth to transport this massive amount of data to the cloud is far greater than analyzing it locally. Businesses and institutions interested in being competitive as the IoT progresses will have to capitalize on network technology which leverages computer capacity closer to the local network and to the device itself. Reliance on servers for the analytic and decision-making process will become obsolete as the increased volume of data makes that process expensive and inefficient.

The creation and sustainment of networks will go through massive changes as the IoT progresses. A high demand for local analytics will notably adjust the way we do networks especially when it comes to their efficiency and security.

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The Changing Nature of Human Life and the Internet of Things

[fa icon='calendar'] Jul 25, 2016 11:55:28 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in connected, Consumer, General, internet, Internet of Things, IoT, network, Smart Devices, smart home, technology

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By Nathan Rockershousen, Technical Writer

The way consumers interact with the objects in their lives is changing at a pace that once seemed impossible. Connectivity that was recently unimaginable will soon be the standard for all technological devices. The Internet of Things (IoT) goes far beyond industrial applications; consumers will be able to receive updates and information about nearly every aspect of their lives with wirelessly connected smart devices. The push for IoT technology is a push for control. Users will have control over their homes, cars, and even their own bodies through wearables. Even though it may seem intimidating to have technology take such an invasive role in consumer life, the benefits created by connectivity outweigh the perceived intrusive nature of smart devices.

The internet-connected devices that are being implemented as a means to create the ultimate smart home are changing the way individuals interact with their environment. IoT devices allow users to establish a network of smart devices, giving the user the flexibility to build an environment optimized for their needs. Smart home connectivity is enabled through powerful software such as the innovative Apple HomeKit, which gives users complete control over a variety of smart devices. Having the ability to control and monitor different aspects of a home gives the user endless possibilities in terms of setting up a custom, optimized environment.

The ability to control a connected network of devices will help save the user a significant amount of money. The most direct application in terms of money being saved is simply having the ability to reduce power usage. IoT devices give the consumer the convenience of being able to operate different devices on timers and manually control devices with their mobile phones. If a thermostat is being controlled, the user can set the air conditioning to only be on when people will be present in that environment. If various lights are left on when the user leaves their home, they have the ability to turn them off remotely. A washing machine can be set to run its wash cycle during electrical quiet periods. These are just a few of the many ways a smart home can be managed to reduce electricity usage and save the consumer money.

The smart home is still in its infancy. Even though the potential for the IoT to continue to improve human life is easily observable, extremely advanced solutions are still on the horizon. This does not mean that there are not functional and efficient devices on the market today, it simply means that there needs to be more hardware available to develop a true network of connected devices. It is essential to begin to create a personalized smart home as the cost of connectivity continues to plummet and smart home solutions become more sophisticated.

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Grid Connect is a World Class Manufacturer

[fa icon='calendar'] Aug 17, 2015 9:59:54 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in 900MHz, BLE, Bluetooth, CANbus, chips, connection, Custom, development, DeviceNet, Ethernet, firmware, General, Grid Connect, hardware, I2C, Illinois, manufacturer, manufacturing, modbus, modbus tcp, modules, Naperville, network, NRE, packaging, private-labeled, PROFIBUS, PROFINET, RS-232, RS-422, RS-485, software, SPI, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, wifi

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Grid Connect Inc. is an ISO 9001-certified, world-class quality manufacturer. Our chips, modules and products are used by thousands of companies around the world to provide a network connection to their devices. All of our products are designed, assembled, programmed and tested in Illinois, USA. All final tests, firmware loading and packaging is done at Grid Connect in Naperville, Illinois.

All Grid Connect products can be customized and private-labeled to a specific customer’s requirements. It can be as simple as a software change to increase buffer sizes or as complex as a new hardware and software design. In all cases, Grid Connect will provide your company with a fixed price quotation for the NRE/development work and the production cost for the final product. We are happy to private label your product and ship it to you with the correct labeling and documentation.

Some networking and protocol technologies that Grid Connect specializes in, include:

  • Ethernet
  • Ethernet/IP
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth
  • ZigBee
  • 900MHz
  • PROFIBUS
  • PROFINET
  • CANbus
  • DeviceNet
  • Modbus
  • Modbus TCP

Grid Connect also specialized in all serial standards, including:

  • RS-232
  • RS-485
  • RS-422
  • SPI
  • I2C


For more specific detailing of the various hardware and software options we provide, call the Grid Connect office at +1 (800) 975-GRID or fill out the form here.

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Putting User Interface at the Start of Your IoT Design Process

[fa icon='calendar'] Feb 9, 2015 11:35:25 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in app, connected devices, data, gateway, General, Internet of Things, IoT, IoT design, IoT devices, laptop, LCD, LCD display, LED, LED display, module, network, product design, smart homeg, smart phones, soft access point, soft AP, tablet, UI, user interface, UX, Wi-Fi, White Papers, Wi-Fi modules, wifi

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How are your buyers going to interface with your product?

This is one of the toughest aspects of Internet of Things (IoT) product design right now. Today’s consumers and business owners expect multiple ways to access and control the world around them and options for connected devices are numerous.

User interface options for IoT design range from using a smart home panel or gateway to an on-product LCD/LED display. The LCD/LED display can then be paired with LEDs or push buttons. In addition, apps to monitor and control connected devices can be web-based or available for on-the-go consumers with smart phones.

To determine what kind of user interface your product design needs, you must consider two things:

  1. The type of product
  2. The use-cases for this product

For example, is this product going to be used strictly in one location or on the go? Will it need to by physically touched to work or will it need to be operated remotely or both? Where will the user want to see the information that the device is collecting and how are they going to use that data?

Wi-Fi-enabled IoT devices may also have the ability to act as a soft access point (soft AP) to allow a user to “join” its network locally with a smart phone, laptop or tablet. Soft APs make product LED/LCD displays unnecessary since the screen of the connected device will serve the same purpose. Using a soft AP does not preclude the module from also connecting to the Internet and cloud-based services with some Wi-Fi modules though. This dual-mode is very attractive because the user can access the product remotely and locally, depending on the features and use-cases for the product.

So, what interface will provide the best user experience for your buyers? This needs to be one of the first questions you ask when designing a product for the IoT in order to provide the easiest and overall best experience for your customers.

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10 Internet of Things design considerations

[fa icon='calendar'] Feb 6, 2015 11:25:24 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in antenna, Apple HomeKit, Bluetooth, cloud applications, communication, consumers, cost, Embedded Computing Design, Ethernet, FCC certification, Featured In, gateway, General, internet, Internet of Things, IoT, IoT device, manufacturers, network, networking, networking technologies, power source, router, security, smart products, SSL, technology, Wi-Fi, wifi, Wireless

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Connecting products to the Internet of Things (IoT) is essential to manufacturers looking to stay competitive within their industry. Adding IoT capabilities gives consumers more features. It also allows the manufacturer to stay connected with their customer while discovering new product use cases and applications that open them up to new revenue streams. When designing your first IoT device, there are 10 things to keep in mind...

Read more at Embedded Computing Design or download the PDF now.

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10 Internet of Things (IoT) Design Considerations: Cost and Network

[fa icon='calendar'] Jan 5, 2015 8:22:39 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in BLE, Bluetooth, Bluetooth 4.0, Bluetooth Alliance, cellular, cellular service provider network, Cloud, connectded devices, cost, Ethernet, gateway, General, hardwares, internet, Internet of Things, internet protocol suite, IoT, IoT capabilities, IoT-enabled, manufacturers, manufacturing costs, mesh network, modules, network, oftware, TCP/IP, technology, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Alliance, Z-Wave, ZigBee, ZigBee Coordinator, White Papers, Wireless, Z-Wave Alliance, ZigBee Alliance

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1. Cost

Connecting products to the Internet of Things (IoT) is essential to manufacturers looking to stay competitive within their industry. Adding IoT capabilities gives consumers more features. It also allows the manufacturer to stay connected with their customer while discovering new product use cases and applications that open them up to new revenue streams. These added benefits for both parties come with a cost though. Connected devices come with higher manufacturing costs but can also be sold with a higher price tag as well.

Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections can be added to products for less than $10 in bill of materials costs. Other technologies, such as ZigBee, Z-Wave and Bluetooth, can be added for a lower price but may require a separate bridge device to get that device on the Internet to access Cloud services.

2. Network

Manufacturers have many hardware and software options when it comes to network technology for their IoT-enabled products. Some devices can be directly connected to the Internet using networking such as Ethernet and Wi-Fi, which are based on the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP). Other products may use wireless technologies; some of which include TCP/IP, but in the end will require a “gateway” to convert the chosen network to either Ethernet or Wi-Fi. Some of the many technologies available include:

10 IoT Design Considerations - Network Technology

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>  For more information, please call Grid Connect Inc. at +1 (630) 245-1445, or email us at iot@gridconnect.com.

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IP in your hand… Really!!

[fa icon='calendar'] Nov 8, 2010 3:37:58 PM / by Rick Rockershousen posted in custom engineering, General, IP technology, live swap, NET232, NET232jr, network, OEM, Press Releases, Products, serial devices, serial port devices

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The world’s tiniest device server, the NET232jr, was originally nicknamed by its first customer as “IP In Your Hand”.   This clever turn of phrase gave us a few chuckles, but it does point out the amazingly small size of the NET232jr.    The  NET232 “junior” enables serial devices with IP technology in the smallest package available in the world (as far as we know!).

We were able to shrink down the size of our standard NET232 by getting rid of the power regulation circuitry and the power LED.    This change requires that power be provided to the NET232jr over the serial port (coming from the serial device), and that power must be regulated at 3.3VDC or 5VDC.    This obviously means that the NET232jr is not for everyone.

The NET232jr has been primarily used thus far by OEMs who want to offer it as an add-on for their serial port devices, and who have the ability to modify the serial port of their product to put out the power required.    You might ask “if you’re going to modify your product to put out power on the serial port, why not just go ahead and add the XPort (the main component inside the NET232jr) to your product instead?”    Well, there are several reasons why you might not want to do that.  First and foremost is cost.  Maybe you expect only a limited percentage of your customers to actually need an Ethernet connection.   Why put an XPort in every product?  Why not just sell an add-on that is small, smart, cost-effective and can be customized to your specifications with ease?   This is the motivation for the NET232jr.

Another interesting use of the “junior” is when you have a serial device that must be operational at all times, and you need to “live swap” it for servicing quickly and simply.   If you use the NET232jr as the network connection, then you can leave the NET232jr attached to the network while you swap out whatever serial device is attached.  This means you do not have to reconfigure the network connection for the new device; you simply plug it in and the NET232jr “remembers” the network settings.   Thus, you do not need to call in IT personnel to replace your serial device – anyone can do it – just plug it in!

The NET232jr came into existence when a customer asked for something smaller than the NET232 (which is already one of the smallest Serial to Ethernet device servers on the market).    Grid Connect is happy to discuss your project/product needs with you and see if we can find a solution – even if you don’t see on our website.  We have on staff a team of engineers dedicated to finding solutions to your networking problems.    Maybe you need a custom design that will fit in your enclosure or cabinet.  Who knows – maybe you’ll even see an “IP in your cabinet” blog post someday!

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