IoT is the collection of smart, sensor-enabled physical objects, and the networks, servers and services that interact with them. It is a trend and not a single sector or market. However, ARM’s technology designs enable the current and future IoT applications and services to become truly ubiquitous and intelligent. It is these embedded microprocessors in combination with wired or wireless networks that enable objects to sense autonomously their environment. They can communicate with other objects and interact with Internet-based services, and cloud-based applications.
IoT and Data Big and Small
IoT capabilities can be added to just about any physical object including clothing, jewelry, thermostats, medical devices, household appliances, home automation, industrial controls, even light bulbs. This trend will need cost effective sensing technology that can last for years, not hours. These sensors can gather small amounts of data for long periods. ARM believes big data analysis, used to create intelligence, begins with small data. ARM creates sensors, controllers, and other embedded intelligence in devices. Last year, ARM partners sold 9 billion chips, a large percentage of which were for mobile Internet use. This firmly places ARM in the foundation layer of big data, with its sensors, controllers and embedded intelligence in devices providing the small data for companies to use in analyzing the big data.
The Internet of Things is already here and in use today, but the future will see an Internet of Things where billions of devices are connected to each other, all sharing data via the Internet.
IoT Making Order from Chaos
Application of embedded intelligence to the problem of finding a parking space in a busy city is a reality. SF Park in San Francisco and Streetline in Germany, the United Kingdom, and across the United States collect and distribute real-time data about parking spaces both on the street and in garages. It saves drivers having to circle areas looking for a parking space, reducing congestion. It also allows operators to lower or raise meter and garage parking prices to match demand in under-used or popular areas, respectively. The little data generated by battery-powered parking bay sensors with an ARM Cortex™-M3 processor, provides years of continuous operation. Intelligent cities scale this optimization of parking to a citywide smart infrastructure to save money, reduce emissions and improve quality of life. These are early adopters of large-scale deployments as cost savings can balance the infrastructure costs and reduce pollution within the long term planning cycles of the public sector. The questions then become: How to share the data? What standards and what formats will be trusted? Without these, the Internet of Things will not have the scale needed to operate across all markets.
The BodyGuardian remote patient monitoring system, by Preventice, detects and monitors cardiac arrhythmias using a body sensor attached to the patient’s chest to collect ECG, heart rate and activity level data which is transmitted to a doctor via a mobile phone. Developed in collaboration with Mayo Clinic, it creates a constant connection between patient and medical teams.
The Internet of Things is more complex than the mobile Internet system. If the mobile Internet is 10 billion units, the Internet of Things is 100 billion units. If PCs had two form factors, desktop and laptop, and mobile computing had tens of form factors – candy bar, flip, slid, touch, smartphone, tablets, phablet and transformer – then IoT will have millions of form factors.
This will bring massive choice and diversity – there will not be 100 billion of the same devices. There will be millions of different devices and apps: what you need in a healthcare sensor is different to what you need in air conditioning; a temperature sensor is different to the controller in an electric motor. All of which are different to the controllers used in cars. The future of the Internet of Things is not that one size will fit all, but that they will all use ARM technology.