Innovations in Comfort, Efficiency, and Safety Solutions.
Sinclair - How does Bluetooth compare to Wi-Fi for IoT applications in smart buildings?
Srinivas Pattamatta - Bluetooth and Wi-Fi both enable connected devices to connect to a large installed base. While Wi-Fi is best suited for high throughput apps like 4K videos, Bluetooth is ideal for devices that only need to transmit smaller amounts of information and/or send information intermittently; for example, sensors that monitor temperature or beacons that show location. Furthermore, Bluetooth – particularly the newest standard, Bluetooth 5.0 – uses much less power than Wi-Fi, so most power-constrained devices rely on Bluetooth connectivity. One thing that’s exciting is how the range of Bluetooth has improved over the years, so now Bluetooth 5.0 offers the same range as Wi-Fi for connected devices that use a low to medium data rate.
Sinclair - What are some IoT applications that are ideal for Bluetooth in smart buildings?
Srinivas Pattamatta - Today’s smart buildings use a wide variety of IoT devices to power all sorts of applications. Bluetooth-powered sensors and beacons are often used to monitor temperature, humidity, air quality, the presence of gas, etc. to help buildings operate more efficiently and safely. Another popular use case is automated lighting systems that use sensors to detect movement and turn the lights on or off, saving electricity when a room isn’t occupied.
Sinclair - What are some technologies that are helping to solve the problems associated with battery-powered devices?
Srinivas Pattamatta - While IoT devices have many exciting capabilities, the growth of the IoT has contributed to a serious problem of battery waste. With billions of batteries being consumed every year, solutions that extend battery life – or even replace the need for batteries entirely – can make a meaningful impact.
Finally, managed energy harvesting is another innovative way to enable batteries to last forever, or enable devices to run without any batteries. While energy harvesting can be used in consumers’ homes, it is particularly easy to implement in enterprise, industrial and office settings since companies can install energy sources, such as RF transmitters, at defined intervals. By controlling both the transmitters and the devices themselves, companies can ensure that devices can harvest enough energy to run properly.
Sinclair - How is energy harvesting able to provide enough power for IoT devices?
Srinivas Pattamatta - When power utilization is reduced to very low levels, managed energy harvesting is a viable power source for wireless connected devices. Energy harvesting is the process of capturing and storing small amounts of energy from external sources, such as RF power, photovoltaic(light), thermal and kinetic (motion). This energy is converted to electricity in place of, or as a supplement to, battery power. Storing the harvested energy on supercapacitors or rechargeable batteries helps extend the battery life of devices or remove the need for batteries. In the past, the deployment of battery-free solutions using energy harvesting had only been viable for very short-range applications. However, thanks to the combination of Bluetooth 5.0 and ultra-low-power functionality, power consumption can be low enough to be supported by harvested RF, light or heat energy, while still being able to provide the range and coverage equivalent to Wi-Fi.
Sinclair - What types of solutions does Atmosic offer for Bluetooth connected devices?
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