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Don’t let the connectivity solution determine your product’s end of life

Wirelessly connected products are found everywhere nowadays and wireless connectivity is on the top of many R&D managers’ agenda. At LumenRadio we are witnessing just that, we see an ever increasing demand for wireless. But you don’t want the wireless connectivity solution you chose to determine your product’s life cycle. It should simply work until the end of life of your product, right?

But there are some pitfalls to consider for sure! In this blog post I will discuss how to avoid them.

Wireless is exploding

I would say that almost everyone agrees that wireless connectivity is the future.

We see sensors and actuators being connected all around us. Wireless connectivity is exploding and is a key enabler technology for IoT. It’s not only us saying that, I mean after all we are somewhat biased at LumenRadio, we are passionate about perfecting wireless connectivity. So you wouldn’t expect anything else. But you can read this in reports from Ericsson [1] and Gartner [2], to mention a few. They are all pointing into the same direction – massive wireless connectivity lays ahead! Of course these are predictions and predicting the future is hard, it has always been. But the trend is pointing upwards, very very steep upwards. And it is all happening now!

Choosing the right connectivity technology

In this world of predictions, how do you make sure that you are choosing the right connectivity technology?

As I mentioned in an earlier blog post about The Frequency Spectrum: massive connectivity means massive use of frequencies. Your wireless enabled product might be working fine and dandy today. But imagine that a couple of years after your product was installed, a new wireless sensor system is implemented in addition, or the IT department decides to install more WiFi. If your system can’t cope with the new competition it will risk failing, resulting in poor quality of service. You can imagine the support burden when the customers start calling. This could very well lead to you having to redesign the product…

Firmware updates over the air!

Let’s move on to something that should be a given. Firmware updates over the air! It’s crucial!

I mean, what do you do if you implemented an undocumented feature? You know, a feature that product management would call a bug… Or imagine the same product management being über-excited about a new feature they want implemented, a feature that the customers just have to have. Imagine you have to say “not possible” Firmware updates over the air are crucial!

Does it work in real life?

But you need to watch out! Some vendors claim they have FW updates working, but we have witnessed quite a few systems that don’t work in real life. I would say that anyone can get FW updates over the air working in a lab environment for a few units. But what happens in real life when you have to update thousands of units and some of them are battery powered? Ask for proof before you buy into a vendor’s wireless connectivity solution!

FW updates over the air is a focus area for LumenRadio R&D. Even if you have thousands of units in the network, a FW update is just a push of a button away. Thanks to our patented method a FW update that can take hours and hours won’t drain the battery-powered nodes. These are not just empty words, we have proven ourselves in the field. For example this building, Torsplan 2 in Stockholm.

About 3000 wireless sensors and actuators installed are in the network. We stress-tested the system doing multiple FW updates, and it worked flawlessly in an environment where the frequency spectrum was saturated by other wireless systems. And you know what: FW updates were running in the background while the system continues to be 100% operational. The customer won’t notice any degradation of performance, just that great new feature. This is a result of years of research, development and testing at LumenRadio!

Frequencies, a scarce natural resource

I mentioned that the frequency spectrum is becoming saturated. Our Cognitive Existence technology excels even though the spectrum is saturated. The main reason for us to develop the Cognitive Coexistence technology was to be able to offer Future-Proof wireless connectivity. In this world of massive adoption of wireless connectivity and the explosion of mobile data, we have the technology that won’t keep you awake at night after a product launch. Our Cognitive Coexistence technology will make intelligent predictions of the future and adapt, always using the best available frequencies.

If you want the full details about our Cognitive Coexistence technology please see my blog post about Our most valuable natural resource – The Frequency Spectrum.

Future-Proof Coexistence Connectivity

We are witnessing an explosion in wireless connectivity, driven by IoT. LumenRadio is your partner in connecting your products, helping you throughout their full lifecycle.
We know the importance of choosing the right technologies, making sure your products are future-proof. Best-in-class firmware upgrades over the air and ultra-reliable connectivity through Cognitive Coexistence are technologies from LumenRadio that will ensure just that.

We call this FPCC – Future-Proof Coexistence Connectivity.

Fortunately for you, we have written a more in depth whitepaper around this called “Becoming Future-Proof with wireless cognitive coexistence”, which you can download here.



SOURCES:
[1] https://www.ericsson.com/assets/local/mobility-report/documents/2017/ericsson-mobility-report-june-2017.pdf
[2] http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3598917

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