The ‘Internet of Things (IoT)’ is not just a buzzword. IoT is constantly evolving and has become one of the fastest-growing technology markets in the 21st century, bringing some of the most interesting inventions and innovative tech — including wearables and sports technology — to a range of different applications.

IoT is arguably going to be bigger than the mobile revolution, and hardware is what will enable entrepreneurs, tech start-ups and established manufacturers to get a slice of the action.

But for OEMs looking to break into this area, time to market is critical, and there are plenty of technical challenges to tackle along the way. So, finding an electronics manufacturing services provider that can help turn your idea into reality and support market introduction through an expert product realisation process will be crucial.

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Enhanced connections

One potential challenge to be aware of in this sector is that many IoT-enabled applications such as handheld devices will currently be using conventional 4G or 5G technology.

However, distributed devices such as embedded sensors have completely different network requirements. When using the internet, we access large volumes of data at irregular intervals. But these devices send small packets of data at regular intervals and will often need to connect in areas away from the traditional infrastructure and a convenient power supply. If lots of devices are linked, the connection could be slow and result in loss of functionality and productivity.

Long-range wireless IoT technologies form the basis for an LPWAN (Low-Power Wide-Area Network). They are specially designed for sending small amounts of data from numerous low-power devices — such as sensor endpoints — at longer intervals. These wireless IoT technologies can be used across a range of applications, especially within building management, industrial controls or in the medical sector.

At EC Electronics, we have vast experience in manufacturing PCB and cable assemblies for these types of devices, as well as technical knowledge of working with both Sigfox and LoRa-based platforms. It is an exciting time to be an electronics manufacturing services provider, and we are dedicated to supporting your IoT product from concept to reality — bringing it into market competitively through our product realisation service.

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