Steve Taylor, a senior consultant at The Technology Partnership (TTP), has recommended that semiconductor companies turn their attention to the Internet of Sensors (IoS). According to Taylor, it’s actually the Internet of Sensors and resulting data that matters most.
“The Internet of Things (IoT) is, to a large extent, a solution looking for a problem, rather than the other way round,” he explained. “There’s simply no point in objects talking to each other just for the sake of it and the IoT only provides the communications backbone.”
In contrast, says Taylor, the Internet of Sensors looks more like the roots of a tree, with sensors of all types at the extremities, capturing and feeding data upwards to the main trunk – the Internet.
“It’s important to look at the needs first and then create systems around them. In this world, small changes in the sensor map can lead to very significant commercial gains,” he continued. “[For example], there is a need to pump more data to the Cloud, to gain greater insight into systems ￼￼and how they perform in reality. This information is extremely valuable, particularly if you can blend local sensor data with historical data.”
Commenting on the above-mentioned report, Kendra De Berti, a director at Rambus, noted that simple-function, sensor-laden endpoints are expected to become ubiquitous as new layers of smart infrastructure go online. More specifically, says De Berti, environmentally aware ‘lite’ endpoints will be tasked with capturing, analyzing and transferring data to various devices and the Cloud.
“Although basic endpoints require less computing power than current mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets, they still need to meet stringent compute and low-power specifications – perhaps even lasting weeks or months on a single charge,” she explained.
That is why, says De Berti, Rambus is developing its lensless smart sensor (LSS) technology for a new age of ubiquitous connectivity. Indeed, LSS allows sensors to capture information-rich images using a low-cost phase grating.
“The spiral grating of LSS diffractive optics (hardware), coupled with sophisticated computational algorithms (software), reduces computation time while facilitating application-specific design flexibility,” De Berti added. “Computation is effectively pushed past the ‘edge’ and performed on the LSS sensors themselves.”