There is a real opportunity for devices to become even smarter by working together by sharing information and operations. The hope is that this interconnectivity will lead to a network of smarter connected devices that is more comprehensive, adaptable and responsive – impacting everything from healthcare to the energy grid to safer automobiles. In the energy grid for example, devices can work within a system context rather than in isolation, adapting their workloads to the needs of those devices around them or detecting faults in the system of devices before a major problem arises.
But while innovation in hardware and application development is an exciting topic it is just one side of the equation, the other side of that equation is connectivity – the pipes connecting these devices.
That’s why I was excited to read a recent post by GigaOm’s Kevin Tofel on the rise of 4G wireless and the impact it will have on 3G capacity for non-phone devices. Tofel’s premise is essentially that as 4G technologies (LTE and WiMAX) emerge to support the growing capacity demands for smartphones, feature phones, tablets and PCs, we’ll see 3G networks freed up to support a new generation of connected devices. We’re already starting to see significant growth in connected gadgets – from medical devices that wirelessly report patient progress to eBooks, cameras and even – as Tofel mentions – smart ski boots.
Freeing up capacity for these types of devices will be critical to their success and in general for bringing about change through a smarter device network. We’ve watched the carriers, such as AT&T, try to find the right balance between 3G, Edge and WiFi networks to manage bandwidth. The truth is that without a solution, increased congestion will frustrate consumers – limiting the consumer experience on phones, netbooks and tablets, and a new class of emerging wirelessly connected devices.
The rise of 4G technologies is looking very promising. Let’s hope it helps free-up enough support for a smarter more connected future.
Kerry McGuire, Director of Strategic Marketing, ARM, Growing up in a tiny little technology town and then moving to Austin to work in the mobile industry has led to a lifetime of being a technology groupie. Fascinated by the changing technical industry and the impact of technology on society trends, she enjoys watching the industry evolve by working with the best of ARM’s partners.
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