Fiber Optics & The Internet of Things, Where Everything is connected to Everything.

Fiber Optics & The Internet of Things, Where Everything is connected to Everything.

Missing breakfast at home because you forgot to buy eggs is in the past. Now your connected refrigerator can send alerts detailing products that are running low. This is all possible thanks to the Internet of Things.

The Internet of Things has for many years been a hot topic, but what exactly is it?

It can be defined as a future in which everyday objects are connected to the Internet and will be able to communicate with each other.  Jacob Morgan describes The Internet of Things on Forbes as “the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other). This includes everything from cell phones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else you can think of.”

And yes, it is going to impact the way you live and the way you work.

  • Ericcson estimates 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020
  • Gartner predicts there will be roughly 500 networked devices in a typical family home
  • Samsung and LG are just a couple of companies already marketing smart appliances

Every Car, refrigerator, lamp, clock, phone and wearable device will be embedded with intellegent sensors, that will interpret data and experience and fine tune its capabilities over time. This we have recently seen with Google DeepMinds Go win. The ability to communicate with other objects and with people will become the norm. So, in the future the communication will be machine-to-machine (M2M), machine-to-person (M2P) and person-to-person (P2P).

So your car is going to be able to alert you if the tire pressure is low and tell you places you can go to solve that problem. Or your clock will tell your coffee maker to start making that delicious beverage because is almost time for you to wake up. Sounds cool, right?

And how exactly is the Internet of Things related to optical fiber?

When all your gadgets and devices are connected and communicate with each other, data transmission needs to be fast. There is no other transmission media able to reach higher speeds than optical fiber. Therefore, the Internet of things needs optical fiber broadband to reach wirelessly speeds of 100Gpsb to reproduce,for example,  4K videos in just seconds.

Billions of devices connected with each other put a big issue in the spotlight: security.

Will anybody be able to hack your phone and have access to your house? Is it going to bring more security and privacy threats? It probably will, but so far optic fiber networks are the only solution currently in the running. They offer the most secure option, as it is actually hard to hack them without being detected.

Phil Levis, an associate professor at Stanford who co-directs the university’s Secure Internet of Things Project  stated ‘The Internet is in some ways more secure now than two decades ago, because developers are more careful and clean up dangerous code. These lessons have yet to be picked up by many Internet-of-things developers, he says.’   quoted from

Already products are being launched this year that address the security issues presented with total connectivity.

For example, Atlanta-based Bastille  uses sensors to keep track of connected devices by measuring the electromagnetic signatures of different devices in an office. The sensors can track devices that use communication protocols like Wi-Fi and low-energy Bluetooth or work over cellular networks, and its software can tell where they are to within three meters. quoted from

In addition, interference issues will be minimal as it is immune to electromagnetic currents and can be installed basically anywhere, from underwater to high-temperature zones.

As Kyle Hollifield, senior vice president at Magellan Advisors, said at CES 2016: FTTH networks need to be prepared for the added traffic, because network capacity will be critical for the success of smart cities and homes when everything is connected with everything.

He pointed out that if consumers find that their smart home products don’t work because their network can’t handle the traffic, they’ll abandon the devices before trying to re-configure their own networks.


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