Reply to post: I have doubts

Meet the LPWAN clan: The Internet of Things' low power contenders

doublelayer Silver badge

I have doubts

I looked into some of these a while ago--I had a system which could benefit from communications at a distance, where there was no WiFi. However, I couldn't justify it, as all the components I could find required a lot of investment in hardware at each point. When you keep in mind that the computing part of a lot of these were raspberry pis, it perhaps makes more sense why I wasn't exactly impressed by the $20 US LoRa boards I found. Of course, I'm not mass-manufacturing these things, but a lot of the IoT things used in industry could probably be set up in a way such that they don't need these. For example, factories and hospitals, as listed in the article, are environments where devices could easily use WiFi connectivity. They are indoors, so in a place that likely already has networking, and a place that has electricity sufficient for the machines to transmit on the comparatively power hungry WiFi. There are lots of cases where something like this could be necessary, but I seriously doubt it's going to replace devices that use more common and less expensive technology.

Another issue is that open standards are a lot easier to develop for. If I build something that can use WiFi, I know it will work with the network infrastructure already in place. If I'm doing things locally, as usually these things will do, there is no data limit problem. Given that anything considering using something with maximum message lengths less than a kilobyte won't be sending video or something like that, WiFi connected to the wider network still won't have a data limit problem. Meanwhile, all these systems seem to require some type of central infrastructure, which is either provided at a lot of restrictions or has to be constructed by the user of the devices. It's a lot of work to do for most applications, so unless the range or power is absolutely necessary, I doubt they get used as often as the predictions estimate.

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