Access and Feeds

Internet of Things: Spiraling Data Costs May Temper IoT Growth

By Dick Weisinger

IoT is coming, but are we ready?  The infrastructure needed to support the data generated by billions of IoT devices will be potentially staggering in size compared to today’s infrastructure.  Data network and communication costs can become expensive quickly.

Tom Hunt, president and CEO of WindSpring, commented in an EE Times article by Junko Yoshida that IoT device developers and service providers find that data costs “quickly spiral out of control.”  Hunt proposes that the solution is to find new ways of compressing and optimizing data transmitted by IoT devices in order to improve operational efficiency and reduce costs.

Hunt says that the problem with existing device data compression techniques is that “the compression algorithms have no context about the data. If a service provider knows what data structures are being sent from one point to another, then they can use that context to drive much better compression.  It’s possible to tune a compression algorithm based on the characteristics of the network and environment where the device will operate, but “that context is only good for a single system.”

Paul Teich, principal analyst at Tirias Research, used the example of NASA engineering.  “NASA compresses as much data as possible to save deep space probe power and cram as much data into very low bitrate channels as they possibly can. But it takes some knowledge of compression to do it well.” For the IoT space, “it will take knowledge of the sensors and data structures to eke out every bit of possible compression.”

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