Smart Cities Are No Longer Optional

By Nathan Rockershousen, Technical Writer

The invasion of connectivity has influenced large cities around the globe to embrace the Internet of Things (IoT) as the all-purpose solution for improving the quality of life. As the population of people living in cities continues to grow, the multitude of wasted resources will increase from an already large amount. In order to support the changing infrastructure of city life, smart technology needs to be further implemented in the form of devices and vehicles in order to reduce the consumption of valuable resources such as energy, gas, and water.

Smart technology has barely reached its threshold of possibilities at this point in time. There has only been a handful of European and American cities that have begun to implement new technology. That being said, the success of combining IoT technology with the physical city infrastructure in the few existing smart cities has provided cities stuck in the past with overwhelming evidence of how the lives of citizens can be vastly improved with smart technology. The issue is not in cities not being able to access the technology; there are several industry leading companies such as Cisco, Intel, Siemens, and many more, that are creating smart solutions with innovative technological advancements. It is a matter of cities being willing to take a leap of faith towards a future full of efficient and cost-effective solutions.

The municipalities that have already embraced the IoT have drastically enhanced the quality of city life while reducing spending and easing the pain of city congestion. There are a couple of great examples of how cities in the United States have implemented this technology. San Francisco has begun to integrate sensors into their streets and parking spots to help drivers avoid traffic and find open parking spaces quickly. San Antonio has smart LED streetlights, which can alter their brightness levels in instances of fog or rain to improve the road visibility for drivers. These are among the many innovations that are making cities easier to navigate and live in while improving existing safety standards.

As more cities begin to adopt the features of what has been deemed an IoT revolution, it will be important that there are standards in place. These standards will make the most innovative tech much more synonymous solutions in cities around the globe, which will assist in distinguishing solutions that work from solutions that don’t. Ken Briodagh, writer for the IoT Evolution, describes the need for standards:

“As each city seeks to address its most pressing needs, or move toward the implementation that has the most potential for success, the leaders need to start working together with each other to share knowledge and intelligence about these projects so the successful ones can be replicated and the failures won’t be” (Read more: iotevolutionworld.com).

As IoT technology starts to become a more central part of city infrastructure, standards will begin to develop at a much more successful rate. Converting a city into a smart city will not happen overnight. It is unrealistic to expect the immediate integration of smart technology around the world, but what can be expected is cities seeking solutions in IoT for their specific and pressing needs. As time goes on there will be a global peak in the production of IoT devices; if cities continue to have success in improving the quality of life with smart technology, then the widespread adoption of the smart city is an inevitable, but necessary step in creating a more resource-efficient society.

Where is the standard for the IoT standards?

The rapid progression of device communication has resulted in a formidable roadblock to the Internet of Things (IoT). Too many rival standards have emerged from big company alliances and individual expansions. While companies like Samsung, Intel, and Cisco have united around the Open Interconnect Consortium, individual corporations like Apple and Google are beginning to make headway on their own API projects.

In order for the IoT to work, every device pair must have identical network standards. Without matching protocols, individual objects won’t be able to communicate. For example, in order to play music from a smartphone through a Bluetooth speaker, the phone must connect to the device over Bluetooth, and not through Wi-Fi. This can get far more complicated than just the internet connection. In addition to network standards like Bluetooth, ZigBee, and Wi-Fi, there are also application and security standards that must also be identical. Two devices that run on Wi-Fi still can’t work together if one runs on the Apple HomeKit protocol and the other is designed for Works with Nest.

Inevitably, the jumble of standards has drawn all sorts of lines in the sand as far as companies developing for the IoT are concerned. This process has begun to follow a similar mess that occurred with the development of radio-frequency identification (RFID). It took 15 years to develop a common protocol for the RFID market, because of competing corporate interests.

Without standards, there is no possibility for interoperability, but it is important that companies work together to come up with fewer, more universal standards. Reducing the amount of these protocols opens up more avenues for product developers, and allows the consumer more product choice, rather than having to be selective based on the protocols they are already using in their home.

New Product Alert: NET232+CC Serial to Ethernet Adapter With Cisco® RJ45 Console Port

NET232CC_2_1500X1500

Part Number: GC-NET232-PLUS-CC
MPN: GC-NET232-PLUS-CC

YOUR PRICE:  $99.95

The NET232+CC is a serial to Ethernet device server, especially designed for use with equipment following the Cisco® RJ45 console port pinout. The NET232+CC provides remote access over Ethernet TCP/IP to routers, switches, servers, and other equipment that have a serial RJ45 console port or management port. Any Cisco equipment that uses the Cisco 72-3383-01 (DB-9 to RJ45) Console Cable can use the NET232+CC.

Examples of Cisco products that use this type of console port are the Catalyst® 2350 Series switches, Catalyst 6500 Series switches, and the Cisco ASA 5500-X Series firewalls. Other manufacturers use the same RJ45 pinout as the Cisco console port. For example, the IBM® Power 710, Power 730 and Power 8 Servers have a system port that can be used with the NET232+CC.

The NET232+CC is a fully featured device server supporting multiple TCP connections (up to 4 TCP or a mixture of TCP and UDP), DNS, email serial triggers, email authentication, and 256-bit AES encryption at no-additional charge. Serial data rates up to 921K and auto-sensing 10/100Mbps Ethernet are supported. The NET232+CC also features an industrial grade temperature range, detailed LED status indicators, and a factory reset button (accessible through a pin-hole with a paperclip)

The NET232+CC is simple to configure using the provided installation software and web page. Just connect the adapter to an RS232 based RJ45 Serial port and to the local Ethernet network and then run the free software to find and set up the NET232+CC. The NET232+CC is typically used to connect the console/management/system port over the network to a TTY console terminal program such as Hyperterminal. “Virtual” COM ports can also be created on a PC using the included Comm Port Redirector software.

The NET232+CC can be powered from a nearby USB Port by using the optional “USB to Barrel Jack” cable. This cable simply takes the 5VDC power from the USB Port to power the NET232+CC. Power can also be optionally provided by a wall supply (US 110V or Euro 220V).

Features:

  • Advanced RS232 Serial RJ45 to Ethernet (RJ45) Device Server
  • 10BASE-T and 100BASE-TX Ethernet (auto-sensing)
  • Serial baud rates up to 921K
  • Simple Web Page Configuration
  • Supports Multiple TCP Connections (up to 4) or a Mixture of TCP and UDP
  • Secure 256-bit AES Encryption and Email Authentication with User Name and Password
  • Email Serial Triggers (Supporting up to 6-byte Match Sequence or Embedded Modem Dial Commands)
  • Push Button Factory Default Reset
  • Industrial Temperature Range -40ºC to +85ºC
  • Powered by USB to Barrel Jack Cable or Wall Adapter
  • Compact Size (63.5 x 42.7 x 20.2 mm)
  • RS232 Serial Cable 15 inch with RJ45 Male Plug
  • UL, CE, RoHS Compliant

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> More Information

The 43 Best IoT Twitter Accounts To Follow

The Internet of Things (IoT) is hot these days… it’s almost annoyingly popular, even though we’re part of the industry. But considering that the IoT touches everyone and nearly every company, I guess it makes sense that Cisco is working on renaming it to the Internet of Everything. With everyone chattering about the IoT, it can be hard to know just who to listen to.

That’s why we created a list of the top 43 IoT Twitter accounts. Why 43? I guess we don’t really like rounding off our lists. This group of Twitterers includes true experts and thought leaders in the field who share the latest updates and news on M2M and IoT technology so that you stay in the know. We chose accounts based on the quality of content they share, their list of followers, how often they post, and a little bit of our own subjective opinion. (There’s a lot of other great accounts out there, but we couldn’t include everyone.) So check these IoT Twitter leaders out (in alphabetical order) and be sure to follow the ones that interest you…

Read more at Link Labs or download the PDF now.