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Wi-SUN Alliance highlights IoT plans in security and surveillance


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Image source: Wi-SUN Alliance

Security and surveillance and a number of smart places applications are among the most common plans for the use of internet of things (IoT) technology, according to a new report from the Wi-SUN Alliance.

The industry association, which promotes Wi-SUN technology as a network infrastructure for IoT deployments, has published the findings of a survey of 300 IT decision makers in public and private sectors in the UK and US in its The Journey to IoT Maturity report.

It says that 87% of respondents were very likely or definitely planning to use IoT sensors in security and surveillance over the next 12-18 months, up from 77% at the time of its previous survey in 2017.

Other smart places applications with high ratings include noise and air sensors (79% up from 62%), electric vehicle charging (79% up from 66%), smart parking (77% up from 57%), traffic light controls (76% up from 58%), and public safety (72% up from 61%).

This reflects a trend in which the IoT has emerged as a major priority for organisations, especially in the public and utility sectors.

Maturing market

Phil Beecher (pictured), president and CEO of the Wi-SUN Alliance, commented: “Five years ago the market was less mature with many smart city and smart utility projects still in their infancy.

“Our latest research shows that organisations are becoming more ambitious and sophisticated in their thinking. IoT is now a bigger priority than ever across all sectors, and the scale of what is being planned over the next few years is encouraging.

“But what’s clear is that the journey to IoT maturity isn't without its stumbling blocks. Obstacles still remain and organisations, supported by IoT services and solutions providers and the industry as a whole, must work to overcome a mixture of technical and non-technical barriers.”  

Obstacles identified in the report include concerns around the security of IoT, costs, complexity of the IT infrastructure and data privacy.

Open standards trend

It also says the biggest change for IoT adopters when considering a smart cities solution has been the importance of industry-wide open standards for IoT deployments. 86% of survey respondents indicated that this is either very important or absolutely crucial, up from 78% five years ago. 

More respondents are demanding a lack of vendor lock-in as a specific feature in 2022 (78% up from 66%). The alliance says this reinforces the need for open standards, which make it easier to integrate new IoT solutions, devices and software with existing infrastructure. 

Another notable trend has been an increased focus on mesh networking. IoT adopters are migrating away from exclusive use of star topologies, in which nodes connect indirectly to each other through switches (down to 12% from 21%), to hybrid networks (68% up from 58%) that include both star and mesh networks.

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