No day goes by without innovation in the Internet of Things (IoT) landscape, affecting enterprises and individuals alike. In case you missed it, here is a roundup of last year highlights from the IoT world. January was a month packed with IoT-related news, so brace for a ride as we dive straight into this monthly series of exciting IoT updates from across the world.

You could see this coming, as CES 2022 arguably stole this month’s headlines while stirring tech innovators fantasies. Here we’ll summarise some of the most exciting highlights from the show.

Welcome Matter

Matter, a royalty-free connectivity standard, made great strides in staking a claim in what has so far appeared to be a melting pot of incompatible devices. Matter, formerly Project Connected Home over IP, or Project CHIP, is essentially an IPv6-based connectivity standard defining the application layer deployed on devices and MCUs with support for Wi-Fi, Thread and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). At CES 2022, flagship consumer brands showcased deployed products running the industry–unifying protocol and announced Matter support for several smart home appliances.

Although the Matter specification is proprietary, i.e. licensed by the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA), formerly Zigbee Alliance, the code is open-source. It is exciting to assist in the growth in momentum historically driven by openHAB around smart home automation and open-source software.

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Intel Mobileye: EyeQ Ultra

It wouldn’t be a proper CES without Intel contributing to driving innovation. The anticipations were high, as late last year, Ubuntu images optimised for the Intel Atom® X6000E, the Intel® Pentium®, the Celeron® N and the J Series processors already pushed the adoption of IoT solutions. 

At CES 2022, Intel didn’t fall short of expectations. Intel’s Mobileye disclosed the EyeQ Ultra, a single SoC for end-to-end control of the entire AV stack. Targeting Level-4 autonomous driving and featuring 12 RISC-V CPU cores (24 threads), the EyeQ Ultra is poised to drive the next-gen autonomous vehicles. Intel, however, disclosed the SoC won’t reach production-ready maturity before 2023. 

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Bosch innovates in IoT

From introducing an eBike System to showcasing the SoundSee, an AI-based audio and signal processing solution that reached the International Space Station (ISS) in 2019, Bosch‘s presence at the tech show was among the most noteworthy.

A recurring theme among Bosch highlight products was the full embrace of a software-defined approach to everything, appliances and automobiles included. Among the latter category, Bosch placed a strong emphasis at CES 2022 on the importance of optimizing software-defined vehicles within the limits of their hardware. If it sounds confusing, no need to worry: it refers to the capability of updating their functionalities through over-the-air (OTA) software upgrades. 

It would be a mistake to refer solely to the vehicle, as the whole business of automotive is reshaping in what nowadays may aptly be called a software-defined industry. A vertical where OEMs expect the OTA updates to be transactional for reliability and with deltas to minimize network traffic.

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5G and IoT workloads

It is not a big surprise that IoT workloads will increasingly lean on the fifth-generation mobile network (5G). Characterized by increased traffic capacity and low latency, 5G networks are poised to contribute to more performant and reliant connected ‘things’.

The rollout of the fifth generation of cellular mobile communications saw a forced slowdown this January. Late last year, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) voiced concerns over potential interference of the C-band (3.7-4.2 GHz) with aviation operations. According to the regulators, the mid-band 5G spectrum could affect altimeter instrumentation in low-visibility landings. In early January, the FAA released a list of 50 airports with buffer zones to be effective after the 5G rollout scheduled for January 19. One day ahead of the planned date, major wireless carriers in the US agreed to postpone the deployment near airports and runaways over aviation safety concerns. 

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The safety of air travellers takes precedence over the rollout, of course. We still have to ascertain the extent of the slowdown on the overall IoT landscape. What is certain is that, as hardware spending keeps on rising, 2022 will still be a pivotal year in the ever-increasing adoption of connected devices. Whether, with the urge to have everything connected, the 5th generation mobile network will be the catalyst behind the spread of embedded devices in 2022 remains to be seen.

Stay tuned for more IoT news

We will soon be back with next month’s summary of IoT news. Thanks for reading!

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