You've probably heard the acronyms M2M (Machine to Machine), IoT (Internet of Things) or IoE (Internet of Everything – the latest trendy word for the IoT) bandied around of late, but what does it all really mean and how is it relevant to lighting?
Basics of M2M and the IoT / IoE
- Each day we consume more data than our grandparents did in their lifetime
- 90% of world's data was created in last 2 years
- Estimated 16 billion connected devices in 2015
- x7 connected devices per home in 2014, estimated x24 by 2020
- IoT space predicted to generate $19 trillion by 2020
M2M is ‘things’ of a similar type talking to each other, predominantly in a local environment. A good example of this is the Oyster card system employed in London Underground or machines in a factory reporting back on their performance for operational efficiency and production data.
The IoT or IoE is about connecting a multitude of different ‘things’ together and getting them to communicate via the Internet across multiple applications with new revenue opportunities. Unconstrained by physical location or device type, this allows remote control and reporting and for one device to trigger an action or event on another device.
For example, your lights could include motion sensors that detect when no one is in the house and then turn your Hive or Nest thermostat down and send a text if someone has broken it.
So how does the ‘cloud’ play a part in all this? In the IoT world, the cloud refers to the off-site servers that hold all the data that is collected and analysed.
Lighting is the most pervasive, ubiquitous element in any environment. There’s more luminaires than any other device – it’s the ‘Trojan Horse’ into the IoT. If lighting is to play its rightful part at the epicentre of a smart, connected environment, four core components are required in a successful ecosystem – we call this Lighting 3.0.
- Luminaire & sensors – The networked endpoint that provides illumination and sends data from inbuilt sensors and energy usage
- Communications – Modules and hubs that take the data from the luminaire to the cloud
- Cloud infrastructure – Servers that store and crunch data to provide energy-saving suggestions, control and interoperability with other systems
- Operating system – The software that overlays the ecosystem and provides a control interface and visible access to the data
One ecosystem, multiple devices and services
A cost-effective, easy-to-install ecosystem deployed on a mass scale will transform how lighting is designed, sold, installed and monetised. The value is shifting from hardware to software and from products to services. Contractors will become systems integrators that connect devices and provide value-added services and benefits, ultimately creating new revenue-generating opportunities.
This isn't fiction; this is happening now across a multitude of industries – lighting is next.
Individually controllable, intelligent luminaires
We are at the forefront of this revolution with our driverless LED light engines. This technology opens the door to direct digital communication between the cloud and every individual luminaire. Follow the progress of our AOne™ Control Solution for a glimpse of the future and ride with us on the next wave of lighting innovation.