The key to unlocking the internet of things is 5G internet technology, according to experts demonstrating their gadgets at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
The internet of things is an online framework that enables gadgets and appliances to talk to and control each other.
5G is seen as vital in linking technologies to allow this communication.
The high-speed network will eliminate not-spots for mobile phones and hugely increase the speed of internet connections while reducing buffering and drop-outs.
The internet of things is envisaged as the way electronics can free people of many everyday tasks by allowing seamless connectivity between devices and appliances fitted software and sensors.
Home hub technology
Some examples include improving the efficiency of driverless cars, letting people control home appliances remotely with their mobile phones and setting up home hubs to manage lights, appliances and other technology.
Scientists estimate billions of devices can connect to the internet of things.
Home and workplace automation are two of the main advances scientists predict for the internet of things.
Electronics firms, such as Philips and Samsung, are already investing heavily in developing technology to run a home.
Basically, the internet of things allows:
- Sensors to monitor activities, like heat, light, time and motion
- Software to react to monitored changes
- Authorised users to change settings remotely by laptop, tablets or mobile phones
Sensors and software
For instance, a householder could switch on lights, turn up the heating and draw the curtains electronically while travelling home from work – or set automatic controls to complete the same tasks when light and temperatures dipped to a preset level.
Commercially, the applications are almost endless.
For example, sensors in street bins could trip when the contents reached a certain level to call out a garbage man to empty them or body sensors could monitor the health and whereabouts of the elderly, children or pets.
“So many things are possible, but they are dependent on a fast and effective 5G mobile phone network,” said Viktor Arvidsson, head of strategy for Ericsson France.
“5G has the capabilities to provide the high speed and capacity that the internet of things needs to run effectively.”
The European Union is considering a 770 billion euro investment for a standardised 5G network across all 28 member states, matched with 330 million euros of private funding.