The Internet of Things continues to expand through modern technology, but with all that data and wireless communication comes quite a bit of power consumption. A major problem within the Internet of Things is that the network is so large that the outreach, and efficiency behind the vast database and communication system is costly and time consuming, that is until the recent development of LoRaWAN.
LoRaWAN acts within the LPWAN space, which is a Low Power Wide Area Network integrated within the Internet of Things, serving as a wireless data communication protocol. In simpler words, companies or users can integrate and develop the advanced communication protocol within any product or device, which will rapidly increase the product or devices efficiency because the technology can provide real-time data while simultaneously using less power than before. If you’re in the technology space and you hear someone say ‘“low power, but long-range’” you’re immediately going to be intrigued, and that’s the main selling point behind LoRaWAN.
The technology under the hood of the communication protocol is fairly new, but market disruptors and corporations are already beginning to profit from the recent advancements, and in some cases offer life saving products thanks to the constant real time data behind LoRaWAN. For example, Lineable, which started as a device for parents to monitor their children has now developed a product for people who suffer from alzheimer's by integrating LoRa technology within wearable bands that can give real time data to family members. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that over 60% of those who suffer from the disease will wander, half of which will experience severe injury or death if not found within 24 hours.
LoRAWAN can play a meaningful role within almost every major industry, and soon might provide agriculture users with a license-free community sensors network, providing real time data surrounding pipe leaks, temperature, and soil control. What this means, is that farmers would no longer have to pay private companies to set up tracking devices that monitor their crops, and instead could use a free, shared access community network that is powered through LoRAWAN and the Internet of Things, saving them a whole lot of money while also providing them with a secure, reliable network.
To ensure the IoT’s does not become monopolized, Semtech, the architects behind LoRa technology created the Lora Alliance in early 2015, a nonprofit organization compiled of over 500 companies who are dedicated to expanding and improving the Internet of Things through LPWAN technologies. The organizations mission is to “guarantee interoperability and standardization of Low Power Wide Area Networks internationally, by consolidating the fragmented wireless space and significantly improving ROI, which will drive large scale volumes for IoT.” Simply put, the nonprofit hopes to reach developing countries by offering a simpler, and cheaper option of widespread internet access to all of their inhabiting citizens.
LoRAWAN has it's limitations, and continues to slowly works it way into the consumer and corporation world, but the possibilities it has within the Internet of Things is almost endless. It could quite possibly be the technology that brings the world a more open and robust communication network that is accessible anywhere, at any given time.