IoT Data Requirements Are About to Increase Again

Dots falling away into distance

Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2018

As soon as researchers announce a new advance in storage capacity, another technology comes along to consume it. CTOs already have some understanding of the pressure that the proliferation of IoT smart sensors will place on systems, but the situation is about to become even more complicated. 

Introducing smart dust

As processors and other components become smaller, the range of potential applications increases. Current IoT sensors are somewhat limited in scope; fitting is restricted to those areas of the environment that can be accessed directly by engineers.

To overcome this challenge, scientists have developed micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS). Despite being as small as a grain of salt, these tiny devices are feature-rich. Each can be fitted with sensors, a camera and the communication mechanisms required to transmit measurements back to centralized reporting systems. They even ship with their own autonomous power supply.

MEMS are capable of detecting a wide range of variables, including light, vibration and temperature. And given their relative size and weight, units can be suspended in an environment to create a cloud of sensors– hence the nickname “smart dust”.

More sensors, more data

The genius of these smart dust deployments is that hundreds, or even thousands, of sensors can be deployed within minutes, even in the most inaccessible environments. With a cloud of smart dust, the tiniest changes and fluctuations can be recorded and analyzed, allowing for even greater control of the system.

But more sensors mean more data that needs to be captured, stored and processed. And with the potential to deploy hundreds of thousands of MEMS, the CTO will find they need to significantly increase storage estimates in order to capture all of the incoming data. It may be a few years before your business is ready to deploy smart dust sensors, but you must factor the increased storage demands into your deployment costs.

To learn more about maximizing your storage capacity right now, please get in touch.

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