IEKView：AI Pushes the IoT Revolution
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MWC 2018 highlighted a few trends for IoT devices. First of all, AI is on the centre stage. The 2018 MWC marked the beginning of the AIoT era, and AI is in the IoT spotlight. AI is appearing throughout the three layers of the IoT architecture, from device connectivity, platform analytics and application services. For example, GumGum’s AI-driven solutions in advertising, which can identify images in order to quantify the exposure time for billboards and brand displays on the screen during football matches.
The second trend worthy of note is that NB-IoT is likely to be the mainstream LPWA technology. There was a plethora of NB-IoT chips, software solutions, services and use cases at the MWC conference. The showcase applications included smart agriculture, water and electricity metering, bridge monitoring, emergency response and intelligent locks. Cisco, a networking company, predicts that there will be over 100 million NB-IoT devices by 2020. In brief, NB-IoT is likely to become the dominant technology for LPWA (low-power wide-area) and the technology of choice for operators starting in 2018.
The third trend is the development of edge computing, driven by IoT. Given the demand for bandwidth and the low tolerance for latency for connected cars and AR/VR applications, it will be difficult for the current cloud-centric computing environment to respond on a real-time basis. In order to satisfy the transmission requirements of big data and low latency on devices, edge computing on the basis of distributed computing is set to rise.
The fourth trend is the growing importance of IoT security. The rapid increase in the number of IoT modules and devices poses a threat to security. Blockchain should be an integral piece of the IoT puzzle given its security and decentralization characteristics. However, the security of IoT requires more than Blockchain. It will be necessary to make security the top priority from hardware and software to networking and platforms.
The IoT industry chain in Taiwan has advantages for devices and other hardware. The integration of platforms and systems is the weak point. The industry is advised to strengthen its competence in the integration of devices, networking and systems for AI, NB-IoT and edge computing in order to grasp the business opportunities in transportation, healthcare and manufacturing. This will be the key to enhancing service capabilities, application offerings and profitability in the IoT market.
The exhibition of smart mobile devices at MWC highlights many trends. For instance, AI features are not exclusive to high-end models. They will become a basic requirement for all mobile phones.
Full screen and dual cameras are becoming the requirement for most mobile handsets. The majority of mobile phones are now equipped with an 18:9 full screen. This has a sweeping effect on the design of relevant components (e.g. 3D glass and free-form cutting). The front-camera module will be packaged with new technology in order to shrink the footprint of the camera module. Fingerprint sensors will be moved to the back or be replaced with facial recognition technology.