Evolution of the Smart Home with IoT Edge Computing
What is Edge Computing?
Cloud is no longer sufficient to process troves of data
Nor is needed for the coming tidal wave of computational needs from IoT devices, connected cars and smart home devices
While in many, well, most cases, faster data processing isn’t a necessity, it’s a nice-to-have. However, sometimes it’s the difference between life and death.
Using the self-driving car as an ideal example, consider the importance of real time computing while driving. When merging on the highway and suddenly a motorcycle veers into your lane; there isn’t time to send a signal to the cloud and wait for a respone before reacting. The car needs the ability to stop immediately. In order for self-driving cars to become a reality, edge computing is essential for its safety and functionality.
Cloud computing allows us to access anything we need from anywhere without the limitations of fixed-location servers.
Edge computing represents a shift towards decentralized computing.
To capitalize on all the potential advantages that IoT has to offer, communication needs to become local again.
Edge computing is essential when time-sensitive events are taking place. wheWith edge computing, data processing happens locally at the source far away from the cloud. Edge computing is ideal in situations where network don’t need to cloud to function properly.
Consider Google’s Nest Thermostat, or a FitBit which measures your individual fitness patterns, or the self-driving car as examples of where edge computing offers significant advantages over computing over the cloud.
What are the Benefits of Edge Computing in the Smart Home?
While the bulk of data processing for IoT smart home devices still takes place in the cloud, in many cases it’s simply not necessary to send data back and forth to a central server, regardless of time sensitivity.
Google’s Nest Thermostat - While time-sensitivity may not be relevant in this case, the need for relaying information to the cloud is unnecessary when decision criteria can really entirely on data from local computing. Additionally, this impacts the ability to keep smart home devices more secure in the future by allowing users to send less personal data to the cloud if they have ability to compute locally at the “edge.”
In the future with data playing an integral part of our lives. By next year 2020, it’s estimated that each of us will generate 1.5 GB worth of data per day. With billions of IoT enabled devices in the future, reliable, time sensitive data processing will become an important part of our daily lives. As a sidenote, Samsung recently announced that all of its consumer devices will be IoTenabled by the end of 2020 - link).