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Protocols: The Significance of ULE is Growing

By Special Guest
Shrey Fadia and Arti Loftus, Special Correspondents
January 16, 2018


The IoT market has seen a considerable growing trend of Ultra Low Energy (ULE) over the past 2 years. From Smart Homes in Berlin to Smart Kitchen in the UK, businesses are trying every possible solution to advance their IoT systems by using a new open LPWAN protocol, namely ULE. Companies such as Panasonic, Crow, Gigaset and Sercomm have developed various sensors and devices that leverage the advantages of ULE.

Considering the importance and benefits of ULE, Cloud of Things has partnered with DSP Group in a mission to deploy their own IoT gateways which implement DSP Group’s ULE solutions. This has been adoption by Howdens Joinery Ltd. to be used within their smart kitchens, and was demonstrated by DSPG, Cloud of Things and Howden’s innovation team at CES this week.

Last year in Berlin at IFA 2016, The ULE Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing the full potential and worldwide market adoption of the ULE (Ultra Low Energy) wireless technology for the IoT (Internet of Things), showcased their ULE powered products for Smart Home and IoT.

According to the ULE Alliance, ULE technology is the most secure, longest range and most stable wireless networking solution available on the market. It supports integrated two-way voice and video, and enables whole home solutions with a simple low-cost layout. The ULE Alliance assists its members in developing IoT solutions that build on ULE’s technological superiority and market benefits.

WiFi is used by many telecommunication companies and developers to transmit data which is primarily due to its ubiquity within the home environment within LANs making use of the wide infrastructure already in place. It offers fast data transfer and is able to handle large amounts of data, but there is a drawback; WiFi consumes too much power.

Bluetooth has remained by far the most common and existing protocol for short-range communications technology which has made progressive changes in its design for the development of IoT solutions and devices, naming it Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) or “Bluetooth Smart”. It is a wireless network protocol designed by Special Interest Group (SIG) and is currently being adopted by various companies in several sectors like security and home entertainment. Compared to standard, classic Bluetooth, it has reduced power consumption capabilities and lower cost but it is not really designed for file transfer.

LoRa protocol is broadly accepted by the IoT market for it’s low power and Long Range transmission capabilities from one node (sensor) to gateways located several kilometres away with features intended to support low-cost, portable, secure, and bidirectional communication in IoT and M2M. It has been integrated into applications for Smart buildings, Smart Agriculture, Healthcare, Logistics, telecoms, and many more. Nowadays, a single gateway is able to cover entire cities or hundreds of kilometres, optimized for low-power consumption and having the ability to support large networks with an unlimited number of connected devices.

Weightless is a lesser known long-range open wireless communications protocol devised intentionally for the IoT and M2M communications. It’s bidirectional, narrowband technology can operate in licensed and unlicensed frequencies, and has shown notable progress over the last few years. It can reach distances ranging from a few metres to approximately 10 km, and is designed for less power consumption of around 100 uW makes it a unique choice for low cost remote M2M sensor applications.

Choosing the right protocol for communication between devices has been critical when developing solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT). There are many factors to consider, such as power requirements, the range of communication, and cost.

“ULE is a natural for the end-to-end solutions we develop for smart product companies like Howdens,” said Eliav Gnessin, CTO, Cloud of Things. “DSP Group is a global leader bringing their DECT ULE to home control. With its dedicated frequency band, extended range, and low deployment costs, they make it simple and straightforward to integrate into smart products like those we demonstrated with Howdens Joinery this week.” 




Edited by Ken Briodagh
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