IoT Blog
IoT Blog

Four Rapidly Emerging Markets for “Always On” IoT Connectivity

by Ross Gray, Vice President, Product Connectivity Solutions
Companies today are seeking to securely and cost-efficiently use edge devices, wireless networks, the cloud and other IoT technologies to gather data from distributed or mobile assets. Using data from these assets they can cut costs, enhance customer experiences, inform product development, generate new revenue streams, and improve other business outcomes. 

These improved business outcomes are leading companies to increase their IoT investments. For example, a recent report from IoT Analytics found that spending on enterprise IoT solutions grew 12.1% in 2020 to $128.9 billion, and that global IoT spending will further accelerate, growing 24% to $159.8 billion in 2021.

Some of this money is being invested in expanding the deployment of established IoT applications, including smart metering, industrial asset monitoring, and smart city public lighting applications. However, this growth is also being fueled by the emergence of several new IoT applications, including crypto ATMs and other types of digital vending, digital video surveillance, vehicle telematics, and people and pet monitoring. 

Yet, procuring easy-to-manage, secure, reliable and cost-effective IoT connectivity for these applications can be difficult. In a survey conducted by Beecham Research for its report Business-Critical IoT Connectivity Solutions: Key Management Challenges, more than a majority of the enterprise users and product manufacturers said IoT connectivity challenges such as scaling globally (80%), reducing Total Cost of Ownership and Bill of Material costs (78%), and managing multiple vendors (69%) were quite or very challenging. 

However, Smart Connectivity and Enhanced Carrier Connectivity, two services from Sierra Wireless, offer a way for companies to overcome these and other challenges. These IoT connectivity services deliver secure, “always-on” connectivity with broad regional or international coverage. They do so while offering companies a single global SIM, single management platform, and single point of accountability – helping companies easily procure and manage the connectivity they need for their applications.

Crypto ATMs and Digital Vending

As digital assets like cryptocurrencies increase in popularity, more and more people want the ability to purchase at their convenience.

Crypto ATMs are kiosks that allow people to buy or sell bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and are catching on everywhere. For example, since the first crypto ATM was turned on in Vancouver in 2013, more than 25,000 crypto ATMs have been deployed around the world, with 1,900 new crypto ATMs installed in August 2021 alone.

Digital vending, which can include video kiosks of any type such as vending machines with video advertising or digital displays with menus, is another area that is getting a lot of attention. In fact, according to a report by The Business Research Company, revenues are set to rise from $19.5bn in 2020 to $24.1bn in 2025, representing a CAGR of 4.4%.  We are already seeing an uptick such as the announcement that Lagardère Travel Retail Switzerland plans to offer the world’s first “fully digital duty free shopping experience” using an interactive touch screen on its vending machine. 
 
But crypto ATMs and digital vending won’t work if it can’t connect to the Internet. At the same time, owners and operators want to ensure all their data transmissions are secure, and also want to simplify management IoT connectivity for these ATMs and vending machines.

Sierra Wireless’ IoT connectivity services address these needs. Because they allow edge devices to connect to multiple carriers via a single global SIM, they can switch to another carrier if the device’s primary carrier’s connectivity is disrupted, increasing uptime. In addition, the services’ 24/7/365 Global Network Operation Center (GNOC) further maximizes network uptime by continuously monitoring Sierra Wireless’ carriers’ networks, helping prevent network disruptions when they occur. 

Meanwhile, crypto ATM owners and operators can use Sierra Wireless’ AirVantage Management Platform to manage all the SIM cards installed in their ATMs, whether they are global SIMs from Sierra Wireless or existing SIMs from carriers. In addition, Sierra Wireless’ use of multiple physical, network, and encryption security technologies, combined with each crypto ATM having a unique SIM to identify itself to network, helps ensure both the crypto ATM owner’s data and its customers’ data is protected. 

Today, crypto ATM owners and operators are moving fast to secure the best spots for their ATMs. With Sierra Wireless’ IoT connectivity services, they can avoid having a lack of secure always-on connectivity slow down the growth of their business.

Digital Video Surveillance

Analog close circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been used for video surveillance for decades. However, these cameras’ poor image quality, need for wired connections to digital video recorders (DVRs), and inability to be easily integrated with AI-enabled video analytics solutions are leading organizations to turn to digital video cameras. 

Digital video cameras can send high quality surveillance videos wirelessly to both DVRs and the cloud, where this video can be analyzed using facial recognition and other new video analytics. The improved functionality of digital cameras is helping drive growth of the global video surveillance market. For example, a report from Allied Research forecasts the U.S. video surveillance market alone will grow from $8.29 billion in 2019 to an estimated $23.60 billion by 2027, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.9% from 2020 to 2027.

Yet, like crypto ATMs, simple, secure, always-on IoT connectivity is critical if companies want to quickly roll-out and easily manage digital camera-based video surveillance systems – whether these systems are being used to ensure security at a construction site, parking lot, commercial building, or other location. 

With Sierra Wireless, video surveillance system owners gain this always-on IoT connectivity. Sierra Wireless’ relationships with more than 600 cellular network partners enables it to provide customers with connectivity services that will work practically everywhere, all the time, all from a single provider. They also have services that support Voice over LTE (VoLTE) security applications, in which a visitor might communicate with a guard using microphones in the camera, or a guard might use the camera’s speakers to dissuade an intruder from entering a facility. Sierra Wireless can also offer video surveillance customers a data plan customized to reflect their specific needs, be they recording and transmitting video to the cloud in real-time, or storing the video locally and transmitting it to the cloud in response to a specific event.  

In addition, Sierra Wireless’ end-to-end security helps system owners keep their security video from falling into wrong hands, while its AirVantage Management Platform allows them to manage all their cameras’ SIMs from a single pane of glass – and even use APIs to integrate data from this platform into other cloud-based security applications. 

Vehicle Telematics

Another growth market for the IoT is the vehicle telematics market, which ResearchAndMarkets expects to grow at a CAGR of 20.1% between 2020 and 2027. One of the key drivers for this growth is vehicle telematics applications that go above and beyond just providing data on a vehicle’s location.

These new telematics applications can collect video, vehicle speed, engine diagnostics, refrigerated truck storage temperatures, and other data that companies can then use to monitor driver behavior, vehicle health, and the environmental conditions of pharmaceuticals, food, and other sensitive or perishable products.  

However, for these applications to work they must be able to collect data from vehicles in real-time or near real-time – which can be a problem if a vehicle enters a remote area or other carrier “dead-zone.” Satellite connectivity can help address this coverage issue – but it is very expensive. A better solution is the resilient IoT connectivity services from Sierra Wireless that allow the edge devices in the vehicle to connect to multiple cellular networks. This can dramatically lower the chances of a lost connection by searching and attaching to the next network, and at a much lower price than satellite.
 
With IoT connectivity services that offer both global and North American coverage, Sierra Wireless also ensures that if a vehicle crosses an international border its owner can continue to collect data from it without having to negotiate multiple connectivity contracts and work with multiple cellular carriers. Instead, they have single contract and a single point of contact for all their connectivity questions. 

People and Pet Monitoring

In addition to keeping us up to date on the location and condition of our vehicles, today the IoT also enables us to monitor our children, elderly relatives, and even pets. 
 
These new IoT monitoring applications go well beyond just providing details on the person’s or pet’s location. Many applications use VoLTE to allow people to use a pendent, wristwatch, or other edge-device to talk to the child or relative in real-time if there is an emergency. These devices can also monitor biometrics to help ensure they are healthy. 
 
Thanks to Sierra Wireless’ relationships with multiple carriers, the IoT connectivity service delivers these applications the resilient connectivity they need to ensure that no matter where a child, relative or pet might go, their parent, caregiver, or owner can track their location and overall health. All with a service that is secure and easy to manage, with data plans that can be customized to fit the application’s particular data needs. 

An Increasingly Connected World

The IoT now allows us to buy bitcoins from a crypto ATM at the local corner store, view high-definition video that shows us if someone is trying to break into our company’s new headquarters, check to see if one of the trucks in our fleet is overheating as it crosses the Canada/US border, and find out if Fido has broken out of the backyard and into the neighbor’s flower bed again. 
 
Sierra Wireless delivers the always on connectivity needed for these and other IoT applications, with a single global SIM, a single management platform and a single point of accountability that frees its customers to focus on their IoT application, not their IoT connectivity.
 
Start with Sierra to learn more about how our Smart Connectivity and Enhanced Carrier Connectivity services can help you deploy crypto ATM, digital vending, video surveillance, vehicle telematics, and people and pet monitoring applications that create value in today’s connected economy.