May 2021
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Why smarter devices are making our lives harder,
and how we can change that

Over the last year, we’ve spent a considerable amount of time at home, and while there has been much conversation around how our adjusted lifestyles have become the new normal, it’s safe to consider this normal now
Marc Pégulu has been Semtech’s Vice President of Internet of Things for the Wireless and Sensing Products Group since 2019.

https://www.semtech.com/



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About Marc Pégulu

Marc Pégulu has been Semtech’s Vice President of Internet of Things for the Wireless and Sensing Products Group since 2019. Before this, he was Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Wireless and Sensing Products Group, a position he had held since June 2015. He held the position of Vice President of Wireless and Sensing Products from June 2014. Prior to this appointment, he held the position of Director of Marketing and Applications. Mr. Pégulu joined the Company in March 2006 and was involved in several key technology initiatives, including LoRa wireless and software defined modem technologies. Prior to joining the Company, he held positions in chips and systems development at Thomson CSF, Thales, ATMEL, and DibCom in France and China.

Mr. Pégulu holds a Master of Science degree in Electronics and Telecommunications from Institut National Polytechnique of Grenoble, France and is a graduate of the Executive MBA program of ESCP Europe.

marcWhy smarter devices are making our lives harder, and how we can change that

Over the last year, we’ve spent a considerable amount of time at home, and while there has been much conversation around how our adjusted lifestyles have become the new normal, it’s safe to consider this normal now. A December 2020 report published by the Pew Research Center cites that 71 percent of people are currently working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and 54 percent want to continue working from home once the outbreak ends (Pew Research Center). Individuals globally have adapted to this new way of life, and though seeing each other in person has become that much more challenging, staying connected should be easy.

As we look around our homes or workspaces, we’ll likely find a handful of connected devices we’re relying on more often than ever before, and perhaps during quarantine you invested in a few new smart devices to make life simpler. Your home is now filled with technology that allows you to listen to music, turn on a light switch, or even cook dinner. In theory, smarter devices should be making our lives easier, but that’s not always the case. Here’s why:  

Companies globally are developing and selling IoT devices with the goal of making life easier, and the options are seemingly endless these days. With that in mind, our environments – like houses, offices and businesses – are becoming saturated with different types of devices that all serve their own purpose. None of them work in tandem, and as a result, this has inherently made things more difficult for the end user. When making these purchases, consumers are looking for a simple solution that enables interoperability and a seamless connection between the many devices that can exist in a single environment.

Devices can take advantage of wired, wireless and IoT technologies to stay connected, however they don’t always work in tandem. The challenge comes when a new device needs to be added to an existing network – like BLE, Wi-Fi, LoRa or 5G –  and when these devices actually need to communicate with one another, and can’t. While there are few widely adopted standards and practices that make it easy for devices to be integrated and work together, most OEMs aren’t developing devices with interoperability in mind either, making connectivity and communication all that more challenging.

Speaking of connectivity, the technology that smart devices rely on are not one size fits all solutions, and should be determined based on the customers’ use case and needs. When choosing the right network, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of each:

ˇ        LoRa

o   Pros: Cost efficient roll outs, open business model, low battery consumption, long range and seamless cloud integration. Overall reduced costs due to battery life.

o   Cons: Not ideal for applications requiring high data rates or lower latency.

ˇ        5G

o   Pros: Higher capacity, higher data rates, lower latency and is a software designed core network.

o   Cons: Short range in mmWave, high cost, and complex infrastructure and ecosystem.

ˇ        Wi-Fi

o   Pros: Simplified cost efficient deployment and ubiquitous mobility, and is an alternative to 5G.

o   Cons: Limited coverage range, limited security and high energy requirements.

ˇ        BLE

o   Pros: Low cost, simple setup and hardware isn’t required.

o   Cons: Short connection time, short range and low bandwidth.

Different devices and applications make sense for different platforms and use cases, though whether or not they’re running on the same network, interoperability has to be a priority. Communication across devices needs to be a priority during development, from OEMs down to the connectivity provider. The goal is to deliver more choice to customers. As more companies and homeowners look at connected technologies more holistically, customers can expect better regulation and increased implementation.


















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