While many M2M/IoT systems are complex, an environmental monitoring system provides an excellent example for the various sensors and devices that must be combined to create a cohesive M2M/IoT system. Consider a cloud connected environmental monitoring system with high precision air pollution sensors and real time data access. The system must be rugged and compact to withstand the elements and designed to monitor traffic, industrial, construction and urban areas for temperature, gaseous pollutants, particulates, electromagnetic fields, radioactivity, and sound pollution. To add another layer of complexity, the system must be built to seamlessly connect to the cloud and send data from the field to the business application in real time.
The M2M/IoT marketplace is full of hundreds of piecemeal technologies that can be cobbled together from different vendors to form a solution, but the environmental monitoring system is best developed using the Multi-Service Gateway approach (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Multi-Service Gateways consolidate multiple business–relevant tasks.
A Multi-Service Gateway is ideally suited for the environmental monitoring system to connect sensors, actuators, and meters to the business enterprise. It enables bidirectional communication between the field and the cloud and offers local processing and storage capabilities to provide offline services and near real time management and control of the devices in the field.