IoT- Internet of Things · Web Development

Is it feasible that Internet of Things can be implemented using Broadband over Power lines?

Giridharan Kulandaivelu Graduate Software Engineer at Tesco HSC

May 26th, 2015

I was previously working on developing an architecture for Internet of Things. I deployed sensors, developed gateways, cloud database for sensor data and I was successful. But I thought that to deploy a smart network I need to physically reach that area and deploy the hardware over there. Instead If power lines are the base for driving the devices, then why can't I be able to control that power line using Internet of Things. For example if I want to switch on a fan in a city in India I should be able to do it from US without deploying any hardware to that fan.

Karl Schulmeisters Founder ExStreamVR

May 27th, 2015

Powerline Internet has been around for decades.  that's what x-10 has been around since 1975.  Power companies have been doing this for remote reading and control of "smart meters" for a long time.

But your hypothetical example is far more problematic:

  1. There is no full power grid interconnect WITHIN the USA, much less between the USA and India
  2. Powerlines are low bandwidth for a  variety of technical reasons
  3. Power companies filter their power signal both intentionally and simply through the process of power transformation for transmission  so without active cooperation by power companies you have no ability to do this
  4. and this is the most important aspect:

    transmission control is not the limiting factor on IoT. 

IoT's biggest issue is that turning a light on in India from the USA is a solution in search of a problem.  And MOST of IoT currently is EITHER

  • a solution in search of a problem
  • an existing mature solution wrapping itself in the banner of the latest tech fad