I find it very surprising that a lot of technology professionals don't know about IoT mesh. A while back sitting in a board room of executives, I was talking to them about how they should implement IoT networks.
What are IoT mesh networks?
When the word "mesh" came out, it was new to everyone!
Given the nature of how complex, unshaped IoT, not-so-interoperable IoT is for now - I thought it would be worth out to highlight the importance of IoT mesh networks and how they communicate.
First of all, Industrial IoT is a lot more about hardware optimization. Hence, adding Gateway modules to each and every location to collect data from sensor nodes just isn't feasible. Further, the solution has to last with minimal maintenance as well. This is where two devices that can talk without needing a central authority can help us.
Without a mesh network, you would always have to have multiple IoT gateways. With mesh networks, you can create an array of 800+ sensors that can directly communicate with each other, pass data to each other and smartly route it to the IoT gateway located at any place within the mesh network.
But, how do they route it? How do they move data through the IoT sensor network?
Let's consider the case of BLE mesh for now.
Well, they have their own methods of routing data. Some popular ways to route data through an IoT sensor array are:
- Broadcast it to every node, let them broadcast it again, and so on
- Route it smartly, keep a record of whether you had this data packet. If not then re-broadcast
- Route it smartly, but with power optimization. Here your IoT nodes will catch data broadcast it and will go to sleep
- Probabilistic routing throughout network, will rely on hit and miss within the network
- Deterministic routing based upon the size of sub mesh within these mesh networks
The above list is just the surface of what can be done with mesh networks and how to route data through it. Here's a much more detailed implementation of IoT mesh network routing algorithms.
Although, this is very concise, but, I will be posting more in my future series on BLE mesh networks soon. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.