IoT primarily exploits standard protocols and networking technologies. However, the major enabling technologies and protocols of IoT are RFID, NFC, low-energy Bluetooth, low-energy wireless, low-energy radio protocols, LTE-A, and WiFi-Direct. These technologies support the specific networking functionality needed in an IoT system in contrast to a standard uniform network of common systems.
RFID (radio-frequency identification) and NFC (near-field communication) provide simple, lowenergy, and versatile options for identity and access tokens, connection bootstrapping, and payments.
RFID technology employs 2-way radio transmitter-receivers to identify and track tags associated with objects.
NFC consists of communication protocols for electronic devices, typically a mobile device and a standard device.
This technology supports the low-power, long-use need of IoT function while exploiting a standard technology with native support across systems.
This technology replaces the most power hungry aspect of an IoT system. Though sensors and other elements can power down over long periods, communication links (i.e., wireless) must remain in listening mode. Low-energy wireless not only reduces consumption, but also extends the life of the device through less use.
ZigBee, Z-Wave, and Thread are radio protocols for creating low-rate private area networks. These technologies are low-power, but offer high throughput unlike many similar options. This increases the power of small local device networks without the typical costs.
LTE-A, or LTE Advanced, delivers an important upgrade to LTE technology by increasing not only its coverage, but also reducing its latency and raising its throughput. It gives IoT a tremendous power through expanding its range, with its most significant applications being vehicle, UAV, and similar communication.
WiFi-Direct eliminates the need for an access point. It allows P2P (peer-to-peer) connections with the speed of WiFi, but with lower latency. WiFi-Direct eliminates an element of a network that often bogs it down, and it does not compromise on speed or throughput.