I can’t decide whether this is a post about technology or language. I guess it’s some of both.
A company called 1248 has announced an access point, called HyperWeave, featuring the 6LoWPAN protocol so as to bring IP all the way out to the “edge”. The first thing we need to clarify is what “edge” means. In other contexts, it refers to some mid-way point between, say, your phone and the very core of the network backbone. It’s essentially where you enter the backbone (or at least that’s how I interpret it).
That’s not what they mean here. The idea here is that the “edge” really is the edge of the complete network: the sensors gathering data. The problem posed is that traditional WiFi has required too much power, and therefore isn’t an option. By introducing 6LoWPAN into the picture, an IPv6 capability can be taken all the way to these power-stingy devices.
Now, we’ve seen before that WiFi modules are being used at the edge already, but that tends to be indoors or somewhere that has ready power. If the sensor or device has to rely on batteries or scavenged power in some far-flung locale, well, then WiFi becomes a challenge – and that’s what HyperWeave is intended to address.
They’ve also taken pains to make it easy to integrate the access points into enterprise networks so that the IT folks can manage whatever the access point is talking to. Because it’s IP-based (and can support IPv4 as well, if necessary), then it plays nicely with the rest of the network. No translation is required from some other IoT-style protocol.
My only other language kvetch is the use of “IoT-enable” as a verb in the release. I’ll simply leave it as, “Please… no…” (I know; we’re engineers; we butcher the language daily…)
You can read more about it in their announcement.