Electronic Noise Will Drown Out the Internet of Things

That’s the conclusion of the authors of a recent article posted to the IEEE’s Spectrum website.

“Radio-frequency noise pollution is everywhere,” note the article’s authors, Mark McHenry, Dennis Roberson and Robert Matheson. “The coming Internet of Things is going to make things worse…by adding complex RF-control chips to countless common devices, like door locks, light switches, appliances of every type, our cars, and maybe even our bodies.”

As a first step in understanding the extent of the problem and identifying possible solutions, the authors propose undertaking a systematic study of radio-frequency noise in the U.S., which hasn’t been done since the 1970s. “To begin to solve the problem, we need to amass statistics on a broad scale,” they say. “We have to determine where and when RF noise usually appears and at what frequencies…We need samples in many regions to account for differences in equipment and practice, building codes, weather and terrain.”

“If we had the relevant noise database in hand, it would be theoretically possible to revise today’s regulatory standards, and even to extrapolate from the data, how those standards will have to change a decade from now,” the authors conclude. “With the exponential increase in the number of noise-generating devices and of wireless systems, RF pollution will become a very expensive problem—unless we act now.”

Read the complete text of the Spectrum article.

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