You wake up at 7:00 in the morning to the smell of coffee, sunshine on your face and a subtle, soothing voice telling you to get out of bed for a meeting at 8AM. Shaking off the morning cobwebs, you realize that you are in your smart hotel room that you’d been hearing about for a while, the one that you had to try out. In fact, that voice was not your “significant other”, but a digital speech synthesis/recognition system in the room’s ceiling speaker.
Dragging yourself out of bed, you saunter over to the already brewing coffeepot for a cup of morning java. Heading to the bathroom, the ceiling sensor has already turned on the shower to just the right temperature that you had selected on your intelligent watch the night before. After the wake-up coffee, heated cream shave and shower, you dry off with towels preheated by the digital electricity-powered towel warmer. While you dress, the smart TV comes on set to your favorite channel, with the shades lowered and PoE LED lights adjusted to just the right color and intensity in the room.
Ready to leave your room after a brief dose of the morning news, you make your way to the hotel dining room. Your favorite breakfast was found in your hotel profile and ordered for you as you leave the room at just the right time by your room’s sophisticated occupancy sensor. The door is automatically locked behind you, lights turned off, the HVAC system shut down and a notice is sent to housekeeping that the room is available for cleaning.
Gee! No, 5G!
Certainly, this scenario is not out of a future science fiction movie, but something already happening all around us today with the massive infusion of IoT devices into smart buildings, powered by energy efficient DC electricity, and the convergence of power and data over low voltage Ethernet cables. But, behind all this is also a huge infrastructure of singlemode fiber optic cables, cloud-based artificial intelligence and edge computing devices. Not only that, but many of these devices might be meshed with next-generation AI-based 5G low-latency cellular radio networks.1 However, with the added power of these intelligent networks comes the necessity for the complexity of sophisticated security measures and firewalls.2