Many devices around us have the ability to collect intelligent data about our day-to-day lives. Personal computers store records of the websites you’ve visited; smartphones can keep tabs on your location; and GPS trackers monitor the routes you travel while on the road.
With the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), these conversations have started to evolve. Smart thermostats automatically adjust temperatures whether you’re at home or away, while notifying you via a mobile app if there are issues with your heating or cooling system. Smart locks automatically unlock your door when you get home and lock it as you leave, while allowing you to grant access to others directly from your smartphone.
These same types of conversations are occurring in industries as well. Sensors added to aerospace designs can communicate data about engine performance in real-time, helping staff on the ground quickly detect issues and take corrective action. Meanwhile, wearable sensors give physicians access to objective data that allow them to monitor patient health patterns and make informed decisions based on the effectiveness of current treatments.
While IoT is yet to reach its potential, the benefits of this technological movement are already clear. But with these new opportunities come new concerns, specifically in the form of electromagnetic field protection.
Electromagnetic Field Protection in A Noisy Environment
The number of connected devices on the electromagnetic spectrum is growing at a rapid pace. And as statistics show, there are no signs of this dynamic changing over the next several years. In fact, research shows that the number of connected devices could jump from the 15.4 billion devices installed in 2015 to 75.4 billion by 2025.
While electromagnetic interference has always been a point of concern, this new influx of devices introduces further risks. The overcrowding of the spectrum means that far more signals are circulating throughout the space and can easily become crossed. This can prompt unintentional conversations between devices that ultimately hinder their performance.
Then, there’s the security of the exchanged data. When signals interfere with one another, the communications that smart devices are meant to share with other networks can become compromised. It’s also possible for intentional electromagnetic interference (IEMI) to breach systems through sharp, high-voltage pulses that are nearly undetectable.
Designing Smart Devices that Succeed in Their Environment
For IoT devices to thrive in today’s digital world, electromagnetic field protection needs to be a priority from the start. Rather than waiting until the last minute to add EMI countermeasures like EMI and RFI shields to a product enclosure, this element should be treated as an integral part of the design process. Not only does this save production costs, but it also improves the quality of the product by building stronger connections between each part of the system.
As a design partner and manufacturer, Switzer works with businesses to ensure that EMI and RFI shields provide applications with the electromagnetic field protection they require. We combine highly precise techniques with years of industry experience to create custom metal parts that are manufacturable, scalable and repeatable. To learn how we can help advance your shielding project, contact our team today.