The benefits of edge devices are immense, but what truly makes this concept groundbreaking are the many possibilities that have recently opened up thanks to advances in this field.
One huge ability of the edge is de-cluttering large networks with many levels. As we’ve seen the different edge levels operate at the physical tier of the network, between the end deceives, optimizing the communication with the cloud – and lowering the strain on the network. So, there is a clear benefit to IoT and automotive infrastructures. For example a fleet of buses needs to upload, access and download information from the cloud in real-time, updating travel times, vehicle status, route selection, capacity, and so on. With, say, 150 buses across a small city – the strain on the network would be incredible and there will be widespread latency issues. Adding edge devices on every bus, bus stop and depot can act as mediators – processing the raw data and sending only a small selection of crucial information to the cloud, is exactly what such a network would need.
The “de-cluttering” effect of the edge concept has another great benefit, and it has to do with media.
Media files are much heavier than simple data, naturally with higher resolutions the bandwidth can become very strained. Imagine a company trying to develop an AR device for construction, safety, medical or repair teams that displays media in real-time, at a high resolution and projected onto an eye piece for each team member. This would allow them all to view a real-time plan of the work they need to carry out, all controlled by the team supervisor and later accessed for reporting and training. Sounds nice? Well without edge devices mediating all this intense data, non of this would be possible, not in real-time, and not in a high enough quality to work with.