The collective impact of these enhanced features in IPv6 is to make possible applications, which had been considered very futuristic just some time back. We round up our argument for IPv6 with some examples of IPv6 applications.
Home Network and Public Wireless LAN Networks:
These are areas where one can expect a real proliferation of IP-enabled devices. It is estimated that as of 2006 there were about 492 million IP-enabled consumer devices like cellphones, laptops and computers, game consoles, and media centers. By 2010 this number is expected to reach 2.8 billion units. This essentially means that IPv4 addresses alone will be unable to provide unique IP addresses to each of these devices. Of course, many approaches can be found so that these consumer devices can reuse some of the private IPv4 addresses but this would severely limit the type of services available. It will affect the flexibility to expand and make available new business models and will also increase the overall cost of the applications supported.
All these factors – the exploding number of consumer devices, their need to have global reachability as also the need for mobility outside of homes makes it critical to have a much larger address space than what IPv4 currently provides. It is absolutely essential that the telecommunication market, which is witnessing unprecedented growth, encourages large-scale adoption of new technologies, as they are the stimulus for new services and applications based on consumer desires. IPv6, with its large address space, offers a solution to the address shortage problem while other features like autoconfiguration make it possible to reduce product costs.
A vehicle can use sensors distributed in a vehicle, to both monitor and manage operations. In addition they can also provide critical data to the owner pertaining to the maintenance of the car and for troubleshooting. There are currently some programs, which integrate such a control system through an integrated IP-based network. Telematics are also being used by various rail systems to manage the spacing between trains, helping to maximize passenger loads as also to improve safety.
Industrial Sensors and Control Systems:
Industrial networks like plant, process or building automation networks are increasingly employing IP-based services. IPv6 brings in economy of scale, simplicity of operation and common cross-network security enforcement. Obviously, if there are more sensors used in the manufacturing process there will be better tracking of the product’s chain through the entire chain from production to distribution, and more optimizations can be thought of and applied at various steps in the process. IPv6 provides self-configuring networks useful in sensors environments while industrial sensors that need to be managed within the local network as well as over the public domain, will require other IPv6 capabilities such as an increased address space, “plug-and-play” autoconfiguration and so on.