As part of our ongoing series, we’re taking a close look at how the Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to transform life as we know it. With the ability to assign an IP to virtually any object, person or animal, the cutting-edge technology has led to data being transferred in droves. As IoT connects more and more objects to the Internet — from manufacturing floors to energy grids, healthcare facilities to transportation systems —a wealth of benefits are emerging.
In our earlier blogs, we investigated how IoT is injecting improvements into health care and making home sweet home all the sweeter. But IoT has far-reaching effects in a range of other spectrums, as well, including influencing key initiatives for cities, industry and the environment. Let’s take a look.
IoT is playing a role all over town, doing just about everything but paying taxes. A few examples:
- A Clean Sweep. Products using real-time data collection and alerts let municipal services know when a trash bin needs to be emptied, drastically reducing the number of pick-ups required and saving on fuel and labor costs.
- See The Light. With smart lighting systems, a city can intelligently provide the right level of lighting needed by time of day, season and weather conditions — a solution that has slashed lighting energy use by up to 30 percent in cities using the technology.
- No More Driving in Circles. With the use of installed sensors, mobile apps and real-time web applications, drivers can quickly find an open parking spot, helping cities to optimize revenue, parking space availability and reduce environmental impact.
IoT is helping businesses across virtually every sector optimize operations, boost productivity, and save in resources and costs. For instance:
- Failure Isn’t An Option. Sensors installed inside equipment can now monitor when parts exceed their designed thresholds and automatically sending alerts. Early predictions of equipment malfunctions enable service maintenance to be scheduled before an actual failure.
- They’re Watching. Retailers can conduct real-world tests using networked cameras and sensors in order to ascertain how customers are engaging with specific products and the store's layout.
- Farmer’s Market. At least one solution is already available that combines real-time sensor data from soil moisture levels, weather forecasts and pesticide usage into a consolidated web dashboard. Farmers can use this data with advanced imaging and mapping information to spot crop issues and remotely monitor farms assets and resource usage levels.
Going green is reaching new hues, thanks to IoT. Just a few advancements include:
- Breath Easy. Air quality sensing systems now enable the collection of high resolution readings of NO2 and CO concentrations using an RF transmitter and ethernet driven base station, with data shared to create a network of readings to be used by the community and general public.
- Testing the Water. Motorized drifters that are outfitted with cell communication, GPS, temperature and salinity sensors can be quickly deployed in response to unanticipated events like floods in order to track the movement of water, contaminants and other conditions in waterways.
- Hitting Pay Dirt. A system that detects high-frequency stress waves is being used to calculate real-time soil movement, with the ability to issue alerts to communities before an event occurs.
In our next blog, we will slide behind the wheel to test-drive the latest advancements in vehicles, all made possible with IoT.