Technology continues to spread its wings worldwide, and something new and interesting keeps coming up every now and then. Any business, that wants to stay relevant to its customers, needs to embrace technology on a continuous basis. Staying immune is certainly not the best of ideas, and could lead to quick obsolescence. Technology is often looked upon as a hygiene factor in some contexts and a competitive advantage in others, and Internet of Things (IoT) has been amongst the most talked-about technology trends since the advent of the Internet. Let’s try to understand what IoT is, and why it holds significance in today’s tech-scenario.
The term ‘IoT’ comprises of everything ‘connected’ to the internet. It refers to any and every inter-related system of digital machines, computing devices and mechanical objects, that are provided unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without any direct communication between two or more people (operating or managing those devices). IoT is increasingly being used to define talking objects that ‘communicate’ digitally with each other. With superior sensors, wireless networks and revolutionary computing capabilities, IoT impacts everything from shopping to travelling to being fit, and more. Let’s take a look at its wide gamut of applications:
- Automated wearable devices: The wearables industry is amongst the pioneers of IoT applications. Industry players often rely upon technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and/or cellular connectivity to make their wearable products connected and communicative. Internet of things in healthcare domain is also contributing a lot towards the life of people. It is being applied in fit bits, smart watches and heart rate monitors. IoT uses a tiny electrode, known as glucose sensor, which is placed under the skin and that relays the information. This information is sent via radio frequency to a monitoring device.
- Proactive wellness-based systems: Modern IoT applications turn traditional medical research use cases into proactive wellness-based systems. This transformation allows healthcare professionals to get connected with the patients in a proactive manner and be more watchful in data collection. Data collected from IoT devices help medical experts identify the best treatment process for patients and reach expected outcomes. This approach mostly uses controlled environment, leftover data and volunteers for medical examination. It mainly focuses on creating systems, rather than concentrating on just equipment. IoT thus helps current devices improve their precision, power and availability.
- Town planning applications: IoT is one of the main aspects of building a smart city. It helps analyze the complex factors of town planning specific to any city, and can be used for eradicating global issues such as contamination of drinking water, dip in air quality, lack of waste management and increasing urban density across cities to name a few. As such, it contributes a lot towards sustainable town planning. IoT infrastructure includes big data, sensors and analytics, that together help manage a smart city, right from parking and traffic to buildings and sports stadiums.
- Agricultural applications: It is estimated that world population may reach close to 10 billion by 2050. In order to keep feeding a massive population, it is important to embrace technology and bring out the best practices. IoT has been bringing new possibilities in the field of agriculture. For example, greenhouse farming driven by IoT enhances the yield of crops by controlling environmental parameters. IoT eradicates all the problems related to manual handling of a greenhouse, whether energy loss, production loss or labor loss, thereby making the process more effective. It’s certainly revolutionizing farming practices by allowing sensors to measure different parameters, sending them to the cloud and then processing the data by applying controlled actions.
- Industrial Automation: A faster development as well as a higher quality of products are amongst the critical factors to fetch higher return on investments in industrial production. With IoT applications, re-engineering of products can be easily done and optimal packaging levels to deliver superior performance in both customer experience and cost too can be realized. IoT has proven to be a game changer in domains such as packaging optimization, quality control, safety and security, inventory management, factory digitalization, logistics, and supply chain optimization to name a few.
- Smart Home Applications: Smart home is no more a new concept in today’s times. Smart home applications control all the household devices by using a network system in which tasks are assigned to be done at a later point of time. With IoT, smart home automation helps minimize the controlling and monitoring time for all the devices and their functions. IoT enables all devices to use internet connection and cloud storing platforms to work without wires. It allows digital sensors to be attached with the home applications, and in this way, appliances are used even without touching. Systems are controlled with the help of applications on smartphones and also through voice recognition.
- Safe Driving: There has been an alarming rise in the frequency of car accidents involving the usage of mobile phones. However, with the help of IoT, mobile usage patterns of drivers can be tracked during driving and distracting apps can be blocked right away. IoT is also playing a big role in the development of driverless cars. Its applications inform the car about the traffic conditions, sharp turns, speed breakers and other useful information related to driving. Driverless cars are also a perfect addition to a smart city, ensuring smooth traffic conditions.
Internet of Things brings enormous digital transformation opportunities for any business, industry or organization, thereby rendering it a competitive advantage as far as technology is concerned. So, without losing any time, introduce IoT in your operations and add value to your existing business.