Internet, one of the most significant inventions of all time helped us to connect with people using computers and Smartphone. The new generation of network IoT (internet of things), connects things with the ability to sense, control and communicate. Find out what are the applications of Internet of Things?
1. Smart Home and Office
Smart home applications with the use of smart sensors are becoming popular now. Any smart device can be configured and connected to the internet and control using simple mobile application.
Smart Door access control system
Smart locks and door access systems are one of the most popular and cost effective solutions of Internet of Things. Smart locks are easy to implement and control using a web interface or Smartphone application.
Integration with RDIF tags, smart door accessing systems can be securely implemented. Users can grant access to the doors using mobile app and lock again once the person leaves the premises.
Example: a person wants to enter your house while you are not around, you will be able to open the door for that person using Smartphone application.
Smart lighting for home and office
Smart lighting is one the attractive smart home application using internet of things. In addition to energy saving, it also enables us to manage effectively. Light ambience can be changed using smart hub devices or smart phone app.
Smart lighting can be configured to respond to voice commands and motion detectors / proximity sensors. These sensors will activate the light when someone enters the room or leaving the room. Moreover, it can be configured to turn on when the ambient light is below certain threshold (turn on during sun light is low).
Automated Gate and garage
Using smart sensor technology and internet of things, gates and garages can be controlled (operated) conveniently. Once you are about to enter the house or after leaving the premises, you may open or close the gate using mobile devices.
Smart thermostats and humidity controllers
Smart thermostats are cost effective and convenient smart home solutions which can be controlled using an internet connection and smart hub device (or using Smartphone app).
Common sensors for home/office automation:
- Motion / proximity sensors
- Voice controlled sensor
- Light sensor
- Temperature and humidity sensors
- Smoke/fire sensor
- Precipitation sensor
Analyzing traffic over a period of time gives an insight of possible trends and pattern that could occur during peak hours. It will help to inform commuters to take alternative routes to avoid congestion and delay.
Smart lighting on streets
Smart lighting is an effective solution to save energy in the cities. Smart sensors can detect presents of people or vehicles in the proximity and increase light intensity when someone pass by.
Once the person or vehicle is away from that area, smart light will automatically reduce light intensity to save energy. During emergency situations, maximum light intensity will be activated to support recovery activities.
Since the smart lighting systems are connected to control and monitoring network, any faulty light units will be automatically reported and necessary maintenance will be initiated.
Pollution monitoring and reporting
Increasing air pollution is one of the challenges we are facing in every growing cities. In order to solve this issue, smart sensors are deployed across the cities to continuously monitor any changes.
Some of the common sensors are temperature, air quality (like CO2 level, haze, and smoke), moisture etc… Interconnected smart sensors collects data, sends these data to the monitoring stations and initiates warning messages during bad air quality detection.
Smart Parking Solutions
Smart sensors installed on parking area are collecting information about availability of parking slots and updating it to the database real time. Once the spot is occupied, it will be updated without any delay.
Service providers and customers can plan and manage parking issues with the use of smart parking solutions.
Water / waste management
Populations in cities are increasing every year, based on statistics this trend will grow in coming years. Increase in population contributes to increase in wastes as well.
Many cities are adapting recycling of water using water treatment units. With IoT system, the amount of waste water, consumption in a geographical area and trend of waste produced can be analyzed effectively.
IoT and smart sensor technology enables us to manage this issue efficiently. With smart waste management system, authorities will be able to predict the amount of waste produced in a particular location, how to process properly, trigger clearance of waste and analyze data for future planning etc.…
Example: smart sensors implemented on trash bins can send alerts to the waste management system once the bin is full (or reached threshold limit). If the waste quantity in the bin is low, it will not be emptied.
With analytics solutions, an overview of waste generated in every part of the city, how much wastes are generated in duration can be easily assessed. This information will be used to plan during the city expansion and upgrading projects.
Fleets for waste collection and treatment can be managed and any changing trends can be predicted via smart analytics solutions.
2. Wearable Devices
Wearable smart devices introduced as smart watches around a decade ago and many more functions were added since then. Now our smart watches and wearable are capable of reading text messages, showing notifications of other apps, tracking location, monitor workout status, remind schedules and continuously monitoring health conditions.
With Internet of Things, wearable technology can be used beyond these functions. Major smart wearable manufacturers are developing special operating systems and applications dedicated for smart wearable devices.
Many people have shared their stories how a smart watch saved their life during an accident and medical emergencies. Life saving applications makes smart wearable one of the most favorite devices among other IoT devices.
Parents can track their child’s location, care takers will get notification if patient’s vitals are low or blood sugar levels are changing. Doctors and medical professionals can continuously monitor their patient’s body conditions in real-time using wearable technology.
Future smart devices like smart watches and fitness bands will be optimized to perform more functions and connect with other smart IoT devices in smart home and other applications. Pairing with Smartphone applications will enable these smart wearable to initiate more tasks and get notified promptly.
Future of Wearable technology
Future wearable technology will be capable of early detection of diseases and trigger for treatment during early stages. Sensitive nano-sensors will have the capability to detect components in our body fluids (sweat, tear and saliva) and notify certain physical conditions that could trigger more severe disease in future.
Surgical implanted nano-sensors will give indication of possible medical conditions (like cancer) that could develop in our body before it become severe. Finding a medical condition in early stages has more effectiveness in treatment.
For example: if we are able to find out chances of developing diabetes before it affect our body, we can change our diet and seek medical advice to avoid or delay the decease as much as possible.
Future healthcare procedure will include more wearable devices for convenient, accurate detection of diseases and monitoring of many medical conditions.
Healthcare industry has been utilizing the possibilities of Internet of Things for life saving applications. Starting from collecting vital data from bed side devices, real-time diagnosing process, accessing medical records and patient information across multiple departments, the entire system of patient care can be improved with IoT implementation.
IoT will offer convenience for medical practitioners, improve accuracy in the information (helps to reduce error in the data), increase overall efficiency and saves time for each procedures.
Doctors can monitor patient’s status remotely and suggest necessary procedures when required.
Data loss and mistakes will be reduced to a lower level with IoT devices. Most of the modern medical devices can be connected to the network and data can be accessed securely (In future, all devices will have the capability to connect the network).
Round the clock patient monitoring is possible with smart IoT devices. Immediate change in the vitals of a patient will automatically notify responsible medical practitioners real-time.
Doctors can prescribe medicine after assessing patient remotely with the help of smart IoT devices. In many cases, hospital visits many not be required.
Example: Many hospitals are offering telemedicine facility. Patients can follow-up treatment via video conferencing.
Apart from the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the healthcare systems, IoT also offers better patient satisfaction. Overall hospital experience will be improved with implementation of IoT in healthcare.
Find out more about how wireless technology is used in Medicine and Healthcare
4. Autonomous Driving
Autonomous driving has been evolving with the use of artificial intelligence and smart sensor technology in Internet of Things. Earlier generation of autonomous vehicle (partial automation) will assists drivers to drive safely, avoid collisions and warn about the conditions of the road and vehicle.
Example: cruise control assistance, parking assistance, line changing assistance and efficient fuel /energy management etc.…
As we collect huge amount of data from thousands of vehicles (using millions of sensors and camera units), AI can predict certain scenarios on the road and help to implement in the future generation of vehicles for better safety and efficiency.
Self driving cars and connected car concept will offer a much safer road experience in future with the use of Internet of Things and artificial intelligence (AI). One of the significant components of IoT in automobiles is smart sensors which are continually collecting information about the vehicle, road condition, about other vehicles, objects on the road and road conditions.
The system consists of camera units, proximity sensors, RADARs, RF antenna arrays to collect information and help the vehicle to make decision based on the sudden changes on the road. Vehicles and smart objects can share information each other using RF technology.
Example scenarios: ice fall on road, vehicle breakdown / accident on one line and heavy traffic in a particular direction on highway etc.…
Accurate information is significant in making a split second decision while driving. There would be a bigger impact if the data is not accurate or delayed and it could even lead to fatal accidents.
5G technology offers faster data rate with low latency network which is curtail for autonomous driving technology.
Sophisticated algorithms are being developed to learn different scenarios from various conditions on the road. This powerful software with continuously learning AI, manufacturers can enhance the safety of the self driving (full automation) vehicles in future.
5. Agriculture and Smart farming
There are lot of challenges in the agriculture and farming industry to produce more crops and vegetable to feed increasing human population. Internet of Things can assists farmers and researchers in this area to find more optimized and cost effective ways to increase production.
In developed countries, young generation is not attracted to conventional farming and agriculture. Lack of support staff could lead to productivity; authorities have to find alternative ways to overcome this issue.
Internet of Things is one of the promising solutions to make entire agriculture and farming industry more efficient with less number of workers. Smart sensor technology will help improve each stages of agriculture and automation helps to reduce manual labor.
Smart irrigation is a method of efficient use of water for agriculture using Internet of Things. Smart sensors are deployed into soil which constantly monitoring and sending information about soil conditions to the control station.
Once the soil start to dry or reaches a threshold value defined by farmer, control system initiates the water flow and it will be stopped after a set time. Wastage or water and manual labor can be reduced by implementing automated irrigation system into agriculture.
Smart Greenhouse using sensors
Greenhouse farming is one of the successful agriculture methods to artificially controlling the environment for increased production of vegetables and fruits. Inside the green house, the essential parameters like CO2 level, temperature and moisture level are monitored round the clock and automatic precipitation, light and moisture control will be activated using IoT system.
This smart monitoring system control is much more efficient and cost effective than the same task performed by workers. The data collected using various sensors deployed in the greenhouse will be sent to the cloud, it helps to easily access the data for further analysis.
Predication farming is a method of applying useful information collected over duration of time for improved quantity and quality of agriculture products. Experts will analyze when would be the best time/season for farming, what should be best parameters for maximum productivity, suitable fertilizers and how to plan a particular product ready for harvest etc.…
Internet of Things offers many solutions for convenient tracking of animals with the use of smart RFID tags. Farmers can easily record data of each animal with implementation of IoT and smart tags.
For example: movement (cow, sheep) from a particular location, age and weight of individual and vaccination details can be stored in database and easily accessed by just scanning the smart tag.
6. Industrial IoT for manufacturing
Manufacturing industry is one of the early adopters of Internet of Things which entirely changed several stages of a product development cycle. Industrial IoT will help optimize various stages of product manufacturing such as:
- Monitoring of supply chain and inventory management
- Optimization in product development
- Automate mass production processes
- Quality testing and product improvement
- Improves packaging and management
- Process optimization using data collected from huge number of sensor networks
- Cost effective solution for overall management of factories
Find more about applications of Industrial Internet of Things
7. Disaster management
Internet of Things with wide range of smart sensors allow engineers to build a more effective emergency response system for factories, schools, hospitals, airports and any other public gathering places. Any emergency situations like fire outbreak or flooding will be automatically detected using sensors and this information is shared to responsible work groups in real time.
Disaster management team can respond effectively within seconds to start recovery operations. With better preparation plan, disaster management team can work safely and assist each individual to evacuate safely during an emergency situation.
During an emergency, fire department, emergency response volunteers, police force, ambulance units and nearby hospitals will receive an alert about the scenario. Automated warning system improves the preparedness and allows authorities to plan and handle any kind of situations immediately.
Some of the common sensors: smoke detector, temperature sensor, humidity sensor, CO2 monitoring sensors and precipitation detector.
Sensor deployed in many locations (where higher possibility of wildfire could happen) is continuously monitoring CO2 emission levels, fire and smoke. These smart sensors are connected to a network where any changes in the data will be immediately identified and alert warnings will be sent during a wildfire.
8. Logistic and fleet management
Smart logistics is a complex task since the goods must be handled with greater care and efficiency. Apart from moving from one location to another location, service providers have to make sure perfect condition is maintained during transportation.
Smart sensors capable of connecting to IoT network continuously monitoring the GPS location, temperature, humidity, shock and tilt angle of the container used for transpiration. Data collected from these sensors are processed and analyzed in a central cloud system.
Logistics team can access this information from anywhere using an internet connection. Movement of fleet can be monitored real-time and updated to customers about the progress of delivery.
Any delay during transportation will be notified to the responsible members of the team.
9. Smart Grids and energy management
Smart grid concept is an enhancement of existing power grids with sensors deployed on the transmission lines and individual customer outlets. Theses sensors helps to notify any failure, abnormality in the line, understand the nature of usage and behavior pattern over time.
These data can be used to find out areas of improvement, lossy nodes during transmission, and peak time usage statistics with the use of smart meters and sensors. Energy companies can use this information to improve existing grids and implement new changes during upgrade and thus reduce carbon emission.
In case one of the transmission line is down, smart sensors will automatically trigger to switch to another grid to provide uninterrupted supply. Manual action from a worker could take longer response time and this could cause long power outages and losses.
Customers also will benefit from implementation of IoT for energy management. With optimized use and energy saving, overall efficiency and energy wastage can be significantly reduced.
Example: Smart meters can notify customers about peak time usage cost and non peak time cost. Based on this data customers can schedule some tasks during non peak time to save energy cost.
10. Big Data Analytics
One of the basic components of big data analytics is the data itself; many organizations consider data as most valuable asset to grow their business strategies. The source of data could be from anywhere like machines, environment, plants, peoples or even animals.
Internet of Things uses hundreds of types of sensors designed to collect data from wide range of applications. Huge amount of data from millions of smart sensors will help big data analytics to improve its decision making algorithm using artificial intelligence and machine learning.
For example: autonomous driving technology needs lot of data from many sensors embedded in to the vehicles. These smart sensors are collecting behavior of engine, field data, maps, camera feeds to improve self driving algorithm to handle any situation that could occur while driving.