Internet of Things, commonly known as IoT, has gained popularity over the past few years, and it seems there will be more innovation and development about it in the years to come. However, just like every trending phrases like this, a good number of people are curious about what the IoT entails. Therefore, they ask, “What is this, and what are its uses in our world today?”
That’s why this article is right here. This article seeks to give answers to the above questions. Here, we will be discussing the Internet of Things, different IoT applications, its impacts in different industries and how they are applying it, the trends and future of IoT.
What Is the Internet of Things?
We will start with the basics. There are several definitions of IoT out there. Most time, the definition is usually based on the perspective of author. Here, we will be giving you a straightforward and simple definition. IoT is simply a network of devices and appliances that are connected via the internet. These devices can collect and transmit data without human interaction.
Simply say, the Internet of Things describes the connection of devices to each other and to humans via the internet. IoT can offer relevant data about its operation and that of an activity. These days, several companies from various sectors are integrating this technology.
IoT devices get data and send through some central data server. The data is then processed, distilled, and utilize in making certain tasks easier to perform. When these devices are internet-connected, they obtain and share data and then make decisions via Neural Networks and Machine Learning (complex mechanisms).
Devices which are IoT-equipped are refrigerators, laptops, Applewatches, smartphones, coffee machines, Google Home, Fitbits, and many more. Any device that has internet connection and sensors can be plugged into the IoT. There are several devices connected across the globe right now. These devices are busy gathering billions of petabytes of data every day.
Most times, IoT is seen as Big Data, since IoT collects the same kind of massive quantities of data characteristic of Big Data. Therefore, all the data from the Internet of Things is Big Data. However, not all information of Big Data is from the IoT.
The government, private organizations and individuals all enjoy the benefits of IoT.
What are IoT Applications?
IoT serve several functions in different aspects of life. These technologies have been adopted in a wide range of industries. You will find then in both government and privately-owned sectors. IoT has helped people to track lost pets, keep track on the security systems of a house, or apply maintenance schedule.
Consumers can make use of the Internet of Things to make reservations for restaurant, keep track of their exercise progress, and a lot more. Also, they can also use IoT to get coupons for a store. Furthermore, businesses can integrate IoT to monitor supply chains, keep track of the spending habits of customers. Also, businesses can keep track and maintain inventory levels, and adopt predictive maintenance of their devices.
IoT has also proved to be very helpful in ITIL, since information technology (IT) departments are required to carry out more functions in a world that’s becoming increasingly digital. Furthermore, blockchain, which is a beneficiary of IoT is being integrated as a more secure and better method of data processing and transaction.
All industries need to integrate the Internet of Things (IoT) for solutions looking at the global issues going on. For instance, ‘The Climate Pledge’ reveals its goal of no net carbon emissions by the year 2040. Increasing extreme weather events like floods and wildfires have contributed to this initiative. To make this a reality in the nearest future, companies are now investing in IoT-based energy.
On a larger scale, governments now see the need to minimize the consumption of fossil fuel. This has resulted in automotive companies like Ford to work on expanding their electric fleets. An increase in the production of electric vehicles will as well trigger investments on smart city planning and smart grids.
Top 10 IoT Applications
The invention and development of wearable IoT devices helps the healthcare industry to keep track of the health of their patients at home. Therefore, this minimizes hospital stays and visits. These wearable devices offer up to the minute real-time information that is life saving. These days, smart beds in hospitals keep patients informed about the availability, and as such reduces wait time for free bed space. The integration of IoT sensors on health-critical equipment indicates more reliability and fewer breakdowns.
Furthermore, IoT makes elderly care more comfortable. The home monitoring sensors can help to know if a patient is suffering a heart attack. The COVID 19 pandemic has increased the integration of IoT technologies in the healthcare sector. IoT offers a better connection between patients, healthcare providers, and pharmaceuticals.
IoT helps in improving the production process at the pharmaceutical. This helps to reduce the prices of drug. Also, IoT helps pharmaceuticals with intelligent inventory management. During the COVID pandemic, IoT technology played a significant role in several capacities. Some of the integration of IoT were vaccine chain monitoring and telemedicine.
A smart city integrates cellular technology and sensors which are placed in strategic locations like antennae and lamp posts. IoTs have made some cities more efficient. These cities have more energy efficiency and need fewer resources. With the placement of sensors in different strategic places throughout the city various tasks can be carried out.
These tasks include traffic management, pollution monitoring, waste management, streetlights optimization, disaster management, energy expenditure monitoring, smart buildings creation, and more. It costs a lot to maintain public infrastructure like roads, gas supply lines, and street lights. Oslo, Zurich, Geneva, and Singapore, are examples of cities integrating Internet of Things.
Spain announced its plans to transform the Balearic islands into an Internet of Things laboratory. The country deployed masts to keep record of the levels of noise and air pollution. Also, officials have revealed the need to integrate IoT for managing crowd and improving tourism. Traffic monitoring is another IoT applications.
A smart parking system is being integrated across parking locations in Palo Alto, California. This directs drivers to a parking spot. Also, this system has helped in minimizing traffic congestion. Many cities are transforming into smart cities due to the implementation of IoT.
A smart home is one of the most visible and practical IoT applications. In a smart home, sensors control security systems, lighting, and resource management. Also, a smart home is usually a smaller version of a smart city. For instance, the Mark Zuckerberg’s Jarvis is an IoT-based smart home system. Also, the smart home system of Zuckerberg integrates natural language processing. The system maintains and regulates lighting rooms according to occupancy. Also, it plays personalized music based on the person occupying the room.
The security system of the Mark Zuckerberg’s Jarvis utilizes facial recognition to inform the family of the their visitors’ identity. Smart homes have helped in improving home security. Internet of Things allows connection of home appliances like lighting, locks, theft alarm systems, air conditioner, and thermostats, allowing you to control them with a smartphone.
The manufacturing and industrial automation industries are beneficiaries of IoT. With the development of RFID and GPS technology, a manufacturer can keep track of a product from the beginning of the production process to delivery. IoT can take care of the entire supply chain from the beginning to the end. Internet of Things can gather data on product conditions, environmental conditions, and travel time.
Sensors on factory equipment can help in detecting bottlenecks in the manufacturing line. Therefore, this helps in minimizing lost time and waste. Also, other sensors installed on these machines can keep track of the machine’s performance, thereby predicting when the unit needs maintenance. In the long run, this helps to prevent costly breakdowns.
Industrial IoT is simply the Internet of Things at the industry level. IIoT is the fourth wave of the industrial revolution or Industry. Most industries usually subscribe to computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS). The combination of these systems with IoT-enabled sensors increases the life span of machines and as well ensures reliability and availability.
With IoT, the monitoring and management of micro-climate conditions is possible. This helps to increase production in indoor planting. Devices integrating the IoT technology can detect nutrients and moisture in the soil in outdoor planting. Also, it offers more efficient control smart irrigation and fertilizer systems. The sprinkler systems will reduce wastage if it only dispenses water when needed.
One of IoT application in agriculture is smart irrigation. It helps to use water efficiently for farming. Also, the IoT system will start the water flow when the soil gets to a specific level of dryness. Also, it stops the supply immediately it has gotten to a particular moisture level. This in turn minimizes wastage.
Livestock tracking is another IoT application in agriculture. This involves integrating RFID chips to record the location, vitals, and vaccination details of an animal. A smart greenhouse integrates microclimate to increase crop yields rather than depending on changing weather patterns. Also, sensors regulate all important parameters and feature automated systems for water and light.
With Internet of Things, farmers can get valuable information about important things on their farms. Information like acidity level, temperature, and soil moisture can be provided.
IoT plays a significant role in the transportation sector. A good number of people have got to know about the development of self-driving cars and their roles in the transportation system. However, they are just part of the vast potential of IoT in the transportation world. The GPS is a good example of IoT. It helps transportation companies to plot more efficient routes. Therefore, this helps in improving delivery times.
A significant progress has been made in navigation. Also, mounting sensors in fleet vehicles creates an interconnectivity between vehicles and their drivers. The drivers and owner of the vehicle can determine the operation and status of the vehicle as well as its needs.
Fleet management is an application of IoT that helps with geolocation. With this, it is easy to monitor routes and identify the most efficient routes. Also, it helps in fuel savings and performance analysis. This minimizes pollutions in the environment and as well offers vital information to enhance the driving of vehicles.
Utility companies are now integrating internet of things to provide energy. Also, they are now installing appropriate sensors in transmission lines, energy meters, distribution points, and transmission lines. This is what is referred as a smart grid.
Users can now the consumption of energy usage and ensure positive changes in their carbon footprints. Also, it helps in reducing costs. Smart grid allows the creation of energy at solar and wind power plants. Furthermore, smart grid ensures effortless switching between different power sources. They help to maintain correct parameters like voltage while doing this.
Data collected by the Internet of Things can help manage municipal power grids much better as they analyze parameters like usage. Also, these sensors can identify outages faster, and as such, decreases blackout times and improves the response time of repair crews.
A smart grid integrates information Technology to minimize electricity waste, and as such, improves the reliability, efficiency, and economics of electricity.
Water supply systems
When IoT is externally integrated into water meters, this helps to effortlessly collect data, process and analyze data. Therefore, this helps to have a better understanding of consumer patterns. Also, end users can keep track of their consumption details through an app or web page. The automatic alert is another IoT application in the water supply systems that detect consumption beyond the average range record. Therefore, it indicates the presence of a leak, which has helped to prevent water wastage.
Water recycling is very important. It has helped in water management. Also, the integration of Internet of Things makes water systems more efficient. This is evident in the consumption of water in a certain area and the amount of wastewater produced. Internet of Things also helps in waste management.
In today’s world, wearables serve different functions. The production of wearable devices and its use increased in the last three years. From GPS tracking to medical to fitness, wearables play crucial roles in our daily lives. For instance, the fitness bands keep track of heartbeats per minute, calorie expenditure, blood oxygen level, meters of distance covered, and more. These IoT devices look similar to wristbands/watches. Sometimes, they could appear as clip-on devices, earbuds, or smart fabric.
Other examples of wearables are GPS tracking belts and virtual glasses. These energy-efficient devices have sensors and software installed on them. The software gathers and organizes information about users. Brands such as Apple, Fitbit, Samsung, and Google contributed to the introduction of the Internet of Things. Data analytics
Wearable technology is another practical application of Internet of Things. The performances of smartwatches vary. While some read text messages and pop out notifications to keep track of locations, some forecast the weather and provide details about the heartbeat rate. Also, these wearables help parents track their children. Wearables are crucial in elderly care. Constant tracking and location monitoring give well-detailed information about the welfare of the elderly.
IoT has helped in reshaping hospitality in recent years. The hospitality industry has improved with IoT applications. The automation of different interactions like electronic keys sent to each the mobile devices of guest has solved a lot of problem. The application of IoT in the hospitality industry offers easy check-out processes, quicker completion of housekeeping tasks, and sending immediate information on available rooms.
The Internet of Things for automation has helped in reducing costs. Also, you can reduce interactions based on social distancing norms. During the COVID pandemic, IoT helped staff in hotels to reduce the interaction between clients. For example, IoT helped to get rid of the need to personally check into a hotel through the introduction of mobile electronic keys.
Electronic keys inform the hotel management about the location of the guest within the hotel. Also, you can make housekeeping requests and room service via a mobile phone. Artificial intelligence help these devices in collecting data.
What are IoT Devices?
When we talk about Internet of Things, we mean connectivity. IoT devices are a type of hardware that can transfer data throughout networks and over the internet. Also, IoT devices are available in a wide range of designs, shapes, and sizes. Also, they perform several functions. Sensors, computational machines, actuators, and appliances are all IoT-based.
IoT devices are usually portable. They are small digital machines that can be taken almost anywhere. Irrespective of their compactness, they perform great functions. Also, these devices help to collect data and analyze data gathered with the help of Artificial intelligence.
Home security devices such as Ring Cameras and even smartwatches are examples of IoT devices. Smart home devices such as Google Nest and Amazon Alexa are IoT-based. I oT devices are specially designed to carry out a wide array of functions. They are ideal for use in a wide range of applications. Also, they enable people to live their daily lives with convenience. With the help of wearable medical devices and implants, healthcare practitioners can prevent issues and disruptions. Also, IoT devices help to eliminate bottlenecks for business operations.
An IoT device operates like a mini-computer that transmits information to the cloud. After the information has been transmitted, the cloud processes the information. Also, the cloud makes decision concerning the information. For instance, the cloud software can show a notification based on the IoT data transfer.
The majority of IoT devices are primarily designed to automatically function with data. They don’t need any human effort asides from programming. But, these devices feature a user interface with various functionalities. For instance, some tasks may need you to give permission to carry out actions, while some may carry out the tasks automatically.
Components of Integrated IoT System
The components of IoT system enable IoT devices to carry out tasks based on their programming. Also, these components play a crucial role in the performance of IoT devices. They include sensors, connectivity, data processing, and user interface.
The sensors in IoT gather data from the environment. This can be tracking particular operations or gauging temperature. IoT devices collect this kind of data from their environments. For instance, GPS, accelerometers, and cameras, are means IoT devices gather data to analyze. A motion sensor detects the patterns of vibration in heavy-duty machines and a biological sensor can keep track of various biological functions like acidity.
The IoT device sends the data it gathered to the cloud to process it. Connectivity involves how the collected data reaches the cloud. Also, there are several means of linking IoT devices to the cloud like cellular, WiFi, 5G, Bluetooth, and satellite.
It is now time to process the data in the cloud. Computers can’t provide qualitative information yet and therefore, they depend on parameters to read, analyze, and make decisions on inputs. Data processing involves the conversion of raw data into a machine-readable form in such a way that the device understands the next line of action.
The majority of IoT devices have user interface (UI). User interface allows people to interact with the IoT device. Also, the user interface produces and offers output to the user. Furthermore, there are several ways an IoT device can function.
The Internet of Things is no longer a new thing. It has slowly gained wide popularity and it is quietly impacting and shaping our future. This technology is simply the outcome of humankind’s curiosity. Also, the intention to live a connected and convenient lifestyle has birthed IoT. IoT technology simply minimizes labour and gets rid of the chances of making mistakes. There are several applications of IoT. In reality, internet of Things has made everything easier for individuals, companies, and the government as a whole.