Tuesday 12 September 2017

Real World Examples of IoT (Internet of Things) - How will IoT change our lives?

IoT (Internet of Things) is going to change our lives to a large extent. In the coming years, we will realize the real potential of IoT. Below are some real world examples of IoT.

Lets consider IoT enabled Alarm Clock or say Smart Alarm.

Imagine you wake up at 7am every day to go to work. Your alarm clock does the job of waking you just fine. That is, until something goes wrong. Your train is cancelled and you have to drive to work instead. The only problem is that it takes longer to drive, and you would have needed to get up at 6.45am to avoid being late. Oh, and it’s pouring with rain, so you’ll need to drive slower than usual. 

A connected or IoT-enabled alarm clock would reset itself based on all these factors, to ensure you got to work on time. It could recognize that your usual train is cancelled, calculate the driving distance and travel time for your alternative route to work, check the weather and factor in slower travelling speed because of heavy rain, and calculate when it needs to wake you up so you’re not late. 

If it’s super-smart, if might even sync with your IoT-enabled coffee maker, to ensure your morning caffeine’s ready to go when you get up.

Now consider IoT enabled car or say connected cars.

Having been woken by your smart alarm, you’re now driving to work. On comes the engine light. You’d rather not head straight to the garage, but what if it’s something urgent? In a connected car, the sensor that triggered the check engine light would communicate with others in the car. A component called the diagnostic bus collects data from these sensors and passes it to a gateway in the car, which sends the most relevant information to the manufacturer’s platform. The manufacturer can use data from the car to offer you an appointment to get the part fixed, send you directions to the nearest dealer, and make sure the correct replacement part is ordered so it’s ready for you when you show up.

You are on your way to a meeting; your car could have access to your calendar and already know the best route to take. If the traffic is heavy your car might send a text to the other party notifying them that you will be late. 

Now consider IoT enabled homes or say smart homes.

Take an instance where you need to monitor your home or child when you are away. A simple solution would be to fix an IP camera and monitor its feed using a web or mobile application. You can even hire a babysitter. The former option can give you the complete monitoring data, while the latter cannot. If you fix sensors or devices, which can be reached from anywhere, you have the flexibility to monitor as well as control those devices to the best of their ability; this can make your home or baby 99.99% secure. 

Your home security system, which already enables you to remotely control your locks and thermostats, can cool down your home and open your windows, based on your preferences.

British Gas's Hive Active Heating enables consumers to control their home heating from their smartphone, laptop or tablet. It even has the ability to turn off when no one is home by detecting whether your smartphone is in the house or not.

IoT can help in reducing accidents and save valuable human life.

Let’s look at one example. In 2007, a bridge collapsed in Minnesota, killing many people, because of steel plates that were inadequate to handle the bridge’s load. 

When we rebuild bridges, we can use smart cement: cement equipped with sensors to monitor stresses, cracks, and war-pages. This is cement that alerts us to fix problems before they cause a catastrophe. And these technologies aren’t limited to the bridge’s structure.

If there’s ice on the bridge, the same sensors in the concrete will detect it and communicate the information via the wireless internet to your car. Once your car knows there’s a hazard ahead, it will instruct the driver to slow down, and if the driver doesn’t, then the car will slow down for him.

And thus bridges become smart bridges, and cars smart cars. And soon, we have smart cities, and….

Airplane manufacturers are building air-frames with networked sensors that send continuous data on product wear and tear to their computers, allowing for proactive maintenance and reducing unplanned downtime. 

Now consider some more examples of Real World IoT:

Some insurance companies, for example, are offering to install location sensors in customers’ cars. That allows these companies to base the price of policies on how a car is driven as well as where it travels. Pricing can be customized to the actual risks of operating a vehicle rather than based on proxies such as a driver’s age, gender, or place of residence.

Sensors in even the domestic animals. In the world of IoT, even the domestic animals will be connected and monitored with the help of embedded sensors. This allows farmers to monitor their animal's health and track their movements, ensuring a healthier, more plentiful supply of milk and meat for people to consume. 

Some more...

What if your office equipment knew when it was running low on supplies and automatically re-ordered more? 

What if your refrigerators can warn you when you’re out of milk. 

What if smart dustbins can signal when they need to be emptied.

What if smart tea maker that knows just when you’re in need of a cup of tea.

Truly speaking, you can think of infinite examples of IoT in the real world. It cannot be summarized in an article. There is no limit. Just keep thinking...

Other articles on IoT:

Internet of Things (IoT) - Next Stage of Information Revolution

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