The Internet of Things “IOT” – Digging Deeper into the New Technology
Mostly everyone has heard of the Internet of Things, or IOT, but do we really know what this new technology and phenomenon is capable of? Most of what we know likely comes from advertisements trying to sell us a new wearable IOT technology, such as fitness bands that might allow us to track our heart rate, walking distance, or other health parameters. The wearables market is truly exploding and it is no doubt a popular part of Internet of Things.
What most of us don’t understand though, is that wearables are really only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the IOT. There is truly an endless amount of possibilities when we shift away from wearables and examine enterprise solutions utilizing the Internet of Things. While wearables might be getting most of the attention, it’s the enterprise solutions that are going to have the biggest impact on our world.
What is the Internet of Things?
In order to understand the endless possibilities with the IOT, we first have to have a basic understanding of how it works. Simply put, the Internet of Things is a network of physical objects that have sensors and the ability to connect by means of the Internet to smartphones or other devices. The IOT basically allows us to make any object ‘smart’ by placing a sensor with connectivity to it. In some cases, these objects can also be fitted with actuators that automatically turn things on or off given various parameters.
How is this useful? Well we have already looked at the hot new technology that is wearables. A watch is a simple object. We can make it smart by adding a sensor, say a heart rate monitor, and connectivity. Our simple watch can now connect to computers or smartphones and provide alerts and information regarding our heart rate. This simple concept can be applied to any object by adding a sensor and connectivity.
Beyond Wearables – Endless Possibilities in Enterprise
Wearables may be getting a lot of attention in advertisements and the media, but enterprise solutions within the IOT have always been there. They simply work silently, making our lives much easier without us even realizing it. If you own a new car that sends alerts to your phone when you need an oil change, then you have experienced an enterprise solution within the IOT whether you realized it or not. The car rental company AVIS has installed sensors on their vehicles that alert them if the renter is speeding, the system then sends a text to the driver warning them of the infraction. This again, is an enterprise solution to the IOT.
Real World IOT Enterprise Solutions
One area we see the IOT used frequently in is environmental monitoring. Remote sensors send information to key personnel about air quality, water quality, and even atmospheric and soil conditions. In fact, the IOT has already made great leaps in improving early warning systems for major weather or seismic events. Future implementation of the technology will revolutionize these early warning systems, saving countless lives.
These same environmental sensors will also go a long way in reducing our water consumption. In a world where the availability of fresh water is becoming more and more of an issue this will have a huge impact on our lives. Moisture sensors on farms can inform us as to the exact needs of crops. Using this information farmer can completely optimize the use of irrigation sprinklers and overall water flow.
Another area we already see the IOT influencing is energy management. The ability to sense and communicate current energy generation and usage gives energy companies information that allows them to effectively balance and optimize energy levels. Remember, the IOT goes beyond sensors and connectivity, some of these smart objects will actually have actuators that can turn various systems automatically on or off depending on energy usage. While these systems are already in place in some areas, future implementation will have a huge effect on our overall energy usage.
The Value of Enterprise Solutions vs the Noise of Wearables
Wearables may seem like the component of the IOT that will have the largest direct impact on our lives, but this simply isn’t the case either. Think about the things we use every day. There is already an implementation of the IOT in use by the automaker Tesla, which shuts down the engine on stolen cars, and has the ability to lock vehicles remotely. The IOT can also revolutionize child care. Imagine sensors in infant’s diapers which alert us when they need to be changed. Security applications around the home can also alert us of break-ins or vehicle thefts.
Wearables will provide us with conveniences like tracking our health and fitness or allowing automated access to secure areas or our homes. Meanwhile, as we have seen, enterprise solutions within the IOT will be revolutionizing lifesaving early warning systems and providing desperately needed energy saving solutions. It doesn’t end there either, IOT devices are used in medical and healthcare systems to ensure accurate and timely care. Pacemakers are an existing technology, but now they are coming with sensors which are ahead connected with apps on smartphones which is again plain example of IOT. Now users’ or, better their doctors can track the performance and potential problems with them with smartphones/ tabular apps.
The IOT will also allow us to monitor maintenance and possible failure on public infrastructure and it’s even said that industrial applications of the IOT will be so revolutionary they will bring about the fourth industrial revolution. Imagine industrial automation and plc where issues in the manufacturing line can be sent as an alert to engineers around the world. These issues can then be directly addressed leaving us with an incredibly efficient and timely manufacturing process.
Revolutionary Enterprise Solutions Today, Endless Possibilities for Tomorrow
As we have seen the enterprise solutions that are already being implementing have an enormous potential for positive change, but the possibilities are truly endless. It all begins with a simple question: What object can we make smart by adding a sensor, actuator, and connectivity to, and how can we use that to make a better tomorrow? Innovative minds around the world are already working on new applications that will no doubt be used to improve existing enterprise systems.
The technology is already here, but it will improve as we move forward. One of the hold ups currently is battery life and the availability of connectivity. However, we are already seeing great improvements in low voltage sensors, processors, and improved battery technology. Connectivity is also improving a great deal as network infrastructure is becoming more widespread and power efficient. Enterprise IOT solutions will expand a great deal once this technology improves and these solutions can be implemented in rural and industrial areas that may not currently have connectivity or power.
The Internet of Things is Revolutionary Because of Enterprise Solutions
Enterprise solutions are working behind the scenes, silently improving our lives for the better. It’s important to take note of these advancements and support them as they are truly going to have a huge impact that goes well beyond that of wearables. This is especially true for app developers who need to be incorporating IOT technology within their applications. Affle AppStudioz is on the leading edge of the new phenomenon that is the IOT. We have the capability and vision to support current and next generation IOT products in the smart applications that we develop in here. It is our expertise to develop innovative apps, combined with advancements in IOT technology, that is truly keeping us excited that it is going to revolutionise the world as we know it.