The term Internet of Things has been a buzzword of the decade. In the past few years, it has gained massive attention from people for providing a wide range of applications to the world. It was reported to have a net worth of 100 billion USD in 2017 and it’s predicted to become an industry of 1.6 trillion USD by 2025. IoT applications are catering to the needs of the world in unexpected ways but before we discuss them in brief, let’s understand what IoT is in the first place.
The internet is full of definitions and elaborative articles defining the IoT and they might differ from each other in tonality, but the essence remains the same. IoT is basically a network of devices that are linked to each other through the internet. These devices can be extended using IoT applications and can be integrated with vehicles, home appliances, etc to collect and share the data without the need for a human operator.
IoT applications are transforming the lives of mankind by providing efficient solutions for both the public and private sectors. For instance, people can track lost things, or they can keep an eye on their house or car with IoT-based security systems. Applications of IoT can be extended to make restaurant reservations, fitness tracking, monitoring the supply chains, and maintaining inventory levels.
It also proves helpful in a set of IT service management called ITIL. Most of the IoT devices are integrated with sensors and smart devices which collects data from one end and transmits it to the destination for analysis. An IoT system has four major parts that contribute to its functionality. They are:
IoT is revolutionizing the agricultural industry and it’s used by farmers to optimize various farming operations which includes determining the ideal time harvest the crops, analyzing the soil contents for better production, tracing the moisture contents in the soil, etc. A series of sensors connected to animals can be installed throughout the agriculture for controlling livestock. IoT devices predict the changes in weather and study the environment of the region with great accuracy.
All thanks to IoT, Industrial automation refers to the use of computers, robots or smart devices for performing various operations in an industry and it is taking place at a great pace. There has been coined a particular term for this known as Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) which empowers industrial engineering for creating brilliant machines with integrated sensors, software and big data analytics. Applications of IoT in industrial automation includes tracking goods, exchanging the inventory information between the suppliers and retailers in real-time and automated delivery.
IoT applications are helping the healthcare industry by allowing them to monitor their patients at home or located in remote areas and hence decreasing the costs by minimizing the need of visiting a doctor. There are smart beds that can instantly be checked for space availability and save the wait time. Apart from the real-time home monitoring, sensors implanted on or under the skin of the patient can determine if a patient has fallen or is suffering a heart attack. Smart pills with sensors integrated into them are becoming a powerful tool for diagnosing patients with increased speed and accuracy.
The concept of a Smart City harnesses the power of technology to improve the urban infrastructure and make them more efficient, better, and affordable for the people. It includes planning and public administration by automating the services in a sustainable manner. Sectors like government, transport, health care, agriculture are adopting the concept of smart cities to become more efficient. IoT can be used for the intelligent management of urban waste that can provide useful information for the population which appreciates an easier and environment-friendly way of collecting the garbage.
Technology has been transforming our surroundings with its futuristic applications. Today, we can control all the functionalities of our cars through our smartphones. It uses a smart computer that programs all our preferences with integrated sensors. There is a central computer installed in the car that receives data from sensors installed in different components of the car. It helps in the determination of engine oil level, radiator water temperature, etc. The manufacturer can easily share the information about the car with its owner through an email or the owner can monitor and analyze the current state of his vehicle through an application using his smartphone.
IoT has trending applications in fitness and wearable devices. There are IoT connected devices that can be used to stay fit. They keep a track of your daily activities like sleeping patterns, total hours of activity, work out details, calories burned, and heart rate, etc. They can be placed on clothes and can monitor particular signals. The sensors integrated into these devices collect data through the skin and transmits it to the smartphones for diagnosis. Tattoo sensors are quite popular these days. Other wearable devices are fitness bands or accessories molded in the form of jewelry such as a watch that is connected to an IoT-driven smart device.
IoT is used by many companies to track the assets. It uses Global Positioning System (GPS) or radiofrequency (RF) for tracking and monitoring the items. For assets lying or getting delivered from a remote area, smart devices can be used to keep a track of them. The monitoring system equipped with IoT transmits the location of the tracker circuit to an online system. It can either be achieved by scanning the bar code or by using GPS, BLE, or RFID.
IoT has a huge potential for transforming the retail sector. Retailers can improve their in-store experience using IoT by connecting with their consumers. Smart phones can be used as a medium to stay linked with the customers, interact with them, and serve them better. Consumer’s path can also be monitored using IoT through a shop that can contribute to enhancing the design of the shop and put premium products in high-traffic spots. Beacons are allowing the retail industry to serve the clients in a better way by making location-based searching and interaction easier and accurate than ever before.
Internet of Nano-Things (IoNT) is all about nanodevices that are interlinked through the current network and telecommunications system. It incorporates nanosensors into devices which allows them to interact between systems across the globe through the nanonetwork and the Internet. It brings new possibilities of transforming the world with nanosensors connected to physical stuff for collecting, processing, and sharing the data.
The applications of IoT are benefiting many industries including agriculture, health care, aerospace, logistics, and manufacturing, etc.
As we know that IoT is a collection of interconnected devices that are capable of monitoring, reporting, sending, and exchanging data amongst users. It focuses on bringing awareness regarding efficient decision-making by making use of the collected data by IoT. In the supply chain, this data is used to provide detailed visibility of products and connect the manufacturer and the retailer. It’s an effective way of tracking and authenticating products and their shipments using GPS or similar technologies.
The applications of IoT are vast and will increase with time. Most of the aforementioned IoT applications are already in place. IoT had a bright future lying ahead and it will grow with sustainable results. A report provided a strategic figure of 8.4 billion devices will be used globally by 2025. According to the Cisco report, 500 billion IoT devices are expected to be connected by 2030.
IoT applications will improve and will become more efficient by collaborating with other emerging technologies such as Blockchain which is widely used as a tool for secure transactions and data processing. With other technologies such as ITIL and Bigdata, IoT will become a lucrative field with a wide range of career opportunities.
IoT is a perfect amalgamation of hardware and software devices that are helping us to build a better and smarter future. It’s the right time to start exploring the new potentials of IoT to unfold the hidden aspects of creating a better tomorrow.