The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to revolutionize the way everything is done, from working on a car to buying groceries to production at a factory. But many still don’t understand exactly what that means. What is IoT?
To put is simply, IoT is created using the internet and a series of sensors designed to talk with one another. This is not new technology. In fact, it has been around for decades. What is new is the magnitude of the sensor connection and what they are connecting. With the IoT, everything can be connected. As many say, if it has an on/off button it can connect the IoT.
What does this mean for businesses? It means more data and better utilization of resources. One example where the IoT can be utilized is in water management. Gauges are attached to the pipes that read the amount of water being used by a house. Traditionally, workers would have to go up to each gauge and record the data manually. Now this is often done automatically. All a worker has to do is drive past with a reader that picks up all the data. With the IoT, it’s possible that they won’t even have to do that. All the data could be transferred over the internet in real time and with extreme accuracy.
But the public sector isn’t the only place where the IoT can be utilized. Let’s take it a step further and look at manufacturing.
In manufacturing, machines are in constant use, producing everything from trucks to paperclips. When one of these machines breaks, the results can be catastrophic. Yet with the IoT these machines can be equipped with sensors that will tell their operating condition and potentially even give warning when something starts to go wrong, allowing workers to act before more serious damage is caused.
As much as this will help, we’ve still only scratched the surface. Let’s look at another example.
Pretend you are producing doorbells. Within each doorbell you place a sensor and camera that will connect to the IoT. Thanks to this sensor, people that use your doorbell can get a notification on their phone whenever someone rings their doorbell and be able to see who it is. But that’s not all the sensor can do. Throughout the doorbell’s life it will be able to send its data back to you, the manufacturer. It can share things such as how many times it has been used, how often, at what time, and whether components have broken, and if so what components broke.
That’s just one example, and there are limitless possibilities when it comes to the IoT. Any device that has a switch, uses electricity, and even those that don’t use electricity – for now – have the potential to be included in the IoT. With a few sensors and either a connection to WiFi, Bluetooth, or LTE services the IoT has the ability to change the way the world works and is connected.
How could your company benefit from the IoT? Let us know in the comments below.