First things first: Internet of Things, short IoT is the connection of hardware devices and everyday objects with the internet and being able to identify themselves to other devices. IoT describes a world where just about anything can be connected and communicate in an intelligent manner. This general concept and interpretation of the acronym IoT was born between 2008 and 2009. Roughly ten years later IoT and some of its promises have been turned into high potential real-world solutions. We are moving fast paced towards true business value creation with many more unexplored opportunities to come.
Let’s face reality now. I picked up four cool IoT cases for 2019 which I personally find interesting. There is nothing scientific about it, just my pure personal observations and thoughts.
1. Smart Cities
Smart Cities is something similar like Smart Homes but outside and 10’000 times bigger. In fact, Smart Cities can optimize the way and quality of living in a very efficient way. For example, road traffic – everybody is affected somehow by it and normally we are either complaining about it or use it as explanation when we arrive to late somewhere. But imagine this marvelous city with a smart traffic system, where traffic can be really controlled and not just passively observed. Smart traffic solutions use different types of sensors, as well as the cellular data from drivers’ phones to evaluate the number, the approximate location and speed of vehicles on the road. At the same time, smart traffic lights control and regulate the rhythm of ‘green light timings’ based on the current traffic situation. Additionally, the use of historical data can be leveraged to predict how traffic is evolving to take precautionary actions to prevent potential traffic jams. Well, sooner or later we cannot complain anymore about traffic chaos and delays and furthermore we lose a widely accepted excuse for being late (damn it!).
2. Smart Health
Who has a smartwatch or any other fancy fitness tracker? Those fancy and trendy accessories are comfortable devices to monitor relevant health data in our everyday life. Equipped with all this valuable health related data, we can start optimizing our general well-being and track our health over time and even enable remote care by giving remote access to trends and symptoms. Those devices can be seen as a mirror of our lifestyle habits and effortless activity diary and allow us to recover from health issues where we feel most comfortable – at home.
3. Safe Living
Imagine your beloved grandma is living alone and she is not so into wearing those alerting devices for elderly people. Such a wearable should help her to live longer independently because she can trigger an alert by clicking just a button in any case of emergency. Probably you have seen them before, they tend to look like ordinary watches but without any clock face or any design or style at all – just one big red panic button in the middle. James Bond would sacrifice his life to prevent the villain to press such types of button because otherwise the world would be destroyed. Yep, I really understand why grandma is not interested at all to wear such a type of device. Thanks to modern IoT sensors it is now possible for grandma to achieve a much better security in a purely contactless manner. No ugly wristband for grandma anymore. Those contactless devices can be installed in grandmas’ home and they will detect falls and any other critical incidents without even touching her. The IoT sensors can measure vital signs over the air and trigger an alert if needed. Yeeey!
4. Predictive Maintenance
IoT in the manufacturing industry is already huge. But let’s look a little bit closer to something that we can use in daily life. Imagine your fridge (classic) knows when the next maintenance service must be done. Predictive Maintenance is the keyword here. Predictive Maintenance analyzes and aggregates different sensor measurements (temperature, vibration, energy consumption etc.) to detect early indicators which are signs of future issues. Manufacturers receive real-time predictions about upcoming maintenance cases. This can reduce costs, eliminate machine downtime and increase the overall operational efficiency.
To summarize: IoT offers a lot of opportunities for businesses. The development process is still going on and there are a lot of industries that will be disrupted by this technology. IoT will definitely shape our near and long-term future. Of course, there are also downsides. To pick up on this topic, let’s keep that for another blog post.