If you have not been living under a rock, you must have heard about the Internet of Things or IoT. IoT applications are ruling the digital world all around and revolutionizing the computing capabilities and data collection and analytical technology.
Now, the first question that you might have is: What is IoT or the Internet of Things? IoT is a platform where many embedded devices are connected with one another through the internet. These devices collect and exchange data with one another. Due to the collection of relevant data, IoT is able to interact and learn from one another, similar to human beings.
It is the active use of IoT which can actually make a city ‘smart’. IoT work with the help of predictive analysis and machine learning and the combination of both can boost the efficiency of specific work areas easily.
IoT devices collect information and deliver it to a central data server. The central data server processes, collates, filters, and performs many other tasks on the information. IoT applications benefit businesses, individual consumers, and the government. A few examples of IoT devices are laptops, smartphones, refrigerators, coffee machines, Apple watches, Google Home, Fitbits, etc. Devices equipped with an Internet connection and sensors can be used for IoT applications.
IoT generates huge quantities of information, which becomes the characteristic of Big Data. All the information from IoT is Big Data. Still, not all of the Big Data is from IoT.
What are IoT applications?
IoT applications are used in the public and private sectors. It helps people to track things like their home’s security systems, lost things or pets, gadget maintenance schedule, etc.
Consumers can use IoT applications to supervise their overall health and exercise progress, make restaurant reservations, and receive coupons for in-store purchases. Businesses use IoT applications to track customers’ spending behaviours, supervise supply chains, supervise and maintain inventory levels, and carry out predictive maintenance of their devices.
ITIL is a set of IT service management and IoT applications that are useful in the same. IoT applications are useful in ITIL because IT departments are inevitable in this digital world, and dependence on wireless networks is increasing.
Blockchain is extensively used as a secure and efficient data processing and transaction technique. It uses IoT. We can see Blockchain and IoT used together in the future.
There are many IoT applications and it continues to increase. However, some of the common ones in use are:
Top 9 IoT Real World Applications
1. Agriculture and Pest Control
Since we are going to look into the different IoT applications and the various IoT use cases, let’s start off with the areas where IoT use is most overlooked – farming. Agriculture is essential for human survival and the way the population keeps multiplying, it can be hard to maintain such large-scale agriculture without a major revolution.
Integrating IoT applications with farming can help to boost the production and keep it in line with the population explosion happening all over the globe. IoT applications can result in precision farming – that is, use of analytical data to understand soil moisture level, climatic changes, plant requirement, etc, and thus boost yield as well as encourage efficient use of resources.
This method can also be used for livestock management as well. A threat that the agricultural sector has always faced is pest infiltration. However, in one of the recent IoT use cases, a company, Semios, makes use of sensors to track pest population. There are other IoT systems as well which could be used to trap pests and notify authorities about it.
Farmers can use IoT agriculture applications to simplify several tedious farming processes. IoT applications help them to revolutionize agriculture. These applications can decide the best time to produce crops, identify soil nutrient and moisture amounts, and prepare fertilizer profiles according to the soil chemistry. Farmers can install sensors all over a farm to supervise the farm and animals’ health.
IoT applications are used for indoor planting to monitor and manage micro-climate conditions. This ultimately enhances crop production. IoT devices are also used for outside planting to detect soil nutrients and moisture. Moreover, they can track weather data to improve fertilizer systems and smart irrigation. One of the best IOT applications for agriculture is the sprinkler systems that distribute water only when required. As a result, it avoids water wastage.
In recent times, we are becoming more and more aware of the environment and the damage that human activities have caused. Now, we are slowly trying to correct our mistakes and tackle environmental issues. We can make use of IoT applications to help us with this goal.
Some of the areas where IoT are working is preservation of bees. Honey Bees are facing a threat in this polluted world. Climate change is affecting them as well. However, by implanting IoT devices, beekeepers can take better charge of preserving hives. Using IoT with connected sensors, it is possible to keep track of the hive temperature, amount of food present in the hives and also, the pollen collection. IoT can be also used in waste management also, helping us take better care of our environment.
IoT helps you determine water usage in a particular area, the amount of wastewater produced, and how waste production changes with time.
IoT applications use the smart waste management system to determine the amount of waste generated in a particular place. The authorities can decide how to process and clear the waste based on the generated data. Moreover, they determine how to infer the data for wastewater planning. The city renovation projects can be accomplished quickly when collected data and analytics solutions are combined. Consequently, IOT applications in daily life contribute to a cleaner environment.
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3. Smart Home Applications
Smart homes are probably the most common of all IoT use cases. The concept of smart homes has revolved around the internet for a long time. When Mark Zuckerberg displayed his smart home Jarvis, many people felt that they could actually fulfill their dream of having a Smart home.
A smart home works with the active use of IoT applications. Smart home devices collect and share information with one another in an integrated platform and automate their actions based on the owner’s preference. Hence, it is clear that they engage in a learning process to understand the preferences of their owner.
There are many IoT use cases related to Smart home appliances, but one of them can be Smart Thermostats, which monitor and control home temperatures to the comfort of the owner. Plus, there is smart lighting as well where the lighting adjusts themselves based on the user preference as well as external lighting.
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4. Health Care
The use of IoT in the healthcare sector can redefine healthcare as a whole. The entire healthcare sector comprises physicians, patients, hospitals, and health insurance companies. IoT can target and enrich each of these parties. Patients already have access to several forms of wearables like fitness bands and blood pressure monitors to help with their health.
There are also alert mechanisms put in these devices to notify doctors or family members in the case of emergencies. For physicians, it is quite easy to get into the history of a patient through the IoT device and access real-time health data easily. Real-time health data can also be used to increase the efficiency of clinical trials. IoT devices can be used inside hospitals to track locations of medical devices like defibrillators or wheelchairs and also help with inventory management, monitoring the environment, and temperature regulation. Learn more about machine learning applications in healthcare industry.
Since most IoT devices collect data and store them in the cloud, health insurance companies can access this data to track the routine activities of a patient (their lifestyle choices), whether they are adhering to their treatment plans, or even looking into the operation processes.
The wearable IoT devices represent the real life application of internet programs. They allow hospitals to administer their patients’ health. Therefore, it reduces hospital stays and still offers updated real-time information to save patients’ lives. The smart beds in hospitals keep the staff updated about the beds’ availability, reducing wait time. Incorporating IoT sensors on critical equipment leads to increased reliability and fewer breakdowns. So, it significantly contributes to saving lives.
The IoT applications in daily life simplify elderly care. Moreover, IoT sensors can determine if a patient is suffering from a heart attack or not.
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5. Smart Cities
Many governments plan to build smart cities – that is – cities which heavily use IoT for several reasons like traffic management, public transportation, parking, utility billing, etc. Smart Cities can be referred to as large-scale IoT applications which cover a lot of problematic areas in a city.
While costly, it can be safe to say the benefits far outweigh the cost. With the combination of sensors, GPS data collection, and cloud platforms, it will be easy to monitor traffic conditions of a specific area, plan construction programs by predicting their impact on traffic and find alternative routes when necessary.
Use of smart billing for household use of energy and smart street lighting can help in the management of energy use. Another use case of the many IoT use cases is improving public safety by using smart cameras or smart microphones to help detect crime in any area across a city.
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6. Safe Driving
With the increasing use of mobile phones, there has been a tragic rise in car accidents. These accidents have been connected to distracted driving. While there have been warnings against the use of mobile phones while driving, many drivers do not pay heed to it. However, with the help of IoT technology, it is possible to track the mobile usage of drivers during driving and block distracting apps.
IoT applications can also be used to understand driver behaviour and coach drivers based on how they are driving. A recent area where IoT is being used is in the construction of driverless cars. While it seems like something from the future, driverless cars are already in the making. These cars use advanced sensors and gyroscopes, all of which are connected to cloud platforms and the internet.
Using this platform, the driverless car is able to data from a variety of sources which tells them about the traffic conditions as well as potholes, sharp turns, speed breakers and other useful information required for driving. Driverless cars can be a perfect addition in a Smart City to ensure smooth traffic conditions.
7. Waste Management
We are slowly moving into a world which takes waste creation seriously. While many companies are moving away from non-biodegradable goods, it is important to manage the waste already being generated. IoT can bring a lot on the table to help with waste management.
One of the IoT use cases is selecting the right route for garbage trucks. IoT applications can notify truck drivers about filled dustbins and set a route for them so that they do not have to waste time by exploring locations with empty dustbins. IoT devices can also help in developing Smart bins, that is, trash bins which can segregate waste into categories like plastic, metal, glass or paper. Bin-e, a Polish company, has already generated Smart Waste Bins as one of the many IoT use cases related to waste management.
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8. Tackling Industrial Issues
Using IoT in the industrial sector is sometimes seen to be similar to the Industrial revolution. How can IoT help with Industries? In the manufacturing department, IoT can be used in asset management and inventory management. Implanting IoT in the manufacturing sector can help in tracking the efficiency of the systems being used, detect any errors in the machinery, detect causes of lack of efficiency, etc. IoT in the industry can help in tackling unplanned downtime too.
Mitigating industrial issues is a prevalent real life application of internet programs. IoT applications are widely used in industrial automation and manufacturing. GPS and RFID technologies can let a manufacturer track a product from manufacturing to the destination. These sensors collect information on product conditions, travel times, and environmental conditions imposed on the product.
Sensors equipped in the factory equipment can help recognize congestion in the manufacturing line. Hence, it reduces waste and saves time. Other sensors equipped on those equipment can also track the equipment’s performance. They can predict when the equipment will need maintenance. Tackling industrial issues is one of those IOT applications in daily life that avoid expensive breakdowns.
9. Supply Chain
If you are using Amazon or Swiggy, you might be aware of the tracking system they use to track the delivery of your goods. Supply chains have been using IoT applications for quite some time. It has helped suppliers to track goods in transit as well as get immediate customer feedback with the help of a rating system. IoT systems can also help the supplier or drivers to preserve the goods better during transit by communicating information about temperature and pressure that the item is being preserved in. Hence, IoT can optimize workflow by improving the supply chain transit.
The use of IoT in the hotel industry has improved service quality. The automation of different interactions has brought a transformation in this industry. Some examples include sending keys to every guest’s mobile devices, hassle-free checkout processes, instant information on the rooms’ availability, and quick allocation of housekeeping tasks.
IOT applications can easily handle the guests’ location, the automatic custody of the room, delivering offers on an area of interest, etc.
The future of IoT
IoT is a platform that connects real life with the actual world using artificial intelligence, sensors, RFID, and communication devices. IoT devices are the pacesetter with their wonderful applications that simplifies the lives of both individuals and entrepreneurs. These applications of IOT help individuals enhance their lives and help companies improve their business practices. Furthermore, they contribute to a better economy. So, applications of IOT are not just inventions of communication without manual intervention but a means of life.
The scope of Computer Technology is expected to expand in the future because the demand for smart homes, cities, and retail stores increase. The IOT applications in daily life will drive devices along with AI. This will lead to a rapidly developing lifestyle and a better economy. The number of Internet application users will grow as IoT becomes a crucial part of our lives.
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IoT is a game-changing technology that is affecting many different industries. More and more companies and civic bodies are taking up IoT applications. The world is slowly transforming into a ‘Smart’ world with Smart solutions. IoT has given both businesses and governments many options to improve their work and become more efficient. Plus, for IoT professionals, a bright future shines on the horizon with brand new opportunities coming up in the near ‘Smart’ future.
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How does IoT help businesses?
The Internet of Things is a technology that combines physical objects and software on the Internet to relay information to one another. This technology allows companies to collect data from various devices and use it to their advantage. For example, if a company is making a marketing campaign and they want to know the effectiveness of their campaign, the company will analyze the data from the customers from their marketing campaign. This way, a company can collect data from various devices and use it in order to be successful.
Why do we need the Internet of things?
We need the Internet of things because it will connect our cars, doctors, and even our home appliances. It will change our life into a better one. The Internet of things makes your life easier and more convenient to live. For example, in the near future all you need to do is to swipe on your smart watch and all your doors will automatically open. The Internet of things or IOT is the next paradigm shift in the data world. IOT will be a connected network of physical devices, vehicles, buildings and other objects capable of sensing the environment and wirelessly transmitting data via the internet. Billions (maybe trillions) of tiny, low-power, wireless devices will connect through a vast network of cloud computing services.
What are the disadvantages of the Internet of things?
There are some disadvantages of the internet of things. Security is one of the biggest challenges in the world of IoT. Users may share sensitive data among objects and risk a breach, but they should be aware of the security risks of the Internet and learn how to avoid them. Also, users may not pay enough attention to the privacy of their data, and IoT may intrude into their intimacy. Therefore, the intellectual property of IoT devices is a highly controversial issue. We should pay more attention to security, privacy, and intellectual property when we use the Internet of Things.