Internet of Things (IoT), in simple terms, is a collection of everyday objects, vehicles, and devices that are connected to the internet, either directly or via another device, such as a mobile phone or a laptop. These IoT devices are embedded with sensors, receivers, and other software that enable them to send and receive data from the internet.
There are a number of IoT devices that make our homes smarter, and daily lives much more easier. In addition to this, IoT devices also have a huge impact on a number of industrial sectors and enterprises. In this blog, we will go over the industrial applications of IoT, trends, future prospects and more.
A] What Is IoT In Simple Terms?
As mentioned above, IoT are day-to-day devices that are part of an interconnected network through sensors, receivers, and transmitters. The term IoT was first coined in 1999; however, the basic principles behind the technology were developed as early as the 80s. Some of the common examples include house lighting, refrigerators, and vacuums that can be connected to your phone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, and controlled remotely using apps.
Some of the common components of IoT include sensors, connectors, control centres, and actuators. Among these, sensors and actuators are things that most people will be familiar with.
Sensors are devices that take in a physical input and convert it into data as an electrical impulse. Various types of sensors can detect different physical inputs, such as sound, light, touch, etc. Common examples of sensors include microphones, thermometers, and motion detectors.
Actuators, on the other hand, are the mirror image of sensors. Actuators take an electrical input to provide mechanical output. Examples of actuators include motors, hydraulics, and pneumatics.
B] How Does IoT Work?
The complexity of IoT devices can vary widely, some functions only need 3-4 steps, while others are more complex. Nonetheless, every IoT system works on the same basic principles. First, sensors collect data from the surroundings or via inputs through an app.
The data is then sent to the cloud for storage and efficient management. There are various communication protocols that enable IoT devices to be connected to the cloud. Each communication protocol has its specific trade-offs.
Common Communication Protocols in IoT Include,
Next, the data is processed using the software embedded in the device. The processing can range from checking the temperature and humidity to detecting objects and people. The information found after processing is then sent to the user. This can be done via notifications from dedicated apps, emails, or text messages. The further action is either automated or requires the user’s input.
Here are a few examples of how an IoT device might work:
- A fridge connected to the wi-fi, that can be operated remotely through a phone. Various features such as temperature, modes, humidity, etc., can be changed via an app on your mobile.
- Fitness bands that detect heart rate and other variables and send the collected information to an app on your phone.
- Car sensors that can detect problems with your car that you wouldn’t be able to notice early.
- Earphones connected to your phone, and by extension the internet, via Bluetooth.
C] Types Of IoT Platforms You Should Know About
1. IoT Connectivity Management Platforms
IoT connectivity management platforms govern the communications protocols between two devices. The connectivity management platforms allow the IoT devices to stay connected and communicate with the internet. These protocols are carried out through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or mobile internet. These platforms make it easier for individuals and organisations to set up and monitor IoT devices.
2. IoT Device Management Platforms
Using IoT device management platforms allows organisations to manage their IoT device’s status remotely and easily. These platforms allow you to monitor, troubleshoot, and update IoT devices remotely. These platforms are capable of tracking and monitoring thousands of connected devices in real time. Additionally, all of these devices can be updated remotely, saving time and resources.
3. IoT Application Enablement Platforms
IoT application enablement platforms allow organisations to create and deploy feature-rich applications that connect with IoT devices. These platforms are highly versatile and can be used to create applications for a wide range of sectors. The applications created are secure and can be integrated with a wide range of platforms. They also gather data necessary to improve user experience.
4. IoT Analytics Platforms
IoT analytics platforms gather usage data from the connected IoT devices. These data are then used to improve the working and user experience through machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data analysis. These platforms are vital for unlocking the complete potential of IoT devices.
5. IoT Cloud Platforms
IoT cloud platforms make it possible for IoT devices and applications to run smoothly in real-time by facilitating storage, servers, and infrastructure. They work as a central hub for backend processes, such as data storage and processing. They allow small businesses with limited resources to scale quickly and cost-efficiently.
D] Real-Life Applications Of IoT
1. Smart Vehicles
IoT is being widely used in the automotive and adjacent sectors, including traffic management, vehicle management, safety measures and navigation. The recent boom in self-driving cars is basically dependent on IoT for most of its workings. In-built IoT sensors, smart applications, and cloud storage allow for safe navigation, speed control, automatic braking, object detection and more.
The navigation sensors installed into cars can also alert drivers about the traffic on a particular road. This allows for a better driving experience. The sensors can also detect problems with the vehicle such as pollution emissions, traffic regulations, etc., making the drive safer and enjoyable.
2. Smart Home
Smart homes are currently the most famous applications of IoT. IoT improves the comfort and standard of staying at home. Some of the common IoT applications in smart homes include connecting household devices like air conditioners, lighting, and kitchen appliances to your smartphone and controlling it via an application. IoT also improves leisure by playing music, movies, and VR gaming through simple verbal commands.
Conversational artificial intelligence such as Alexa, Google Nest, and Siri are gaining popularity on the basis of their accessibility and affordability. Users can enter a command using a mobile application or speak to these home devices to control various features of their home without physically switching buttons.
3. Better Healthcare
IoT is revolutionising the healthcare sector with a plethora of benefits. IoT sensors are built into medical bracelets and ankle monitors and connected with mobile apps. These sensors can accurately monitor the patient’s vitals in real-time and notify the patient and doctors about any health issues. These could potentially save lives.
Being able to monitor a patient’s health remotely, also reduces the number of days a patient has to stay in the hospital. IoT devices also help the hospital staff to keep track of the number of beds available. They can also track other assets such as wheelchairs and find them easily in times of emergency.
4. Advanced Cities
IoT is starting to be used in urban planning and development by governments and development bodies. IoT has the potential to improve traffic management, pollution reduction, resource distribution, parking, infrastructure management, and disaster preparation. With the help of sensors, monitors and trackers, strategically placed throughout the city, governments can significantly improve law and order.
By monitoring response time from ambulances, police, and other emergency services, city developers can improve infrastructure as required. Smart cities automate crucial infrastructure, such as water supply, power supply, traffic lights, and waste management. IoT is at the core of developing smart cities that can analyse their citizen’s requirements and provide the necessary changes and development.
5. Transforming Retail
IoT technology is reshaping the way retailers engage with their customers and making the process much more simpler, efficient, and personalised. IoT devices are widely used across different applications including inventory management, billing, supply chain tracking, and customer management. Retailers can also collect and analyse data about customer purchase patterns and optimise operations.
IoT devices can provide product recommendations to customers based on past purchases, helping retailers avoid mass advertisements and target niche audiences. Real-life applications of IoT include automated check-outs, shelf tracking, and product tracking. These operations are monitored and carried out through integrated scanners and tags.
6. Reshaping Manufacturing
IoT sensors and actuators allow for automated production lines that improve efficiency and productivity. IoT sensors can also detect any faults and defects in the equipment that might otherwise go unnoticed. Manufacturers can then use this information for predictive repair and maintenance to reduce extended downtime.
Extensive data analysis also helps to make factories a safer place for workers. Wearables and environmental sensors can also track air quality, chemical leaks, and other health hazards, and alert manufacturers of it. In essence, it reduces downtime and helps to follow health codes.
7. Improved Hospitality
IoT helps to improve the customer experience in the hospitality industry. By implementing automation, interactions could be kept at a minimum, which many guests prefer. Guests can access doors through passwords shared on mobile and order food through apps and QR codes. Customers can check in, check out, and get add-ons without long wait times.
Smart house-keeping, lighting and on-demand entertainment are some of the IoT applications that improve customer experience. Hotel and resort staff can also keep track of a large number of guests with a simple click on their computers. Assets such as keycards, rented motorcycles, and rented VR gaming devices can also be kept track of and provided to guests on demand.
E] IoT Trends For The Future
1. AI and Machine Learning in IoT
IoT amasses a large amount of data that can be too difficult to analyse manually. The integration of AI and machine learning can help analyse this massive pile of data by identifying complex patterns.
With the help of machine learning IoT devices can adapt to provide more personalised services. As personalisation is a key selling point for a number of gadgets and techs, AI and ML integration are some of the emerging trends today.
2. Edge Computing
Edge computing makes the data processing process much faster and reliable. With efficiency and convenience being at the forefront of technology, edge computing is helping IoT operations to be completed in far less time.
Every IoT device manufacturer is trying to ensure their devices have the best response time by implementing edge computing. Edge computing is improving the safety, security, and operational efficiency of IoT devices across industries.
3. 5G and IoT
With the emergence of 5G technology, IoT devices can now rely on the continuous high-speed data that they need. Faster data means users can expect improved communications and response time from IoT devices.
5G promises stable connections for IoT, which is essential for devices such as security cameras, cars, navigation, and industrial machinery. Large industries and enterprises are amongst the first to take complete advantage of this trend.
4. Blockchain and IoT
Blockchain is an emerging technology that has several benefits, such as rapid data exchange, safety and security, transparent accounting, and lower expenses. Blockchain helps IoT to store and exchange data in a secure and cost-effective manner.
The data stored in the blockchain is kept secure and can not be accessed or corrupted. The use of blockchain is transforming the way IoT operates.
F] The Growth And Prospects Of IoT
According to a report by researchandmarkets, the compound annual growth rate of the IoT market is projected at 10.53% between 2022-2027. Another report by Gartner projects the growth rate at 15% between 2021 and 2025.
These are widely impressive numbers, considering the high demand and growth of the IoT sector right now. IoT is improving existing processes and systems across various industries, incentivising entrepreneurs and governments alike to adopt IoT technology.
G] Getting Started With IoT
To implement IoT into your business, you would first be required to select the correct hardware, software, connective networks and platforms that suit your requirements. As IoT connects and exchanges data with a number of devices and systems, data security also becomes an important issue. Various IoT devices such as biometric scanners, tracking software, communication devices and training tools are revolutionising industries by improving efficiency, safety, and productivity.
If you are unsure how you can integrate and implement IoT devices with your business model, you can contact a professional. 360Bright Media is a well-known and reputed provider of world-class IoT. IoT offered by 360Bright Media include:
- Batak Pro
- RFID Registration
- Digital Slingshot
- Audio Metre
- Interactive Quiz
IoT has been an important part of various industries, revolutionising the way industries operate. Various emerging technologies such as 5G, blockchain, and edge computing are improving IoT capabilities. The IoT market is positioned to grow significantly in the coming decade, so entrepreneurs need to adopt and adapt to the technology in order to stay ahead of the competition.
From tracking productivity to ensuring worker safety, there are several ways to incorporate IoT in the workplace. It is up to the entrepreneurs to select how they choose to take advantage of IoT. Contact us today to rent or purchase high-quality IoT for your business!