Imagine your office equipment knew it was running short of supplies and ordered automatically for replenishment or the jars in your kitchen knew that there is shortage of food supplies in your house and the retailer is automatically notified of the shortage. The retailer packs those suppliers and you receive a message and an email to pick up the supplies while going home from office.
Internet of Things has been the buzzword in the recent times. It is the next big thing in the technology front which involves machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. The communication across machines is facilitated by a network of sensors that gather data and interact with other objects that are connected through the web. Cloud based applications play a vital role in interpreting and transmitting the incoming data from the plethora of sensors across the machine to facilitate M2M interaction.
The opportunities for organizations in developing internet of things solutions is immense. In a report recently shared by McKinsey Global Institute the economic impact of Internet of things is valued at anywhere between $3.9 trillion to $11.1 trillion by 2025. McKinsey in its report also predicted that $1.7 trillion worth of economic spending will be in smart cities followed by $1.6 trillion for health monitoring and management organizations and $1.2 trillion by the retailers.
McKinsey’s nine areas of focus, where the bulk of businesses with drive internet of things innovation are: Factories (Operations management, predictive maintenance), Cities (public safety and health, traffic control, resource management), Human (monitoring and managing illness, improving wellness), Retail (self-checkout, layout optimization, smart-customer relationship management), Outside (logistics routing, self-driving vehicles, navigation), Work Sites (operations management, equipment maintenance, health and safety), Vehicles (energy management, safety and security, chore automation), Offices (organizational redesign and worker monitoring, augmented reality)
Areas of application of Internet of Things:
Building and Home Automation – Areas of Application: – Access Control | Light and Temperature Control | Energy Optimization | Connected Appliances
Imagine a scenario where your car’s sensor sends a message that you are approaching your residence and the entrance as well as the garage gates opens. Once you park your car and open your door, your lights gets switched on based on the time of the day and the air conditioner adjusts the temperature of the room. Another case can be when your alarm clock wakes you up at 7am and alerts your coffee machine to brew coffee, also once it reaches optimum temperature it shuts down.
Benefits: Enhance Security, Reduce Energy and Maintenance Cost
Smart Cities – Areas of Application: – Residential E-meters | Smart Street Lights | Pipeline leakage detection | Traffic Control | Surveillance Cameras
Let’s imagine a situation where you have a meeting and the traffic is at its peak time. Your car has access to your meeting schedule and your car sends text messages to other cars notifying them that you will be late for an urgent meeting. The other cars help you to navigate through the rush hour traffic and you reach your meeting on time. Another situation would be where a vehicle has been stolen and surveillance cameras picks the number plate and notifies the nearest police patrol to pursue the vehicle.
Benefits: Improved quality of life,
Smart Manufacturing – Areas of Application: – Flow optimization | Real time inventory | Asset tracking | Employee safety | Predictive maintenance
Application of internet of things can help in real time tracking of production across multiple production unit in a particular geography or area. Alerts can be sent by a machine for maintenance, well in advance also sensors can help monitor oxygen and toxic gas level in case of chemical industry as well as maintain and monitor temperature in medical fridges through machine to machine interaction.
Benefits: Reduce time to market, accelerate design time, real time market information
Healthcare – Areas of Application: – Remote monitoring | Ambulance telemetry |Drug tracking | Access control Smart watch | Location and tracking
Wearable devices are playing a vital role in transforming the way diagnosis or health tracking of patients is done. Wearable bracelets that track the pulse rate of the individuals or necklaces that measures the rate of heart beat. Smart watch as mobile applications that tracks out daily routine to support elderly or disable individuals by reminding them of the time of their medication or measures the UV rays in the atmosphere and warms people from exposing from it, for certain hours. The meeting of internet of things and healthcare actually has a promising future, that internet of things will transform the way human aliments are diagnosed.
Benefits: Improve diagnosis, reduced healthcare cost, real time patient health analysis
Automotive – Areas of Application: – Infotainment | Wire replacement |Telemetry | Predictive maintenance | Car to car and car to infrastructure
Your car’s servicing was due yesterday and you missed it because of your busy schedule. Imagine a situation where your car automatically schedules an appointment with the service center and the next day your car is picked from your residence. Alternatively, as your car has access to your meeting schedule it books an uber and also sends you a message that because the servicing is due tomorrow it has scheduled an appointment and also booked an uber for you to travel to office. Internet of things has also made it possible for your car to detect any malfunctioning in your car and report it too.
The application of internet of things is immense in every sphere of life. The other probable areas of application of IOT are in monitoring potable water quality, detect quantity of chemical or leakage of chemicals in rivers, detect rise of water level in rivers, dams and reservoirs to predict floods, detect seismic activities, remote analysis of condition of swimming pools, detection of water leakages in tanks and variation of pressure along pipe, pre-empt forest fire by monitoring conditions and levels of combustion gases in the atmosphere, prevent landslide or avalanche by monitoring vibrations, soil moisture and earth’s density. Businesses such as retail and logistics will benefit through application of internet of things in tracking its fleet controlling of routes and identifying the most optimized route, location of item is massive warehouses, assess the condition of shipment by measuring the strokes, vibrations container opening and cold chain maintenance.
Internet of things has its flipside too. Security can be major bottleneck as displayed by few of the recent events. Recently a hacker named Andrew Auernheimer also known as Weev was able to remotely access and command millions of printers and he forced those printers to print tens or hundreds of thousands of the flyer. The flyer was addressed to “white man” and contained anti-semitic messages as well as appeal to “join us in the struggle for white supremacy”. Andrew Auernheimer tweeted “Never done before: mass printer trolling. Y’all think this PostScript is offensive enough?
Anshuman Dutta is a seasoned marketer and an expert on digital marketing. Anshuman is a native of Guwahati and studied in Disneyland High School and then Cotton College, Guwahati. He is a Bachelors in Engineering and Master in Marketing and Finance.