IoT is here to stay and expected to inflict a paradigm shift in the way businesses function. Through its offering, its users can achieve superior performance. Just as it is difficult to imagine a world without mobile phones or internet today, it may become unimaginable to think of a world without IoT, few years down the lane.
Industrial IoT (IIoT)
Industrial IoT creates new paradigms and offers new opportunities to transform industries, and unlock significant economic gains in the process. It encompasses the shop floor, energy sector, software platforms, oil and gas industry, agriculture, mining, and more.
“Industrial IoT delivers real-time automated responses, with 100% precision.”
Reliability gets redefined from the “best effort” to “always accurate.” This approach can deliver anywhere between 10x and 100x superlative performance. It delivers rich analytic-driven insights, something that was not available before. A good example is embedding sensors into concrete during pouring and curing process, making pillars “smart,” offering vital information about the strength and quality of concrete, and the strength of such smart structures.
Industrial IoT will bring hyper-efficiency and a paradigm shift in the workplace, by making low-level manual work redundant, and create demand for highly skilled jobs, such as medical robot designers and grid optimization engineers. As people increasingly rely on smart machines, jobs will become more enriching and flexible.
IIoT is transforming agriculture in a big way, delivering manifold increase in yield and productivity. An IoT-based application that is already going strong in many parts of the world, is the Phenonet Project, which helps farmers monitor critical vitals such as temperature, humidity, and soil quality, to make accurate forecasts and improve the yield.
Urbanization and population boom are a pressing concern for several years now. About 70% of the world’s population, which could be around six billion, are expected to live in cities by 2050. The solution proposed by planners to sustain the infrastructure and utilities is to have smart cities. This is with a vision to deliver economic, social, and environmental well-being for its citizens.
Smart cities would leverage Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) to optimize the power grid, to orchestrate public transportation by means of driverless cars, synchronize traffic signals, smarter surveillance to anticipate crimes, and more. Smart sensors and other things harvest information from the environment and interact with the physical world through automated controls.
The following are some IoT enabled cutting tools that already make cities smart, and life better:
- Bigbelly smart waste and recycling system, generates real-time data collection capability leveraging the cloud, to make trash collection more efficient, and to avoid bins from overflowing.
- Citysense smart street lighting, using wireless technology co-opts features such as adaptive lighting to adjust the brightness of streetlight based on the presence of pedestrians and automobiles, saving considerable electricity.
- Libelium smart parking solution allows citizens to detect available parking spots in an accurate manner.
Closely associated with the concept of smart cities are connected cars, where automotive digital technology optimizes the internal functions of the vehicle and enhances the in-car experience for the occupants. A connected car, for instance, self-diagnoses and alerts to fix preventive repairs and services, connects to the occupant’s smartphone to identify the destination and plot the best route, sends out ETA alerts to people waiting for the occupant, and more. The tremendous efficiency improvement and the safety boost such cars bring out, makes IoT indispensable in the coming years. Many auto majors such as Tesla and BMW, and tech majors such as Apple and Google are investing in connected car technologies in a big way, to bring about the biggest revolution in automobiles ever since Nicholas Otta invented the internal combustion engine.
Related: Role of IoT in Road Safety
IoT is expected to affect paradigm changes in healthcare. The improvements and convenience on offer mean there will be no going back. IoT-enabled interventions will become the new norm. Following are some of the cutting edge solutions and practices heralded by IoT in healthcare.
- UroSense, a smart fluid management solution, measures the core body temperature and urine output of patients on catheterization automatically and transports the report to nursing stations or doctors anywhere in the world, in real time. Monitoring the vital signs help avoid infections and also start treatment for medical conditions such as diabetes, prostate cancer, heart failure and sepsis data early stage, increasing the chances of recovery.
- Philips’s Medication Dispensing Service dispenses pre-filled cups of medication, as per the scheduled dosage.
- An array of wearable devices takes health and fitness to a whole new level, tracking vital parameters in real time, making explicit insights not possible before, and offering new lifestyle possibilities.
A complex system requires decision making at multiple levels, and at multiple capabilities, factoring in multiple variables. IoT automates such a complex microcosm, and makes the world a better place, offering win-win opportunities for the stakeholders. The tremendous convenience and efficiency boost on offer are heralding a new Industrial Revolution, from where there is no going back, just as there was no going back from the steam-powered Industrial revolution 1.0 to the bullock cart age.