An Introduction to IoT and How It Can Be Applied
For many people, the knowledge of IoT extends only as far as using IoT devices; they’re not motivated to delve into what it is and what it can do. Before thinking about IoT specifically, consider what you’re using to read this article – your tablet, smartphone, or PC (laptop/desktop). Whatever it is, it’s probably a device with an internet connection.
The Internet was a real game-changer; it has put options in our hands that we could only ever imagine. If you had a cellphone before they were smart, you know that you could only call and text. Today, you can make purchases, watch movies, read books and articles, and more — all thanks to internet connectivity.
In this article, we delve into IoT technology and how it has changed the world we live in today. Read on to learn more:
What Is IoT?
If you have ever tried to Google the definition of IoT technology, you were probably bombarded with an unnecessarily technical definition. It need not be so complex, however.
What Does IoT Stand For?
IoT stands for “Internet of Things”, and it mainly refers to devices that ordinarily would not have an internet connection, but do. For example, smartphones or PCs are not part of IoT even though they can access the internet. But a lightbulb you can turn on with your phone is IoT.
What Does the Internet of Things Mean?
The Internet of Things is not complex to understand: it simply means making all interrelated devices able to connect to the internet or communicate without requiring human involvement. IoT has a world of possibilities, many of which we have already seen and use, but many others that we can only imagine.
Benefits of IoT
When thinking about the benefits or uses of IoT, we begin by thinking about the benefits of having a connection to the internet. Devices that are connected to the internet can send or receive information very easily. It is this ability to communicate through the internet that distinguishes “smart” devices from non-smart devices.
For example, because of the internet, you can listen to any song you want right now, even if you don’t have it on your phone. Your phone sends information (to ask for the song) and receives information (the song being streamed).
A device doesn’t have to have a super-computer or super-storage to be considered smart; it just needs to be connected. There are three categories of IoT devices:
- Those that collect and then send information – think sensors for motion, temperature, moisture, light, air quality, etc. They collect information around them and transmit to humans or other devices to help make more intelligent decisions or drive other actions.
- Those that receive and then act on information – think printers that receive information from your PC and respond by printing, or your key fob that sends a signal to your car which then opens.
- Those that do both – this is where the real IoT potential lies. For example, there are soil sensors to tell the farmer when to water his crops to conserve water. Instead, if the sensors were connected to an irrigation system, the farmer wouldn’t even need to be notified. You can even go further and connect the irrigation system to the weather forecast so that it doesn’t water crops when rain is anticipated.
The real power of IoT doesn’t end with receiving and sending information or even acting on said information. For example, with our example above, soil sensors can be programmed to collect lots of other information.
When hundreds of soil sensors in different places are programmed to collect all kinds of data, powerful algorithms can make sense of all the information. In turn, we can learn which crops grow best where and when, among other insights.
The IIoT stands for the Industrial IoT or Industrial Internet of Things. These are the countless industrial devices that are fitted with sensors, connect to wireless networks, and collect and transmit different kinds of data.
Technology has created thousands of low-cost sensors that can be fitted on the smallest devices to give them digital intelligence. These sensors enable monitoring/tracking, communication, and data sharing. This data can be analyzed and used to improve efficiency and productivity.
The IIoT is already making billions: according to IDC, IIoT spending will account for $329 billion for transport, manufacturing, and utility companies in 2019. Consumer spending on IoT is also significant – about $108 billion, primarily on personal wellness, connected vehicle infotainment, and smart home devices.
Benefits of IIoT Solutions
The IIoT has the potential to facilitate better and more intelligent data-backed decision-making. Many businesses are working on digitally transformative projects, and they can benefit from the additional data provided by IIoT. They get highly detailed, real-time data to provide insights into their business processes, and to identify new business opportunities.
Many industries are adopting IIoT, including manufacturing, utilities, transport, and retail industries.
IoT in manufacturing provides insights into the production lines’ operations. Companies can be notified when different machines need servicing or are performing below par to prevent unexpected downtimes.
Utilities can use IIoT to make remote installations self-monitoring so that staff doesn’t have to be sent for troubleshooting. Retailers can use IIoT to identify opportunities for expansion or identify bottlenecks or inefficiencies in the supply chain. Transport and logistics companies can use IIoT to understand the performance of their fleets and improve communications and tracking.
IoT in Business
The Internet of Things has found numerous applications in business and related services. Some of the applications include:
- IoT security – IoT sensors, IoT monitoring, and IoT trackers can help beef up security. Attacks or breaches can be identified and dealt with promptly
- IoT asset management – In this case, you can use IoT to keep track of your assets
- IoT in logistics – with all the variables, IoT monitoring can help smooth out logistical flows, facilitate planning and delivery, and notify customers as needed
- Work efficiency – just like IIoT, IoT in business can help identify inefficiencies and gaps, opportunities, and threats, and hence increase productivity. Maintenance downtimes will decrease because of real-time information on the performance of various machines
- Customer experience/service – having real-time information makes customer service flow smoothly and easily, increasing customer satisfaction with help received
- Data generation – IoT is putting more data in businesses, which will add great value to business decision making. Cisco estimates that IoT data will account for 500 zettabytes (1021 bytes) of data by the end of 2019
Irrespective of the size and industry of businesses, IoT will become a crucial part of business operations within the next few years. IoT and IIoT have the potential to revolutionize business operations, causing unprecedented growth and expansion for businesses that apply it correctly.
Examples of IoT Applications
The vast majority of IoT applications include local sensors that transmit information for various purposes. These sensors may also receive information to drive certain actions according to predetermined workflows.
Some examples of IoT applications include:
- Smart locks
- Cellular dash cams
- LTE dash cams
- Arlo Go security cameras
- Cellular security cameras
- LTE security cameras
- Arlo Cellular
- Data loggers
- RFID IoT
- GPS trackers
- Cellular GPS trackers
- Truck GPS
- Fleet tracking
- Vehicle tracking systems
- Fleet management
- Fleet telematics
- Digital signage
- Cellular failover
- Routers with cellular failover
- LTE failover
- Failover routers
- Smart refrigerators
- And other smart appliances,
IoT is slowly growing to become something even more impressive: the internet of everything. Pretty soon, you won’t even remember what life was like when you had to get up to turn on a light switch in your house. You’ll be able to monitor your workplace from home or from halfway around the world, thanks to technology.
If you’re thinking about implementing IoT for any purpose, Teltik offers IoT plans with their phone plans. Choose your best plan today.