The Internet of Things (IoT) is a hot topic in business circles and with current innovations in the field; it is easy to see why. Related technologies like sensor embedded connected systems have the potential to transform the way we live and even how businesses operate. To illustrate how to apply the impact of the trend, here are top ten applications that showcase the Internet of Things:
- Smart Homes
- Connected Cars
- Smart Cities
- Industrial IoT
- Smart Grids
- Environmental Monitoring
- Supply Chain
1 – Wearables
When it comes to technologies that made it possible for there to be an Internet of Things, wearable’s deserve special mention. Wearables are often in the form of sensor-embedded objects driven by software and are designed to collect data about users, send and sometimes even receive it. Depending on what a device is for, the data that is received about the user can be used to glean insights on anything from a user’s health to bank transactions.
Since their inception, there has been an increasing demand for wearable devices and brands like Google and Apple are already cashing in on it. Case in point both are versions of the Apple Watch and Google Glass.
2 – Smart Homes
If wearable’s like smart watches aren’t enough to convince you that IoT is now a thing, consider an application that can now make your home smarter. A Smart Home is basically a residence that houses basic amenities like heating or cooling units, appliances, computers, televisions and other hardware that are capable of communicating with one another. The interconnected hardware can be used to control the home remotely from any room in it with actions like voice commands or through apps in a homeowner’s smartphone.
3 – Connected Cars
This is by far the most obvious impact of the Internet of Things – connected cars that can drive themselves and do various other assorted tasks. A connected car is a vehicle that uses online connectivity to optimize the comfort of its passengers, its operation and maintenance. Think of it like a car that can be operated with an app on your smartphone. Unlike conventional cars, the connected variety takes the additional efforts of software companies, multimedia and software developers to give drivers a truly interactive and enriching experience.
4 – Smart Cities
No this does not imply that whole cities are not connected, just some amenities that make it easy to get around one like water distribution, waste or traffic management and others. To explain it better, smart cities are built around users and start with an information network. They are designed to optimize the resources mentioned to promote sound and sustainable development. Cases in point are sensor embedded structures that communicate with web applications to help citizens find free parking spaces in certain areas of a city.
5 – Industrial IoT
The Internet of Things has had a major impact on certain industries so much so that the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is now a buzzword in these circles. Organizations might have to rethink their business models before introducing related technologies like sensor embedded systems. Once they do, the potential for gains is immense. For example, with these systems, an organization might know which hardware is in need of repairs or be notified of potential malfunctions before there is a need for repairs.
6 – Retail
Everything from the shopping experience to business sales has seen an upgrade as soon as the Internet of Things became a thing. In addition to enhancing in-store experiences, related technologies are also now making it possible for retailers to connect with consumers outside. Case in point is beacon technology that can track a former customer when he is near the store. Automated texts can be used to send the customer discounts on available items.
7 – Healthcare
IoT related systems are still in their infancy in the healthcare industry but they still hold massive potential for adoption in the future. Popular devices in this regard are wearables like health trackers. Case in point is the Fitbit smart watch that tracks the number of steps you take during workouts.
8 – Smart Grids
The basic premise of smart grids is to analyze the behavior of people and suppliers as they consume or monitor electricity and automating this data. The goal is to make improve energy efficiency and in the process and reduce instances due to which power outages may occur.
9 – Environmental Monitoring
Some environmental institutions are realizing the potential of the Internet of Things on monitoring environmental factors like water quality, extreme weather conditions, commercial farming, and environmental protection to name a few. For example, sensor embedded systems now make it possible for farmers to monitor how much they should water their crops and automate the whole process as well.
10 – Supply Chain
IoT’s potential in automating supply chain management is pretty limited so far. And there is a good reason for it. Solutions for tracking supplies on the road are not exactly new. However, there is still a huge potential for it which might flourish as the Internet of Things takes off.