The Internet of Things – Today and Tomorrow

Internet of Things

The dream of living in a futuristic society is one that many people across the world share. The day when all household appliances are interconnected, communicating with you, executing your commands, and providing you with suggestions is not a thing of the future anymore. It is the Internet of Things (IoT) that will make it happen.

IoT is a concept that connects various appliances together to a central device which then talks to the user via the Internet and can deliver programmed commands to the system.

IoT helps create new products and services with a wide variety of applications. It is estimated to connect over 40 billion devices around the world. Subsequently, the volume of data collected is also predicted to be large.

The applications of IoT are numerous. Few examples below will give you an idea of the range of applications of IoT.

Smart Parking
Parking lots in apartments, shopping malls, railway stations, airports will be able to monitor occupied and available parking spaces and inform a new entrant and possibly guide him/her toward the next vacant slot. This also helps route vehicles appropriately and avoid congestion.

Smart Lighting
It is used in street lighting systems that are responsive to weather conditions. This application would be useful in areas with bad weather that makes visibility difficult. For example, in foggy conditions, the lights could be turned on brightly to help drivers maneuver their  vehicles without causing harm to themselves or each other’s property. Smart lighting at home can enable conservation of power. Smart lights can detect movement and turn on. Smart lighting in indoor spaces like corridors in hotels, hospitals, airports, rail stations can enable saving of power from unnecessary lighting.

Waste Management
Companies specializing in waste disposal can use this system to plan routes based on garbage levels across a city. This help schedule appropriate number of vehicles and personnel for better utilization of time, effort, and resources. An additional plus would be to link the waste management tracker to a traffic management system. This helps reduce traffic congestion and better route management.

Smart Roads
This system could be used in cities and towns for better utilization of their citizen’s time and to provide ambulances and police vehicles in case of emergency.

At an individual level, people can connect to the smart road system in real time to gauge the road condition, the traffic congestion level, major junctions, accidents, and construction work, etc. and have the system offer alternative routes to their preprogramed destination.

In and around a city or a town or a district, highways and internal roads can be equipped to detect accidents, traffic pileup, fire, riots and alert the police, fire stations, ambulances and other concerned authorities for quick intervention. This helps reduce response time, save lives and minimize property damage.

Pollution detection in air and water bodies
Composition of air and water can be monitored for pollution levels and alert appropriate institutions for treatment and prevention. This can be used by industries for monitoring and preventing toxic waste seeping into the atmosphere and  into water bodies and also by other government institutions for monitoring pollution levels and issuing necessary action to assess the pollution level and to commence treatment.

Smart Grid
Energy consumption in homes, cities, factories, commercial enterprises, etc. can be monitored to minimize and forecast consumption patterns in households and in cities and states. Central/state governments would be able to forecast shortages on a monthly, yearly basis and take appropriate decisions for buying or generating more electricity. Home and business owners would be able to monitor and plan their energy consumption and budget accordingly. This kind of supply and demand management can reduce hours of power outage.

Smart Retail
Shopping behavior patterns of consumers can be recorded and classified in terms of habits, seasonal purchases, festivals, variety, etc. Consumer profiles can be classified in terms of income, region, cultural habits, age groups and other demographic attributes to predict consumer behaviour. It would be of immense value to every point in the supply chain, from manufacturers, to retailers to be able to predict their inventory and stock management with improved accuracy. Other beneficiaries would be retail banks, FMCG companies, mom and pop stores, online sellers, advertisers.

Smart Intrusion Detection
Alarms can be set up by property owners to detect intrusion and alert police authorities. This would be helpful for intruder detection in homes, commercial enterprises, warehouses, production facilitates, museums, bank vaults, storage units.

To explore the above example a bit further, consider a home security system that is connected with your home appliances. HEVO is one such system that does not depend on an expensive alarm system to offer the home owner effective security. It simply uses everyday appliances and adds new technology features to make them more secure than before. PATROL (the operating system of HEVO) ensures that even if the alarm system is OFF, the HEVO system will be able to connect to the Internet and alert appropriate authorities. This holds true even if the appliance is switched OFF by accident, there is no electricity, and/or the Internet and phone cables are down. While traditional home alarm systems use a single wire that triggers the alarm, HEVO sounds an alarm through text message and email even if the physical wire is damaged by an intruder.

Another advantage HEVO offers is that the home owner can program the lights to be switched ON and OFF, blinds to be opened and closed, the television to be switched on at specified times. This helps create an impression that the house is still occupied when the owners are away on vacation or at work. It can also be programmed to greet the home owners in specified moods when returning back from work or vacation. HEVO can be operated by downloading its mobile application on iPhone and android smart phones.

In conclusion, IoT has attracted overstated expectations out of emerging technologies. Despite IoT offering great value; end-users must consider some significant challenges like data security and information management issues, problems with inter-operable technologies, privacy concerns, and the appropriate skills to handle IoT’s growing complexity. However, a seasoned IoT service provider can overcome these challenges and increase your return on IoT investment.

Baryons provides IoT solutions with sustained business models that mitigate IoT challenges and help achieve business excellence with profitable growth.