The grand vision of the Internet of Things has evolved due to the possibility of convergence of multiple technologies that exist today. These technologies range from the Internet to wireless communication and from embedded systems to micro electromechanical systems. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects or ‘things’. Hence, physical objects like industrial machines and consumer goods will be embedded with electronics, software, sensors and connectivity. This will enable objects to collect and exchange data. This advanced connectivity of devices, systems, and services will go far beyond the existing machine-to-machine communications (M2M) and will cover a wide range of applications in varied domains.
By 2020, the market for connected devices would be between 50 billion and 100 billion units thereby generating massive volumes of data. This data will be dynamic, unstructured and real time. The critical challenge faced by any industry then will be how to use this data when it is in motion and to extract valuable information in real time. Therefore, complex and in-depth analytics will be required.
Lets now look at some great use cases where IoT can play a huge role
1) Application of IoT for smart waste management
First, filling sensors are installed in the waste & recycling containers on the streets to send data to a web server. A dynamic routing module can be created, which is directly sent to the cleaning vendor’s truck and is displayed through an on-board smart display system. The municipal corporation can use dashboards and other tools to monitor the service quality levels and check the performance of cleaning vendor.
2) Smart Street Lighting system
An IoT platform can be used to intelligently control the lighting infrastructure of a city. By integrating an IoT platform with sensors in the streetlights, a smart system can be built to control streetlights and their brightness. The intensity of light emitted can be adjusted to weather conditions or brightness of daylight.
3) Smart Traffic Lights
The amount of traffic on a road can be detected by embedding magnetic sensors in the pavement or by mounting cameras on traffic signals. This information is transmitted to a central server where software can be implemented to control the traffic lights based on traffic volumes. This system can also help in detecting traffic jams on a given road and can create traffic alerts that can be pushed to people with smart phones.
4) Smart Parking
Ultrasonic sensors mounted on the ceiling of a parking space can detect the presence of parked cars and send this information to a central server. Using IoT sensors, data can be processed to identify the number of free parking slots and can guide the people to the empty parking slots. The same system can also be used to identify free parking space on the street and can send this information to the residents of that area on their mobile phone.
5) Smart vehicle security system
The current GPS-based smart vehicle tracking and security technology helps in continuously monitoring the important parameters of a vehicle such as location, speed, engine status, A.C. status and movement. IoT can also be used to monitor the driver’s driving behaviour and geo fencing of restricted zones.
6) Remote patient monitoring system
A remote patient monitoring system helps in monitoring a patient’s health post discharge from the hospital. An IoT system can process the vital health parameters received from the patient’s health monitoring device and can then generate triggers in the case of any abnormality. Then, alerts can be sent to doctors, hospitals and the patient’s family members providing the most pro-active health care system. As the famous adage goes, prevention is better than cure.