IoT

IoT: A World of New Possibilities

The world has changed profoundly in recent years, with computers spreading into everyday objects, from the refrigerator to shoes. As connected devices become more accessible and affordable, more and more things are getting connected fueling the internet of things (IoT) phenomenon. IoT promises to bring many benefits, from business efficiency to a better life.

The Texting Cow

India is the largest milk producer in the world, with dairy as the most significant agricultural commodity. Tracking cattle movements remotely to curb theft and monitoring their health is critical for dairy farmers. Imagine if a sick cow could send a text informing the farmer about its health so a vet could intervene before its health worsened? Well, thanks to IoT, it is already happening today. Ingestible IoT sensors, placed inside cows’ stomachs, transmit health data to farmers. The sensors can also send text messages or emails when a cow is pregnant. In some countries, farmers are using IoT to increase milk production. The sensors alert farmers when a cow is ready to produce more milk. Likewise, IoT sensors can also detect the fertility period for cattle. By using IoT, farmers can boost profitability. 

The Talking Shirt

Smartwatches and fitness bands are among the most common wearables today. Smartwatches retained the fastest growth in the Indian wearables market with 4.3 million shipments and a whopping 456.3 percent YoY growth in the third quarter (July-September) of 2021. Today, IoT is not limited to trackers that one wears on their wrists, but has permeated into clothing as well. Retailers tag clothing with sensors to track its movement throughout the supply chain to stay updated on the exact location, which helps make transport logistics more efficient. They can also get valuable data on temperature and humidity, which must be monitored constantly to retain the fabric’s quality. This can help in reducing product damage and avoiding loss.

Powered by Storage

Whether it is asset tracking or gaining more insight into something, IoT enables it by connecting objects, animals, and people. It is projected that one trillion IoT devices will be built between 2017 and 20354. Every IoT device or sensor collects and processes data and communicates it to drive insights. In other words, IoT creates a massive amount of data and will continue to do so into the future.

For many IoT applications, it is critical to screen and analyze data where it is generated or at the edge. Edge storage can help manage data capture and provide the compute capabilities that aggregate and analyze that data in real-time to deliver immediate and actionable insights at the device level. The ability to deliver real-time analytics at the network’s edge can improve efficiencies, create more secure environments, and enable a world of opportunities. The storage must be ultra-reliable in a diverse set of form factors that have the performance necessary to minimize latency and maximize responsiveness.

It should withstand harsh weather conditions as edge devices live in diverse and many times in challenging environments.

Data can also be sent to the cloud to get more value through AI and ML. This historical data or the data on the cloud offers the opportunity to look for trends over time and unravel the deep insights hidden in data. This requires scalable storage solutions to handle massive amounts of data.

As the cost of sensors continues to be less and less prohibitive, combined with affordable and pervasive connectivity, more devices will get connected to the IoT ecosystem. The proliferation of IoT will lead to more innovative use cases. These connected devices and data can improve lives and unlock a world of new possibilities.

The author is Khalid Wani, Senior Director- Sales, India, Western Digital

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