The Internet of Things (IoT) concept is the next logical step in the technological revolution, as connecting devices to the Internet makes them more useful, autonomous, and practical. Even though the term IoT seems like a recent concept, people have been using its chief principle – connecting popular devices to the Internet- since 1970.
Can you guess what was the first widely used device to earn such an honor?
Of course, it was an ATM.
Apart from the ATM, another device that used IoT principles but did not achieve widespread use at the time was a Coke machine in Pittsburgh that could report its contents through a network (ARPANET) and made a lot of Carnegie Mellon students happy.
A couple of them taught the machine how to let them know if there were cold Coke bottles in it, thus saving them a trip to an empty unit.
As always, necessity was the mother of invention. Today, we’ve taken smart devices to a whole new level and made things like refrigerators, watches, and cars.
In fact, the number of connected devices exceeded the number of people connected in 2008, and continues to rise rapidly.
So what drives such a fast adoption and development of IoT? Let’s answer this question by reviewing some of the most interesting use cases of the technology.
What Industries Dominate the World of IoT?
Although IoT is becoming a bit of a buzzword that suffers from overuse, it nonetheless represents a great opportunity for businesses in a wide range of industries, including:
- Banking and financial services
- Smart homes
These are the industries where IoT is poised to have the most impact, and the use cases for each are great, indeed.
“In the transportation industry, connected devices are installed in cars to provide auto analytics, fuel usage data, travel routes stats, and traffic conditions,” says Matt Wojnarowski, a researcher from EssayHilfe. “Tesla, Otto Trucks and Uber have been working on that for years now, and the results are quite useful for drivers.”
As for smart homes, engineers have already designed a wide range of connected things, from smart refrigerators to smart doorbells that are a proven tool to help homeowners to deter thieves by allowing the former to yell at them via a speaker.
In manufacturing, IoT data collectors help plant managers to control the flow of manufacturing by monitoring inventory movement as well as employee movement, thus having a real-time review of the shop floor.
This, in turn, helps to increase accountability and safety, as the manager knows the locations of the employees and moving equipment at all times.
What Does IoT Need to Help Users?
Before creating a connected device or implementing an IoT solution, the following aspects should be taken into consideration.
IoT devices often require infrastructure to collect and send data for analysis.
One of the best examples is IoT devices used in the manufacturing industry, according to Greg Bailey, an analyst from Studhilfe. “So-called tags that send real-time location updates require software for monitoring of their health, but use batteries to stay online up to a few years,” he says.
To provide an infrastructure for an IoT solution, you may not need an ecosystem of other smart devices. In fact, you can often merge it with existing IT infrastructure such as ethernet, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems, etc.
- Data Storage
A reliable cloud solution is the best way to go about storing all that data you collect with IoT. Whether it’s a location tag attached to a moving forklift in a warehouse in a remote area or a smart doorbell in a large city, an IoT device can send information for storage and analysis in the cloud.
This frees you from the requirement to have storage capabilities and allows to retrieve and analyze data quickly. These advantages of the cloud are useful for both individuals and enterprise IoT users, as the technology is perfectly suitable for remote data storage and processing.
Besides, if you buy just one or several IoT devices for your smart home, the cloud storage typically comes at no extra cost or extremely cheap. For example, according to this review of smart doorbells, the cloud storage can cost as low as $5 but comes with impressive features like facial recognition.
IoT is Here to Stay
Just like that Coke machine in Pittsburgh that helped students to check out whether the cold drinks are available, almost any device in your home or work can become a source of helpful data.
By helping us to stay in constant touch with our devices even when we’re physically away, IoT helps us to manage them more effectively, increase the safety of our homes, and ultimately, make our lives easier.
With the number of smart devices continuing to rise fast, it’s safe to assume that we’re going to see more connected devices and amazing features soon.
Dorothea Oppelland is a marketing specialist, business consultant who currently works at Ghostwriterpreise.com. She helps people to turn their dreams into the profitable business. Dorothea studied Marketing at the Hamburg University. If you’re interested in working with Dorothea, you can contact her on LinkedIn.