IoT – Making World Smarter, Better, and More Connected

Just a couple of decades back, the internet was a brand new thing in the field of communication and commerce that brimmed with possibilities. Today, there’s a new paradigm in the tech town, the Internet of Things (IoT). Spreading at an unprecedented pace, IoT technology is taking over the world, making its way in every industry; be it Agriculture, Healthcare, Logistics, Finance, Manufacturing or Retail.

But, what’s IoT? (…and how big IoT is?)

The Internet of Things is a giant network of interconnection of sensors, machines, IT systems, and people over the internet which creates a ‘Smart world’. This new wave of connectivity is blurring the lines between digital, physical and human.
“For 2020, the installed base of Internet of Things devices is forecast to grow to almost 31 billion worldwide.”

– Statista

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In the recent past, we have been witnessing the acceleration in the adoption of IoT. According to Forbes, “Internet of Things market to reach $267B by 2020”. In order for businesses to succeed in their digital transformation efforts and serve their customers better, they must look at the potential of IoT solutions and its real-life use cases across the industries.

A sneak peek at how IoT is transforming industries

SMART FARMING

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Apart from being labor-intensive, farming has always been at the risk of unexpected climate change and economic downturns. It has been a low-reward industry until the advent of the Internet of Things. IoT in agriculture is reshaping the agriculture by empowering farmers with IoT solutions to deal with the enormous challenges they face on a daily basis.

“The market value of smart agriculture worldwide is forecasted to reach around 26.76 billion U.S. dollars by 2020.”

– Statista

How IoT-enabled smart system can reshape farming?

IoT-based system is like a boon for farmers, even at the most basic level of usage. Just by placing the sensors across the farm and the machines, farmers can extract useful insights like amount of water in soil, temperature, amount of seeds planted, status of farming machinery and equipment, and the storage conditions, to name a few. Farmers can easily track all of these easier and quicker than ever before to make informed decisions. The use of smart sensors can help farmers to be accurate in use of pesticides, thus dealing with environmental impact. In short, IoT deployment in agriculture can facilitate farmers to improve the quality, increase the quantity, enhance the timeliness, and reduce the cost of agriculture production.

Use cases of IoT in agriculture

Smart irrigation Livestock monitoring
Climate forecasting Weather monitoring
Remote asset monitoring Plant and soil monitoring

 

 

Real-world example

Blueberry irrigation in Chile: Chile, one of the largest exports of fruits has implemented remote sensors around farming areas and as per Chile’s UCSC University, the volume of water used in the farm is reduced by 70%. Moreover, the sensors in soil enable farmers to monitor the condition of soil which help them optimize the irrigation process and increase plant yields.

SMART MANUFACTURING

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Manufacturing industry is facing challenges like poor quality of products and services, high production cost, delayed deliveries, increased downtime, low efficiency, and poor customer satisfaction. However, with the right IoT solution in place, manufacturing processes can be reshaped to bring remarkable changes and drive significant value.

“BI Intelligence predicts that global manufacturers will invest $70 billion on IoT solutions in 2020.”

– Business Insider

How IoT is a game-changer for manufacturers?

Bringing new opportunities for manufacturers, IoT is a real game-changer for the entire manufacturing industry. IoT in manufacturing touches various areas like fleet management, field service management, logistics, etc. However, the potential that it brings to monitor the machines and equipment remotely is simply unmatchable. The IoT-enabled remote monitoring solutions will empower businesses to harness the power of big data and predictive analytics. Keeping a track on machines remotely will prevent the unwanted breakdown, resulting into reduced downtime, reduced cost and quick production. Deployment of IoT in the factories will improve the efficiency and elevate customer satisfaction. Know your smart manufacturing capabilities with Business Intelligence and take your analytical capability to the next level.

Use cases of IoT in Manufacturing

Remote asset monitoring Predictive maintenance
Energy and utility optimization Field service management
Logistics and supply chain Big data and analytics

 

Real-world example

Airbus: Airbus is using the Internet of Things in its products as well as in the tools used by its workers for the manufacturing process. To tackle the complexity of assembling a commercial jetliner, Airbus took an initiative called ‘Factory of the Future’. This initiative streamlines the operations and boosts the production capacity. They have installed sensors to the machines and tools on their shop floor, and have given wearable technology to their workers and smart glass to reduce errors and increase safety in the workplace.

Other examples include Bosch, Hitachi, and CGI.

SMART LOGISTICS

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One of the biggest challenges in the logistics industry is to keep track of where everything is. Increase in traffic, labor rates, and fuel costs make the operations even more challenging. In order to meet the growing demand from the market, you must do the real-time tracking and remote monitoring using IoT.
“Internet of Things will deliver $1.9 trillion boost to supply chain and logistics operations over the next decade.”

– Cisco

How IoT can impact logistics industry?

Using the Internet of Things, you can connect all the assets using embedded sensors and extract critical data to ensure everything is in order. Connecting everything using IoT gives you an unmatched visibility into people, operations, machines, and transactions. Asset monitoring and tracking will ensure compliance and improve performance, thus reducing the risk at the same time. Right deployment of IoT-enabled infrastructure in your organization will help you to locate and monitor key assets resulting into the optimised logistics, prevention of major issues, and proper maintenance of inventory levels. With increasing number of embedded sensors and connected assets, logistics and transport companies can optimise their operations and create new possibilities for revenue.

Use cases of IoT in Logistics

Remote asset tracking Predictive asset maintenance
Warehouse capacity optimization Real-time fleet management

 

Real-world example

Amazon: Instead of roaming on the warehouse floor, Amazon employees now use Wi-Fi connected robots to identify products. The AI system prioritises the orders from Amazon prime members and robots do the rest. As the major task is automated through IoT, workers can focus on packaging and restocking shelves.

Other examples include Maersk Line, Volvo, Nissan, and Decathlon.

SMART HEALTHCARE

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Healthcare industry has been impacted the highest of the IoT technology. Connecting sensors to assets in hospitals and clinics will help you enable the IoT-based patient monitoring system, resulting into improved patient care and reduced operating cost. Monitoring solutions are like a boon to the patients of asthma, hypertension, and diabetes, to name a few.

“$117 Billion market for Internet of Things in Healthcare by 2020.”

– Forbes

How IoT in healthcare is like a boon for doctors as well as patients?

In an IoT-based system for doctors, sensors collect the patient data, internet gateways transmit that data, and cloud computing stores and processes the data as well as analyses it to generate valuable insights. Once this is done, web and mobile applications are developed for the medical staff to make informed decisions. IoT-centric mobile apps are created for patients too so that they can continuously monitor their health.

Use cases of IoT in Healthcare

Remote patient monitoring Hospital asset management
Improved drug management Chronic disease management

 

Real-world example

Stanley Healthcare: Out of multiple IoT applications that Stanley has got, patient flow tracking and staff workflow tracking are the most prominent ones. The company has a real-time location platform that gives hospitals a clear visibility of location of staff, patients, and equipment to better manage complex clinical workflows and improve the interactions between staff and patients.
Other examples include GE Healthcare and Honeywell Care Solutions.

SMART RETAIL

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The Internet of Things is no more just the public facing trend. IoT is also helping retailers now to smooth out their operations, improve visibility, increase efficiency, and boost sales using the IoT-based inventory management systems.

“Internet of Things (IoT) in Retail market will be worth 35.64 Billion USD by 2020.”

Markets and Markets

How IoT is transforming the world of retail?

The use of RFID tags by retailers ensures high level of inventory accuracy all the time and reduction in ‘Out of stock’ situations. IoT technologies also help retailers to keep track of their products and trace the goods while they are a part of supply chain. Tracing becomes more important when businesses are related to food or pharmaceuticals wherein constant check of temperature and humidity is required. Using IoT systems, retailers can also reduce the employee theft. Smart shelves and video surveillance equipment keeps a count of everything.

Use cases of IoT in Retail

Sensor-based proximity marketing Predictive maintenance of store facility
Maintaining inventory accuracy Supply chain inventory tracking

 

Real-world example

Ralph Lauren: Ralph Lauren launched a smart shirt for workout that monitors the activity stats in real-time like heart rate, number of steps, calories burnt, etc. The sensor-filled box near rib cage syncs statistical information to wearer’s iPhone app so that he/she can track biometrics and check workouts on the basis of their activities.
Other examples include Amazon and Rebecca Minkoff.

SMART CITY
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When people, devices, and systems get connected to form a smart city, the world transforms. Cities can leverage IoT to become a smart city in terms of distribution of gas, electricity and water as well as deployment of waste management and emergency services. It takes IoT platform, various types of sensors, and the cloud to deploy an IoT system.

“Smart Cities market expected to reach USD 1,422.57 Billion by 2020.”

– Grand View Research

How IoT can be leveraged to make a smart city?

Remote monitoring and data analysis leads to faster decision-making. Every street light can send information. The smart connected streetlights open up new possibilities. For an efficient use of electricity of the city, lights can get turned on or off as per the number of people on the streets without human intervention. Similarly, IoT can also facilitate implementing smart traffic management. Municipalities can broadcast travel times for certain routes so as to direct traffic and ease congestion. They can also set signals green in case of emergency so that people can reach the destination on time during urgency.

Anyone looking for a parking spot can find one in real-time, saving a lot of time. You can never get late for meetings then, nor you will miss the beginning of the movie! Waste collection companies know when the containers are full in real-time. Sensors manage automated watering systems and detect leaks so as to save the most precious thing on this planet, water. There are sensors that can provide important information and updates about air pollution, noise level, and water level in rivers to avoid flood. In case of accidents, an alert goes out immediately and remote monitoring can provide an instant update.

Use cases of IoT for a smart city

 

Smart infrastructure Waste management system
Water conservation system Environment monitoring
Smart street lighting Traffic and transportation management

 

 

Real-world example

Barcelona: Barcelona has made optimised use of sensors for traffic monitoring and management. The city has also installed the smart parking technology, smart street lights and sensors to monitor air quality and noise. Moreover, the city is trying its best to expand the Wi-Fi area in the public places.
Other examples include Singapore, London, and San Francisco