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IoT applications spanning across industries

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Internet of Things examples extend from smart connected homes to wearables to healthcare. In fact, IoT is slowly becoming part of every aspect of our lives. Not only are Internet of Things applications enhancing our comfort, but they also give us more control to simplify routine work life and personal tasks.

The recent hype about our IoT future has forced companies to consider the basic building blocks for the Internet of Things—i.e., hardware, software and support—to enable developers to deploy applications that can connect anything within IoT’s scope.

We know the potential of IoT markets is huge, but some domains will mature more quickly than the rest. Here are Internet of Things application areas that have the potential for exponential growth.

Smart Homes

A smart home is one in which devices have the capability to communicate with each other, as well as with their environment and the Internet. Smart homes enable owners to customize and control their home environments for increased security and efficient energy management. There are already hundreds of IoT technologies available to monitor and build smart homes.

Consumer product manufacturers like Belkin, Philips, Amazon and Haier have established themselves as prominent companies in this market. Here are some ways to build your own smart home with the Internet of Things.

Image: Nest Learning Thermostat, image copyright: Nest.com

Nest Learning Thermostat is a revolutionary concept with many benefits. Its breakthrough technology and IoT-based concepts make it a highly efficient addition to your home. Usually, about half of your energy bill can be attributed to your thermostat. With Nest, you can save up to 15% on cooling and 12% on heating bills on average.

Image: Philips Hue, image copyright: www2.meethue.com

Image: Philips Hue, image copyright: www2.meethue.com

With products such as Philips Hue, the Internet of Things continues to show real potential in smart home design. One bulb gives you 600 to 800 color lumens, which means there is a light for every one of your moods. It’s compatible with smart home platforms like Amazon Echo and Apple’s HomeKit for the iPhone.

Image: Air Quality Egg, image copyright: airqualityegg.com

Image: Air Quality Egg, image copyright: airqualityegg.com

Based on the concept of a “community-led air quality sensing network,” the Air Quality Egg is a smart sensor system designed to track traces of CO and NO2 in home environments. These two gases are high contributors to air pollution and can be easily detected by inexpensive DIY sensors. Community participation puts you in touch with like-minded people concerned about air quality and the environment.

Image: Amazon Echo, image copyright: amazon.com/echo

Image: Amazon Echo, image copyright: amazon.com/echo

Take control of your home with your voice: Amazon Echo was built around this concept. Designed to be a highly sensitive listener, Echo has seven built-in microphones so you can be heard from across the room, even through other noise. Get answers, hear news, play music, listen to audio books and integrate with other smart home devices, like Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings and WeMo. It’s backed with 360º omni-directional audio.

Wearables

Wearables are one of the hottest trends in IoT Apple, Samsung, Jawbone and plenty of others are joining the cut-throat competition.

Wearable IoT tech is a very large domain consisting of many devices, broadly covering fitness, health and entertainment arenas. The primary prerequisites for wearable IoT technology are that sensors or devices are highly energy-efficient, ultra-low power, and small-sized. Here are some top examples of wearable IoT devices and what they do.

Image: Jawbone UP2, image copyright: jawbone.com/up

Image: Jawbone UP2, image copyright: jawbone.com/up

This tracker band is an excellent example of wearable IoT applications in healthcare. It includes features like activity tracking, food logging, coaching and tracking sleep patterns. It’s also offered in many styles and colors.

Image: Fitbit Charge HR, image copyright: www.fitbit.com/chargehr

Image: Fitbit Charge HR, image copyright: www.fitbit.com/chargehr

Charge HR is a high performance IoT wearable that provides many smart features. It tracks your heart rate, as well as your activities while simply sitting on your wrist. You’re able to automatically track your heart rate and workouts, monitor your sleeping patterns, get call notifications, and synchronize the data with your PC and hundreds of smartphones and wireless devices.

Image: Motorola Moto 360 Sport, image copyright: www.motorola.com

Image: Motorola Moto 360 Sport, image copyright: www.motorola.com

The Motorola Moto 360 Sport delivers all the important health information, communication updates and even gaming right to your wrist in a very sleek and fashionable watch design, It’s available in both men’s and women’s collections and supports both Android and iOS apps.

Retail

The potential of IoT in the retail sector is enormous. Imagine if your home appliances could notify you when supplies are short and order them all on their own. This proximity-based advertising model of smart retailing is becoming a reality. We already have Internet of Things application examples through smart supply chains. Applications for tracking goods, real-time inventory information exchange among suppliers and retailers, and automated delivery capabilities exist and new growth areas are emerging quickly.

Image: Smart Retail Solution, image copyright: smartretailsolution.com

Image: Smart Retail Solution, image copyright: smartretailsolution.com

One example is TCI’s Smart Retail Solution, powered by Yourcegid Retail’s management software. Based on software, reliable wireless devices and ePOS stations, the Smart Retail Solution helps avoid costly mistakes and maximizes resources by automating complex interactions from multiple sources, collecting important consumer data, creating alerts for errors and monitoring staff activities.

Smart Cities

Smart surveillance, safer and automated transportation, smarter energy management systems and environmental monitoring are all examples of IoT applications for smart cities. Smart cities have real, substantial solutions for complications that arise due to population surges, pollution, poor infrastructure and energy supply shortages. Here are some examples of IoT devices at work in smart cities.

Image: Bigbelly, image copyright: bigbelly.com

Image: Bigbelly, image copyright: bigbelly.com

The Bigbelly smart waste and recycling system is a waste management system. Completely modular, Bigbelly gives historical and real-time data collection capabilities via a cloud-based service. It helps with smart trash pick up, helps avoid overflows, and generates other notifications to help cities manage waste better and keep them both cleaner and more beautiful.

Image: CitySense, image copyright: tvilight.com

Image: CitySense, image copyright: tvilight.com

Based on a patented presence-detecting technology, CitySense is a smart and wireless outdoor lighting control system. With features like adaptive lighting, it helps save electricity by intuitively adjusting the brightness of street lights, based on the presence of automobiles and pedestrians. And, it is smart enough to filter out interferences like animals and trees.

Image: Libelium, image copyright: libelium.com

Image: Libelium, image copyright: libelium.com

Libelium has launched a new smart parking solution for smart cities to allow citizens to find available parking spots. The new surface parking device—with LoRaWAN and Sigfox—features a smaller size, higher accuracy and faster detection time, facilitating lower installation costs.

Health Care

Image: UroSense, image copyright: www.future-path.net

Image: UroSense, image copyright: www.future-path.net

UroSense is a smart fluid management solution offered by Future Path Medical. It automatically measures the core body temperature (CBT) and urine output of patients on catheterization. The smart monitoring of these vital signs helps avoid infections while starting early care of medical conditions like diabetes, prostate cancer, heart failure and sepsis. UroSense can wirelessly provide report data directly to nursing stations anywhere.

Image: Medication Dispensing Service, image copyright: NYT

Image: Medication Dispensing Service, image copyright: NYT

Philips is one of those tech giants making full use of Internet of Things opportunities available for business. The Medication Dispensing Service is one of the most successful IoT healthcare applications from Philips. Focused on elderly patients who find it difficult to maintain their medication dosages on their own, MDS dispenses pre-filled cups for the scheduled dosage. It notifies automatically when it’s time to take or refill medications, or when there are malfunctions or missed dosages.

Agriculture

The Phenonet Project is designed to help farmers monitor vital information like humidity, air temperature and soil quality using remote sensors. This project helps farmers improve yield, plan more efficient irrigation and make harvest forecasts. It also helps biologists study the effects of genomes and microclimates on crop production.

Image: CleanGrow, image copyright: www.cleangrow.com

Image: CleanGrow, image copyright: www.cleangrow.com

Based in Ireland, the CleanGrow project helps monitor crop nutrients with a carbon nanotube-based sensor system. This information helps farmers to alter crop maturity rates or colors. As opposed to conventionally used analog devices, CleanGrow’s nanotube sensor device detects the quantity and presence of specific ions in crop production to optimize quality and yield.

Transportation

IoT is making self-driving and/or connected cars a reality. Automotive industry leaders such as BMW, Ford and GM and newer entrants in the auto space like Google, Local Motors and Uber are announcing and deploying innovative technologies to support connected car platforms. These automotive IoT initiatives promise to save lives, reduce pollution and commute hassles and simplify transportation for millions around the globe.

Image: Railway, image copyright: http://media.getransportation.com

Image: Railway, image copyright: http://media.getransportation.com

Rail is another area of high upside for the Internet of Things. For example, the latest GE Evolution Series Tier 4 Locomotive is loaded with 250 sensors to measure a staggering 150,000 data points per minute. This data, combined with other incoming data streams from environmental and operating systems, along with analytics, helps anticipate events that might impact several critical areas such as safety, on time performance, equipment uptime and longevity.

Image: CAT, image copyright: www.caterpillar.com

Image: CAT, image copyright: www.caterpillar.com

Caterpillar is helping its dealers succeed with the help of IoT for industrial analytics. The company is harnessing the data it collects from its industrial engines, machines and tools, and shares the analyzed data insights with its customers. It helps them to anticipate problems, manage fleets to avoid unplanned downtime and proactively schedule maintenance.

Applications for Industrial Internet of Things

Industrial automation is one of the most profound applications of IoT. The IoT infrastructure, combined with advanced sensor networks, wireless connectivity, innovative hardware and machine-to-machine communication, will completely transform the conventional automation process of industries. IoT automation solutions for industries are already in the market from such big names as NEC, Siemens, Emerson and Honeywell.

Image: construction industry site, image copyright: Pixabay.com

Image: construction industry site, image copyright: Pixabay.com

In the construction industry, determining concrete quality is very important. The Embedded Data Collector, or EDC, from Smart Structure, works by embedding sensors in the concrete during the pouring and curing process. This way, the sensors become a permanent part of the structure. They provide vital information about concrete strength and quality directly to the Smart Structures Work Station.

Image: Libelium Waspmote Sensor Nodes, image copyright: www.libelium.com

Image: Libelium Waspmote Sensor Nodes, image copyright: www.libelium.com

Libelium is known to champion Internet of Things application solutions for industries. Its Waspmote Sensor Nodes accompany new API libraries and industrial protocol modules to help integrate industrial devices with the cloud for data communication. Some supported industrial protocols include CAN Bus, RS-232 and RS-485. The nodes’ applications range from industrial automation to military to manufacturing sectors.

Image: smart meter solution, image copyright: www.landisgyr.com

Image: smart meter solution, image copyright: www.landisgyr.com

Advanced metering promises to make energy management easier for everyone. Landis+Gyr offer a wide range of energy management products, such as its smart metering solution, which will help consumers better understand their energy needs and help them with load management as well. They have many multi-energy metering solutions to offer reliable and efficient energy management.

Image: electricity grid, image copyright: Pixabay.com

Image: electricity grid, image copyright: Pixabay.com

Landis+Gyr’s grid management solutions are smart programs that provide capabilities to automate, analyze and respond to energy requirements in a smarter manner. They offer leading-edge tools that help suppliers and consumers reduce peak use problems and increase energy use efficiency.

Understanding the Internet of Things and the true potential of IoT applications is truly dazzling. Stay focused on the IoT space and maybe you’ll be the next IoT innovator who transforms a product, service or even an entire whole industry.

To find out more about IBM and IoT, visit our website and comment below telling us about the devices you own and use everyday.

IoT applications spanning across industries

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