Environment

IoT: Reducing the effect of weather on industries

Share this post:

The weather has a direct, daily impact on us as it affects what we wear, our mood and the industries we work for. The Weather Company estimated that it’s the largest external factor affecting business performance, leading to $1 trillion lost annually in the US alone.

The Internet of Things (IoT) can help improve our understanding of the weather and atmosphere, by using sensors on satellites, airplanes and an array of devices to give real-time visuals and up-to-date information.

IoT-enabled weather systems build a highly accurate forecast and provide flexible real-time monitoring. Vehicles on the road use sensors installed on windshields, wipers, and tyres to collect data on weather and road conditions, which is then pooled into the cloud for analysis.

Once analysed, the reliable data allows businesses to make informed decisions and create a positive impact across their industries. Here are just a few examples of weather data in action:

Air travel

Real-time updates will give pilots the opportunity to improve journey efficiency. For example, if a plane is traveling at 30,000 feet and turbulence is signalled ahead, the pilot can fly at a different altitude to avoid it. Not only will this improve customer satisfaction, increasing the chance they will choose to fly with that airline in future, it saves on fuel and therefore helps the environment.

Retailers

Weather data from smartphones, social media and supply chains will help retailers to understand how they can appeal to each individual consumer and create truly personal marketing.

The IoT has an impact on goods before they even make it into the supermarkets – by influencing the agricultural process and the global food system. And once in the store, weather data can help retailers plan by strategically placing products where they are most noticeable (at the ends of the isles, for instance) when there is high demand. There may even be a direct correlation between products we buy and the weather, as IBM and P&G and Unilever discovered when their researched revealed that women bought more hair conditioner in humid weather.

Insurance companies

Data from connected devices will help insurance companies develop accurate understanding of risk so they can better craft coverage offerings. For example, knowing when it is likely to hail will enable them to notify customers, who can move their cars and prevent damage. Furthermore, collecting and analysing data gathered from sensors in connected cars can be used to aid drivers in emergencies or to avoid crashes.

Emergency management

2016 saw the lowest fatality rate from tornadoes in USA. Previously, the evacuation notice did not offer enough time for people to leave the affected area as a notice was only put out once the tornado was visible. Now, with IoT devices collecting real-time data, when it’s cognitively believed that it will hit a certain area, an evacuation warning can be put out even though the tornado hasn’t been seen, giving people an extra 30-40 minutes to prepare.

Although we will never be able to change the weather, as the IoT continues to become more ingrained in our lives it’s crucial we use it to help both people and industries.

Learn more

To learn more about IBM and The Weather Company, visit our website. If there’s an IoT device which helps you handle with the weather, let us know in the comments.

More Environment stories
By Marlon Attiken on June 21, 2018

ThinkGov: The digital journey to connected government

The Internet of Things (IoT) impacts industries everywhere. It’s creating new opportunities to improve operations, enhance user experiences, and transform business models. The McKinsey Global Institute estimates a potential economic impact of as much as $11.1 trillion per year in 2025. Just like the commercial industry, the impact is also significant for the U.S. Federal government. And […]

Continue reading

By Laura Langendorf and Ryan Boyles on June 20, 2018

Jump start your reinvention at the IoT Slam

Let’s start with the obvious. The Internet of Things is changing everything. What’s not so obvious, however, is how best to leverage these powerful tools in your business. Technologies like AI, IoT sensors, VR and blockchain aren’t for the faint of heart. To succeed, you need a vision, a strategy, a willingness to collaborate, and […]

Continue reading

By Matthew Mikell on June 12, 2018

S.A.V.E. from IoT: Trust and tracking from a new IoT Blockchain Service

Today’s the day you can make IoT do the work for you, rather than the other way around. You’ve been demanding more value from thousands of devices and the sea of sensor data. You asked, we delivered. Today, IBM is announcing the IBM IoT Blockchain Service; the add-on to IBM IoT Connection Services. But it’s […]

Continue reading