The Internet of Things became a hot topic recently and is not slowing down. But did you know, that it isn’t a new concept? ATMs are considered the first IoT objects, dating back to 1974! So why IoT didn’t get its’ popularity earlier? Why is it booming now and, finally, how can you benefit from IoT solutions in your business?
Although IoT is not a new concept, the rapid development of it has only started recently. IoT needs a fast connection and fast data processing. With growing availability of broadband Internet and cloud computing, costs of transfer, data storage and analysis are diminishing, allowing IoT solutions to unlock their potential. According to Gartner, by 2020 there will be over 26 billion connected devices.
IoT solutions can be implemented across different industries, no matter how big or small. From small appliances – like smart media playing the music you’re in the mood for – through wearables and medical devices which constantly monitor patient’s condition, to complex smart cities. With its advanced analytics and intelligent devices, IoT can support the manufacturing process. A report by Accenture shows, that the Industrial Internet of Things is booming and is expected to reach $14.2 trillion by 2030.
Variety of use cases prove that IoT solutions can be tailored to any need. How it works? If you take a few devices, which can be located even at a big distance from another and connect them to the Internet, they can not only send you their parameters. They can even communicate with each other and share the best performance indicators.
How IoT works?
A very simplified model looks like this: devices send messages to an IoT Hub. The IoT Hub receives messages, stream analytics processes data and reacts if necessary. For example, analysis can show that one of the devices must be turned off immediately. IoT Hub sends this message to the device via return channel and this device acts accordingly. In our example: it turns off.
Let’s look at wind power plants. If one of the turbines finds a position in which it gets the most wind power, it can send the parameters to other turbines. Based on these parameters, the turbines can adjust their position automatically. It can happen thanks to the Internet connection and IoT hub which gathers and analyses data. If you’d like to dig deeper into the technical aspects of IoT, read this article.
Sensors with Wi-Fi connections can alert us if something is changing in the environment. We can monitor the temperature in supermarkets’ fridges, humidity in archives, light intensity in museums, overall conditions in greenhouses and much more. Of course, humans can do it too. The advantage of IoT is that each change can be reported immediately and with a precise location.
Assets monitoring and predictive maintenance
Have you noticed something interesting in the examples above? IoT automates assets monitoring. We can receive instant failure notifications, devices can optimise their work automatically and, if we introduce machine learning, we can go one step further – to predictive maintenance. Assets can forecast when they will need our attention (i.e. they’re running out of supplies) and alert us in advance. This way, we can plan the maintenance better and keep devices going. Introducing predictive maintenance can result in 10-40% cost savings.
Internet of Things gives endless possibilities. We can track objects, predict usage, find out how customers are using our products. We can connect more and more products – for private and corporate usage, across all industries. Some say this technology will power another Industrial Revolution.