The Internet of Things Moves Forward
Cincinnati, OH | Posted: 05/08/2016 | Author: Stuart Koenig
The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing our landscape, connecting us in ways heretofore unseen. The research firm Gartner estimates that there were 3.8 billion “connections” at the end of 2014, ranging from smartphones and streetlights to heart monitors and dishwashers, all talking to other connected devices. Gartner also estimates that by the year 2020 there will be 25 billion devices connected to one another, transmitting data all around us. This technological revolution is growing all facets of our lives, developing in ways both business and personal. Here are a few-
City Living – As more than half the world live in cities, technology will have to overcome inefficiencies, gridlock, and spatial planning issues. In busy Tel Aviv, roadways are speaking to the cars that travel on them. Sensors in the asphalt are reading the license plate numbers of drivers wanting to take advantage of carpool pay lanes, charging the owner’s credit card at a rate dependent on the business of the road. Philadelphia has invested in solar powered garbage cans that compact waste, communicating to trucks when they’re full. Weekly trash collection trips have gone from 17 to just three, saving fuel and labor costs. And in San Diego 3,000 streetlights were replaced by smart LED bulbs that turn on only when pedestrians or drivers approach, saving an estimated $250,000 per year.
Health – People are living longer and healthier lives, and technology is making sure to keep up. Smart beds, medicine monitors and even a ‘smart’ pill dispenser made by Philips can keep better track of the elderly and rehabbing patients in the home, letting family members or medical personnel know their status remotely. Fitness tracking devices, already a $2 billion business, are tracking an increasing number of different health measurements. These stats are not only for the benefit of the wearer, but can also be sent to insurance providers to track health habits that affect premiums.
Transportation – The way we move around the country and the world is being transformed by the Internet of Things, with data integration becoming the norm. The tracking of airline data – fuel, location, maintenance issues and more- has in the past only been uploaded and studied after a flight has landed. But real-time data tracking is the new normal, with mid-flight information being relayed. This can better inform pilots and controller personnel make better informed decisions that help prevent possible catastrophic outcomes for airlines.
Riding the rails has become more efficient as well, as subways and railroads are incorporating track sensors to communicate speed, weather issues, and maintenance needs to engineers for better-informed decisions. This also saves on inspection costs and hours. Subways better pinpoint locations with Siemens-built tracks, allowing for more trains to run routes, getting people where they need to go.