Internet of Things Applications
We are seeing implementations of IoT emerging in an ever growing number of fields, giving your smartphone more and more control over your physical surroundings as well as your digital. These devices are allowing us to make better use of our environment, resources and personal health through increased data measurements, more timely data collection / transfer and processing.
This allows us to be greener, healthier and more in control of our devices and surroundings, from controlling our heating and electricity in our home to lower power costs and avoid wastage, to measuring our levels of fitness, diet and vital statistics to be able to make informed health choices to improve our quality of life.
Some examples of Internet of Things devices entering the market include:
- Smart thermostats, such as Nest, allows users to control their thermostat remotely through their smartphone, while learning user preferences to make automatic adjustments to save power and money.
- Devices such as the GSM Power Socket allow users to control their power socket’s power supply remotely via text message, also alerting the user to any power outages or temperature rises/drops.
- Wirelessly connected lighting allows you to change the colour, as well as the brightness, of your lighting through your smartphone or as dictated by another one of your connected devices.
- Personal home intercom systems, such as the Smartbel, let users speak to visitors through their mobile phone even if they are not at home, allowing them to deal with missed deliveries and also acting as a security measure.
- Household appliances are increasingly adding connectivity to provide their users the ability to control the devices remotely, schedule operation for low power usage times & report faults.
Mobile fitness apps have grown in popularity over the last few years leading the development of accessories, to increase the number and types of sensors as well as the form factor and usage, has also been on the rise. Now with the emergence of the Smartwatch we are able to measure more fitness related data over longer periods of time without interfering with any of our other activities.
This has led to devices which monitor your blood pressure, blood oxygen levels, breathing rate, help improve your sleep and even how to brush your teeth optimally.
Your cars and vehicles can do more than simply wirelessly connect your phone and music to its speaker system. Now the car can talk to the outside world as well and the people and devices inside it, leading to many advantages and the development of Smart Roads & Smart Cities.
Smart Roads are adaptable, using the data provided by the cars on the road to make dynamic decisions to allow for more consistent traffic flow, lowering of congestion, fast reactive diversions in case of accidents or regional changes, localising the use of things such as street lights to areas which need them. The added efficiency is able to help lower congestion in town centres, improve air quality and optimise our energy usage.
Another growing area where IoT is increasingly being seen is in insurance, where many companies are offering a pay per mile service with the use of location tracking and mileage tracking to calculate your premium.
The biggest change the IoT is bringing to transport is arguably the driverless car- the development of controllerless vehicles which take you from A to B with little or no input, automatically taking into account it’s environment and surrounding, reacting to them to allow for maximum passenger safety. While this will undoubtedly be one of the biggest changes in transport in the last few decades we are likely to see them on our roads in the next few years.