Ever heard the older generation grumble and gripe about how everyone and everything was too connected, and that the concept of space was literally in space? Come 2018 and the world is breaking even more boundaries when it comes to remaining interconnected.
Over the years you might have heard of something called the ‘Internet of Things’, also known as IoT. And if you happen to be a little late to the party when it comes to all things tech, don’t worry. You’re not the only one totally bamboozled.
The Internet of Things is essentially any item or device that you exchange data with, via embedded sensors. And these can be just about anything! From thermostats, refrigerators, Air Conditioners, cars, banking etc you name it, you have a device for it. IoT has already existed since the dawn of the Internet but is quickly becoming mainstream in 2018. IoT apps convert data coming in from IoT devices into a language more readily understood by consumers.
In this article, we’re here to help you better understand why exactly some IoT apps are worth developing this year. Not only does it have massive potential for your business, it has the power to change the way we live our lives in general! Let’s take a look:
Picture this – Turning off lights with a simple voice command, accessing your front porch camera via your phone, annoying your boiled egg of a brother by secretly switching channels without touching the TV remote, making midnight trips to a refrigerator that actually monitors what you eat, using a dryer that warns you when the lint build up is too high (preventing any fires), an AC that switches on before you even enter and switches off after the last person leaves the room or just looking into a mirror; straight outta the evil queen’s room, that doesn’t stoke your vanity but answers questions, provides weather reports and displays notifications right on its surface!
Sounds like something from a dystopian future? Or maybe just a description of an alien’s living quarters? Neither actually. It’s the home of the future, set in the now! There’s the Samsung smart fridge, the Amazon Echo working as the CPU for all your home gadgets, Nest’s Learning Thermostat that automatically adjusts your home’s temperature through embedded sensors, Kohler verdersa and Amazon Alexa’s smart mirror that really does seem magical or the Canary smart security system that lets users review security footage from their app (Even at night, since it includes a night-vision camera)
When it comes to IoT and home automation, it is blatantly obvious that the demand for smart technology has now invaded our residential space as well. This is not a bad thing. In fact, bring it on we say!
This is because when you design devices that utilize the complete potential of IoT while making the lives of customers easier, you create a doozy of a landscape – enabling an interaction like never before. In fact, home automation has quickly become one of the most widely used IoT applications.
Just take Nest. A smart thermostat and home control device, Nest has become one of the most widely recognized IoT applications today. An interconnected system of devices managed via a mobile app, it allows users to monitor their home IoT devices. Having been around for 8 years, the company has begun selling other IoT devices such as cameras, doorbells, lights, and alarm systems; all controlled with the tap of a screen.
All this is proof of the growing acceptance of IoT apps and devices (bit of a comedown for those dismissing smart home technology as another half-baked vision by lazy, no good youngsters) It is impossible to deny the charms of an IoT powered smart home (obvious when more than 60,000 users look up the term ‘Smart Home’ every month!) And it’s not just about the innovation or the comfort, but also about having better access control, security, and energy efficiency; helping you keep them bills down.
Healthcare and Fitness
It’s pretty easy to get caught up in the awesomeness of such cool gadgetry and lose focus. But stop for a minute and think about this, what happens when you use those same ‘cool’ applications to actually save millions of lives?
Make no bones about it, with technology wriggling through everywhere, the health industry was bound to catch up. There are some pretty sophisticated IoT developments taking shape in the fitness world. With everything from reminders to take medication on time, predicting the correct sleep patterns, wearable fitness trackers like Fitbit and Apple, monitoring heart rate levels, automatically adjustable patient beds to home medication dispensers that track both time and intake levels; the healthcare sector has seen a surge in IoT device usage.
While there are obviously strict regulations governing the health industry, there’s no doubt that IoT apps have given medical innovations a new lease of life. But for now, we’ve listed out 5 important ways in which IoT has impacted healthcare:
Real-Time Remote Monitoring - This includes connecting multiple monitoring devices, enabling real-time monitoring of patients, transmitting signals and reducing patient care time and need for a doctor’s attention, improving care levels and helping provide evidence-based medications.
Smart Pills - WuXi PharmaTech, Proteus Digital Health, and TruTag are some pharma companies that have begun developing edible IoT, ‘smart’ pills that assist with health scans and medication controls. Once swallowed, they liquefy within the stomach and transmit a signal to a sensor worn on the body; which is then transferred to mobile phones.
Managing Diabetes - A Raspberry Pi computer decodes data transmitted from a CGM (continuous glucose monitor) and controls the required amount of insulin pumped into the blood. A 90-day sensor, it is placed underneath the patient’s skin. A smart transmitter monitors blood glucose levels and sends the appropriate signals to the mobile.
Monitoring Blood Pressure - In 2016, a Bluetooth enabled coagulation system was launched to monitor the velocity of blood coagulation for anticoagulated patients. Similarly, a sensor-based system was used to monitor blood pressure levels in patients suffering from hypertension getting rid of the need for guesswork. These even help lower the risk of cardiac arrests in critical cases.
Smart Watches that tackle Depression - A watch that analyzes and assesses your mood and reports the data to a server. Sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie? It’s not. The Apple Watch App was developed specifically for people suffering from major depression by monitoring sleep cycles and fitness activities. Although still in the testing phase, these apps represent how healthcare has improved for the better!
And who knows how much further we’ll go? Whether it’s tomorrow, a year from now or even 25 years down the lane; IoT applications have revolutionized the health industry by shrinking costs, improving treatment outcomes, enhancing the patient experience, decreasing errors, enhancing the management of drugs and vastly improving disease management.
If you stop and think about it, our vehicles have been a lot smarter for a lot more time than we’ve realized. In fact, automakers have been streaming information to cars since the Internet was just a newly born baby.
For most of us these days, it’s second nature to connect our smartphones to the car, answer calls while driving, stream music, receive traffic alerts and follow route maps via GPS. It’s pretty obvious that when it comes to connecting the auto to the tech, the automotive industry has an impressive track record.
Take Kaa as an example. An infotainment service and connected car application, Kaa offers a heap of revolutionary IoT components that add a completely new dimension to the traditional idea of a car. Able to handle thousands of connected vehicles simultaneously and balance out the cloud service usage, Kaa offers the best of the best, as listed below:
- Monitoring connected car systems
- Smart driving assistance
- Cloud-based infotainment solutions
- Automated emergency management
- Real-time fleet management
- Driver safety systems
- Optimized logistics
- Predictive maintenance
Trying to picture a future with smart, self-driving cars (ooh maybe even flying ones?!) and you wonder if your imagination desperately needs a reality check. But what seemed like sci-fi mumbo-jumbo is quickly becoming a reality with endless possibilities! As technology takes the driver’s seat, it comes as no surprise to find the automotive world navigating newer, bolder, smarter terrains.
The Agro Industry
An area we firmly believe has the potential for rapid growth in IoT apps and development is that of agriculture. As the world continues to expand, so does the need for agriculture. By revolutionizing technology, we revolutionize the way we distribute food across the globe. There are already apps that read soil conditions and tell you when to water your plants. The real excitement, however, lies in going even further.
Precision farming - Precision farming is anything from raising livestock to growing crops using a controlled and accurate approach. Key constituents include the systematic use of sensors, control systems, robotics, autonomous vehicles, automated hardware, variable rate technology, etc. Precision farming happens to be the most famous of IoT applications when it comes to agriculture.
Whether its soil moisture probe technology, virtual optimizer PRO for central, cloud-based water management, VRI (Variable Rate Irrigation) optimization to maximize field profitability and water efficiency - precision farming is a powerful way for farmers to use modern agronomic innovations to reap the most rewards.
Smart Greenhouses - Greenhouses help enhance crop yield but manually running them can often mean running up a sweat in terms of energy loss and labor costs. Now, a smart greenhouse on the other hand (with the help of IoT of course) will utilize extra intelligent, powerful sensors (via a remotely accessible cloud server) to monitor and control the climate, plant requirements, sunlight levels, humidity and temperature, soil density etc. These sensors, wait for it.., can automatically open windows, turn on the lights, control the heaters etc with a WiFi signal!
You also have greenhouses that are solar powered by IoT sensors, which in turn help monitor the water consumption and carry out automatic irrigation via SMS alerts to the farmers through an online portal. Automatic Irrigation is carried out in these greenhouses.
Monitoring Livestock - IoT applications help ranchers and herders gather data concerning the location, welfare, and safety of their livestock. Whether it's identifying animals that are sick to prevent the spread of infection or locating one that has separated from the herd via IoT based sensors; these apps help lower labor costs for livestock farmers.
Drone Framing - Yes, you’ve got that right. Drone farming. With so much technology at our hands, it was obvious it would soon be incorporated into the agro-industry. Agricultural drones are a perfect example of this. One of the major industries to use drones, they help (both ground and aerial based) with assessing crop health, irrigation, monitoring and spraying, planting, and soil and field analysis etc
The best part? Drones perform in-flight monitoring and observations and help save time by real-time imaging, mapping, and surveying the agricultural land. The farmers enter the details of what field to survey and select an altitude or ground resolution. From the data gathered, farmers can study plant health, estimate yield, water mapping, chlorophyll measurement, nitrogen content, drainage mapping, weed pressure mapping, and so on. How absolutely cool is that?!
With the integration of new payment technologies like contactless payments (via mobile apps, websites etc), increased acceptance of digital currency (E.g. Bitcoin), wearable payment solutions, payment through chips implanted within the human body and so on - IoT has transformed the payment market. Speeding up our advancement towards becoming a cashless society, IoT has helped the global mobile payment segment reach a ginormous growth rate of over $600B by 2017.
The Internet of Things (IoT) may often seem surreal but is in fact, a prime example of superhuman capability to transform this world we live in. From healthcare to education to a transformed industrial landscape to smart homes to smart offices, to even smarter cities; IoT is an equation built with elements designed to make the future a place to look forward to!