Category: Technology

The Internet of Things is changing our world

 

“If you think that the internet has changed your life, think again. The IoT is about to change it all over again!” — Brendan O’Brien

A quick explanation: The Internet of Things, or IOT, refers to things connected to the internet, laptops, I-pads, cell phones, cars, appliances, even cities. It enables things to collect and exchange data, with or without a human involved.

A typical morning with the IoT might soon be something like this. Your alarm goes off at six am. The alarm clock starts the coffee maker. You put bread in the toaster for breakfast. When the toast is ready, the toaster notifies your cell phone. Your refrigerator emails you a grocery list. After you leave the house, the furnace turns the heat down in your home. Traffic is slow on yourdrive to work and your car notifies your office you might be late. The city’s smart grid takes note of the traffic problem and changes the sequence of traffic lights to speed traffic. You are in a driverless car so on your way to the office you work online. This may sound like a fantasy but all these things are possible now, though driverless cars are still in the testing phase.

The internet of things is also changing almost every business, from farming to manufacturing, to retail, to public works and pipelines. According to Vivek Ramadas, the Meteorological Department will coordinate with the agricultural ministry, which in turn will be able to talk to a farmer’s smartwatch advising him on the best-suited crop. Weather warnings might be issued through the smartwatch too. Manufacturing plants connected to the IoT keep track of production and order supplies when needed. IoT monitors the machinery and sends a notice to do preventative maintenance before there is a breakdown. The plants will keep track of people on the shop floor. The items produced at an IoT connected plant can be traced from manufacture to sale and beyond. Shipping and delivery companies can follow their trucks around a city and the country.

The IoT has a huge impact on retail sales and marketing. IoT allows you communicate with customers by displaying ads tailored to a customer’s interests and accept payment for merchandise from a mobile wallet. With IoT you know when and how often a customer shops at your store. If you have a customer loyalty program, you no longer need to stamp cards. IoT can tell you which displays draw customers, and how long they stay at each display. IoT can tell you when an employee enters and leaves your business, no more punching a time clock. You know if youremployee is on the sales floor, at the cash register, or in the stock room. IoT can also notify your employee if someone is waiting for a cashier or to get into a dressing room. If you label yourproducts with an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) label the customer experience is even better. When their selected items are placed on a scanner, their purchase is immediately totaled. Using RFID technology you can track sales and inventory. You will know if an item is in stock, where that item is in your store, and how long it takes something to sell. Disney has RFID-enabled wristbands that provide theme park access, and cash and card-free payment for food and merchandise. Disney tracks that data to build a picture of how guests use Disney services.

IoT connected or “smart” cities can alter traffic patterns when needed, monitor street lights and with IoT connected cameras and pressure sensors in sewers monitor rainwater runoff and breaks in the sewage system. By using the same technology used to monitor sewers, private companies can monitor isolated gas and oil pipelines.

All these things from manufacturing plants, to retail stores, to city functions are all monitored remotely, but they are not in the remote future. The Internet of Things is changing our world. Contact us, we will help you step into the future now.

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