What if your refrigerator complained about how its condenser has gone bad, or your TV telling you that it is time you changed remote control batteries? You probably won’t believe it if we told you that. At least not today. In a few years, maybe you will, because the concept of IoT is taking spawning faster than ever.
So when we say IoT, we mean Internet of Things, which is still not quite self-explanatory, despite all the hint in its name. So let us discuss at what exactly Internet of Things is.
“Internet of Things is the Future”
Internet of Things is a network of physical devices like refrigerators, TV, traffic signals, mobile phones etc., which transmit data over a period of time with the help of sensors, software and electronic chips. The data collected from the IoT devices is then processed and used in purposes that may individually or cumulatively be used to fabricate custom experiences for everyone.
Working of IoT – Explained with an example
Let us say you broke a tray in your refrigerator, which is equipped with IoT sensors and electronic chips. Now your usual reaction would be outright panicky, but then this refrigerator is smarter than you. It will initiate an autonomous sequence, which is the fastest way of resolving the issue here. Let’s take a look at the sample sequence here.
The IoT sensors will sense the broken part, generate the data and send it to data centre where it can be analysed and processed. Now this processed data will be used in two ways: For the consumer and for the manufacturer.
For the consumer, the processed data is going to be used for support purpose. Since the IoT network has been notified about the refrigerator’s condition, the service agencies with IoT integration would also be notified about the same. In response to that, the service agencies would send you service suggestions, price estimate, availability of the part and whatever information would be relevant for you, on your smartphone probably through a mobile app, since it is also integrated with the network. From here, you can choose whatever deal seems the most feasible to you. So, let’s say you went with agency A. Your smartphone will register a request with Agency A and show you payment options for the purchase. Once the transaction completes, your smartphone will receive notifications regarding date of delivery of the part, its price, billing information etc., and in due time, you will receive the part.
For the manufacturer, the processed data has a much bigger function. As the manufacturer’s system would receive information from you and many others like you, it will tally its inventory to check whether the parts are in surplus or not. If not, it will update its inventory. Also, if many complaints are received for the same part, the manufacturer would try to track the origin of the issue, which is probably in the manufacturing process of that particular part. Once the problem is identified, the IoT network will notify the manufacturer to call off all the faulty devices from the market shelves or households, before they cause any trouble. This helps the company render better satisfaction among the customers, maintain inventory surplus and much more.
Applications of IoT
Applications of IoT are numerous for the simple fact that it is part of the digital spectrum of technologies that we come across every day; however, of a much bigger magnitude. Also because the basic underlying technology in IoT is connectivity, IoT devices can be integrated with almost anything that is electrically powered. Although most of the mobile app developers and innovators are looking for ways for mainstream integration of IoT with smart as well as the existing devices, IoT is already being widely used in some of the major technological areas.
In Medicine and Healthcare, IoT along with Artificial Intelligence, is already being used for maintaining drugs surplus and patient-specific services. According to a survey, more than 65% of enterprises are already using IoT to handle their operations and supply chain management.
In the field of fitness, IoT integration is relatively a new trend, but is being explored in numerous ways such as heartrate-based health suggestions, instant health reports, effective monitoring of patients. According to a survey, IoT in Healthcare is going to grow up to $117 million by 2020.
Other than these, the biggest application of IoT is being predicted to be in service sector. As the service sector relies heavily on data and customer information, IoT is going to automate pesky, time-taking processes like shuffling through the records for a particular piece of information, placing serving requests based on data collected, synchronizing the database within the sector and more. However, AI also plays an important role in the automation of service sector, as a lot of ‘when, how and what’ is involved in the processes.