Some Real World Applications Of IoT

IoT Connected Devices
IoT Connected Devices

IoT has been brewing a storm. Recent revelations in IoT are breaking down one of the differences that set humans apart from non-living things- communication among themselves. The idea of interconnected devices is where the devices are ‘smart’ enough to share relevant information not only with us but also cloud based applications and finally to each other (from IoT enabled devices to others).

Smart devices are nothing but IoT connected devices that are designed so as to capture and utilise every bit of data that you can share and use in day-to-day lives. All of these interconnected devices use the data to interact and make decisions to help complete tasks which are keeping human interests in mind.

Here we will be looking at some of the real world applications of IoT. Read on…

  • Smart Everything!

No need for you to walk all the way to the fan regulator or the A/C remote- IoT connected devices will read your location and set the room to the optimum temperature and humidity by the time you reach home. Are you out and need to allow access to your friend, but only you have the keys? You can grant a temporary pass that will enable your friend or guest to make themselves comfortable at your home until you arrive. IoT makes things a lot more convenient and simple.

Smart homes are promised to reduce the expenses and save you time and money.

  • Wearables

These have been in the news and the market for quite some time now- wrist bands to fitness trackers. Google to Samsung has all made headway in this field.

Wearables include sensors that read information and then use the collected information and data to give suitable results/ insights to the users. There are fitness wearables that will read your calories burnt, distance covered, heart rate, blood pressure and so on.

There are entertainment wearables such as smartwatches that will enable you to answer calls and read messages with your phone lying in the other room- Highly efficient, low-powered and small.

  • Energy Management

Power grids will be smart and reliable. The basic idea behind one is that it collects data and information in an automated and pre-programmed fashion- this is to read and analyse the behavior of electricity consumers and suppliers. This data can then be used to improve the efficiency as well as the economics of energy usage.

Smart grids will be able to detect the cause and location of a power outage and even redistribute the power to ensure that the flow of energy is not hindered at any cost.

Why The IoT Matters Today?

IoT Enabled Devices
IoT Enabled Devices

In today’s world we live in, the number of IoT enabled devices are more than the number of humans walking the planet. It enables sending, receiving, and taking actions on the data shared between devices. Therefore, it becomes important to be updated with the concept of IoT. Let us take it from the start, here we go!

The Internet Of Things

IoT or The Internet of Things implies a wide variety of things or devices that are connected with the internet. It facilitates data sharing between the things or the devices connected to the internet. Things or devices mentioned here can be IoT enabled devices, IoT applications, industrial machines, and more. With the help of the built-in sensors, the devices can exchange data and thereby improve our work environment.

History Of IoT

The term Internet of Things owes its existence to an entrepreneur Kevin Ashton. He coined this name in a presentation he held in the year 1999 and the name has stayed intact ever since. He may have given a name to it, however, the concept of many devices being connected and exchanging data has been in practice since the late 1830s.

Users Of IoT

For the sake of convenience, I have grouped the users into industries. So, let us look at some of the industries that are making the best use of IoT products.

Retail Industry

The retail industry derives benefits from IoT by uniting the data from the various analytics as well as marketing processes from different locations. With the help of the digital channels, they capture the data and apply the analytics to it. This helps them understand the behavioral patterns of their customers and also their preferences. 

Manufacturing Industry

With the use of IoT products, the manufacturing industry can connect will all of the stages of manufacturing. This facilitates in getting a cohesive view of the product data, production as well as the processing.

Health Care Industry

With the use of IoT devices like wearables, doctors can monitor their patient’s exercise patterns, sleep habits, and other related habits, etc. The data so collected can be used to provide precise treatment plans and diagnoses. 

Logistics And Transportation Industry

The use of IoT technology in the logistics and transportation industry enables greater efficiency, improved service delivery, and boosted customer satisfaction, etc.

In addition to the already discussed industries, the energy industry and Government can also reap the benefits of the IoT products.

IoT In The Health Industry – The Pros And The Cons

With the world changing right before our eyes, there is a reason not only to update our cell phone but ourselves as well. The one term that is making headlines all over in the past couple of years has been IoT. So what is it, and how does it especially help us in the health care industry? Let’s find out…

What Is IoT?

IoT or Internet of Things, is definitely the next big thing that involves the internet. In the broadest sense of the term, IoT incorporates everything under the sun that is connected to the internet. What this helps in achieving is devices connected to the internet to “talk” to one another. Now as a terminator fanatic, you may say this is the perfect recipe for creating Skynet. But fret not, we’re far from that. So what are the implications of this? Imagine your fridge which is constantly keeping stock of your groceries finds that you are low on eggs. Now when you head down to the supermarket to shop next time, your fridge will update your shopping list that you can view on your phone and remind you to get a batch of eggs. How efficient is that?!

By combining the many IoT enabled devices with automated systems, it is possible to collect information regarding specific parameters, analyse and study it, and then finally conduct an action based on the findings. Now what if you needn’t even go to the supermarket and your fridge sends an order to have eggs delivered by the time you get home from work on a weekday? You will have free time on the weekends and there is no need to put yourself through the pain of going to the market. I hope you see the possibilities that the future of internet of things now holds…

So What About IoT In The Healthcare Industry?

There is a play on words when IoT is implemented in the healthcare field, and is called IoMT or Internet of Medical Things. Now that you got a sense of how IoT could help monitor the eggs in your fridge, you can come close to fathoming the effect it could have on the health industry! As a matter of fact IoMT is already being used, and is already on the journey to deliver better services and medical care to more people. With the power of IoMT, the place of care need not just be the four walls of the local hospital! Health care is accessible when you want it! But is the picture painted as rosy as it seems? Let us look at it from both sides…

The Pros

IoMT can be implemented in wearable technology such as wrist bands that can give real-time feedback such heart rate and can alert those who are experiencing atrial fibrillations. Hell even wearable ECG monitors are available for doctors to wear, that will send electrocardiogram readings of the patient.

  • Perfect For Caregivers

IoMT can be a boon for those who are caregivers to parents and don’t live nearby or have a hectic work schedule. It helps them set appointments and keep a watch over the process.

  • Helps Save Life And Your Wallet

There are those who have chronic illnesses and have to bear with high costs due to the medical care. This cost comes in the form of rehospitalisation, time off work and to travel to and from the hospital. This takes not only a physical but a mental toll as well. Having IoMT technology helps bring the care to the patients. They can remotely check-in with the doctor, ask any question pertaining to their condition, and conduct simple tests that doesn’t require them to be physically at the hospital/clinic.

  • Helps Keep An Eye On Them

IoMT helps keep a watchful eye on the patient. Caregivers or family can now see if they miss a dosage, or require a refill with connected caps of medicine bottles. The connected device can then send an alert, notifying them of the shortage.

Pros Cons
Perfect for caregivers Secure but not safe
Helps reduce expenses Privacy
Helps with compliance Could be a health hazard

The Cons

  • Secure Is Not Always Safe

New aspects of the IoMT technology involve ingestible pill that include connected devices. This has been tried on a controlled group of cancer patients. The chemotherapy pill will allow for a third party such as a doctor to see if the patients don’t miss their dose and that they take their medicine when they’re supposed to. The problem lies when others can hack and pull out the information broadcasted by the connected devices. This brings us to the next point…

  • Privacy

What if somebody can use the information against you? What if there is an important figure or personality that is making use of this IoMT technology, and an ill-wisher somehow manages to get their hands on the information relating to their health? Or, what if the data from the device is erased or changed? What happens if the device malfunctions endangering the patient?

  • Could Be A Health Hazard

Connected devices can malfunction, fatally harming the user. This would be a law suit that any manufacturer of IoMT enabled devices would not want to be a part of.

What Is IoT And How Can It Help An Ecommerce Business?

I must say, what an exciting time to be alive! To be part of this fast paced digital age, where billions of devices from smartphones to computer to virtual assistants AI technology, all communicate and “talk” to one another. In this ever evolving digital sphere, those who can make use and adapt to learn this attribute can reap unimaginable for their businesses! Are you someone puzzled with queries relating to how this integrated technology can energise your e-commerce business? Then read on!

What Is IoT?

Internet of things (IoT) is a unique system of interconnected computers, mechanical devices and digital machines which enables them to transfer data amongst themselves without the need of a “human touch”.

Want it simplified? Imagine your alarm clock, knowing the path and location to your office, computed the traffic conditions, estimated your arrival time and woke you up accordingly! Less traffic on the road, and more sleep! Crazy to think but that is what IoT is!

How Is It Linked To E-Commerce?

IoT (Internet of things) and ecommerce are cut from the same piece of cloth. Or more so ecommerce is born from IoT. Simply put IoT is sharing of data between devices over the internet, and when this logic is applied to transactions, it becomes E-commerce!

Today’s lifestyle very much supplemented the growth and popularity of the duo. With online shopping, and social interaction through social networking sites so on and so forth. The online space is where who can conjure a profitable business for this new band of customer base.

How Has IoT Evolved The Field Of E-Commerce?

  • Security And Surveillance

IoT advancements help you to maintain the inventory records by incorporating sensors enabled with IoT. This allows for data capture and analysis of it, in a real-time basis. These IoT enabled devices can take in all the critical data pertaining to a product without needing any human presence. Because of this, it factors out any human errors that may dissatisfy your potential buyers on things like expiration dates, product availability and many more aspects. If the inventory for a particular product is falling short, IoT will inform the required to the person before the stock runs dry!

  • Real-Time Tracking

A very important part of logistics is to ensure that the product is delivered to the customer intact and in the way it was supposed to be. Apart from these, the delivery time and quality of perishable goods are also to be considered when delivering. All this can be solved by IoT sensors that track the product right from the beginning to the very end, until it’s delivered. This eliminates the problems relating to misplacement and quality as the shortest route is computed using GPS (Global positioning system) and RFID tags (Radio frequency identification).

  • Bringing In The Customers

Another aspect of IoT is that it helps your customers to put forward their thoughts on the product. This is crucial as this helps you amend and improve facets of your product. What’s more, IoT targets your specific customer for an ad that is more or less personalized. It closely studies your customer’s browsing history, their shopping patterns and allows your product to reach your target audience.

This in essence helps increase the conversion rate!

  • Helps Make The Best Of Things

IoT helps to optimize and improve the productivity of your e-commerce business. This helps reduce wasteful expenses. Sensors integrated with IoT monitors many factors that can affect your products quality such as the humidity, temperature and so on. Several other functions such as the transport of the order within the warehouse, the product stocks, the pick-up times etc. Have a look at the tech retailer giant, Alibaba making use of Cainio’s IoT worker robots in their warehouses to move and segregate various sorts of goods. These robots self-charge when they feel they’re on the low. The result is that human labour has reduced by 70% and the output increased three folds!

What Can I Expect From The Future Of Internet Of Things?

IoT Is making leaps and bounds sprouting new advancements every other year. IoT takes in enormous amount of data from various platforms. Companies like Alibaba and Amazon leverage the power of machine learning and big data analysis to collect data. This data is then used for pattern recognition, predictions and allow for attracting more qualified and interested leads.

The future can expect improved quality management, tracking, planning which will help set a business apart and also cut down on its useless costs. With more and more e-commerce businesses sprouting it is expected that IoT will help around 70% of them globally, to help them create better shopping experiences for consumers.

The Epilogue

The possibilities are endless and technology is limitless. Only time will tell, what challenges lies ahead for IoT to eventually take on and win!

Key Tips for Imparting Security for Internet of Things

IoT Enabled Devices
IoT Enabled Devices

Technology is bringing in various advancements each day, and it has resulted in the popular assumption that around 6.4 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices would be in use in the coming years, which is an increase by thirty percent from the year 2015. However, all these advanced technologies are also bringing in a lot of potential threats for security such as malware and hacking. 

It is for this reason, boosting the safety and security of IoT is given a lot of importance regardless of the number of devices you use it on. Here are some of the top tips that are beneficial for you to safeguard your IoT devices. 

Have a Clear Knowledge about the Connection 

The most important thing to know before making the device you use secure is knowing the elements that are vulnerable to attacks. The average home is assumed to have four to five connected devices apart from smartphones, computers, and tablets. The connected devices of your home can mostly include media players, game consoles, and any other device that has a camera or a microphone. It is important to note all these devices and confirm the information each of those devices has access to. 

Protect all Devices and Accounts in it Using Passwords 

One of the most crucial things that have to be kept in mind and made into practice is to protect all the devices that are managed using a web-based account using a strong username and password. The password should include a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers. Also, keep in mind to never use the same password for many accounts as a hacker would have wider access to those devices if it is done otherwise. 

Avoid the Use of Insecure Internet Connections 

Always keep in mind to not use Wi-Fi connections that are not protected with passwords, especially when you try to access the web on your devices like tablets or smartphones from remote places as insecure connections are one of the major threats that make your devices easy to hack. Also, make sure to set strong passwords for your Wi-Fi connections and router and also to update them regularly as it can improve the security of your network. 

Secure your Smartphone 

In the case of misplacing or losing your phone, a hacker can easily access your personal information saved on your device. Hence it is always better to make use of mobile security programs that allow you to back up all the data on your device to an online account. It also helps in tracking the location of your device when it is lost, and remotely lock and clean your phone’s memory. A PIN or password set on your device can provide you with an added layer of protection. 

Always Create a Separate Network for your Device 

Several routers are used for the setting up of multiple networks. Turning to the manual of your router can help you to create separate networks for your IoT-based devices. As you segment your network more, it would be very hard for hackers to get access to all your devices and the information saved in them. 

Install a Firewall on your Devices 

The firewalls on your devices prevent common threats like viruses, hackers, and worms from attacking your device over the web as the deny access to unauthorized traffic. Many computer systems offer a default firewall, and this is enough for most of the users. Installing a firewall on your device can act as extra protection as it offers more security functions that satisfy the needs of the users. Configuring a hardware firewall is also a good idea to get wider defense for your networks. 

Update the Security Patches Soon 

All smart devices release system updates regularly to address the flaws relating to security and issues of the users. Always make it a habit to install system updates soon after they are available to you as it can make your device stay more protected. Periodical checking on the website of the device’s manufacturer can be helpful to have an idea about the release of the next updates and other announcements related to security. Also, many devices have settings that allow automatic installation of the latest updates. 

Keep the Devices Disconnected when they are not in Use

Always turn off your devices when they are not used, especially the ones that are equipped with video cameras and microphones. Even when there are a lot of connected devices like thermostats that need constant connection with the web, there are many other devices that do not require a connection. Keep note of those devices to turn them off when they are not in use. You can prevent a hacker connecting to your audio and video streams by disconnecting the connections when you can. 

IoT Will Become More Mainstream in the Future

IoT Enabled Devices

Internet of things (IoT) is a system of interrelated objects, computing devices, mechanical and digital machines that are provided with unique identifiers. In other words, it is the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.

For instance, your apple watch is a part of IoT. The whole city of Barcelona is composed of IoT enabled devices. Over the last years, IoT has lead to many changes in the world and by 2020 there will be 31 billion devices associated with the Internet of Things.

IoT Devices

Now you might have got a general idea of what IoT products are — you’re right now using one to peruse this article. PCs and phones just make up a small part of IoT. IoT gadgets include whatever that can interface with the web to send and receive information. There are IoT coffee machines that can send warnings when you’re running out of coffee. IoT beds can control your sleep and balance the temperature to optimize your sleeping pattern. More practical applications of IoT include connected autos that can drive and renew themselves.

Stores like Macy’s are utilizing iBeacons to send clients rewards and greetings on Black Friday. Beacons are small Bluetooth transmitters that can interface with applications associated with gadgets like iPhones or iPads. This technology allows businesses to communicate with their clients and enable to contact them wherever they are.

IoT Platform

The associated devices themselves form only 50% of the IoT equation. To make an IoT gadget work, you should need an IoT platform. IoT platforms enable designers to deal with the applications they created, to store, share and analyze information. Consider the iOS and Android stages. iOS and Android platforms enable engineers to make applications quicker and for much less cost. Unlike smartphone applications, engineers can browse many IoT platforms. Google, Amazon, and IBM are a couple of the significant platform suppliers.

These IoT gadgets and stages around us achieve a variety of tasks. As per Forbes, 84% of the developing IoT applications will be ruled by few ventures: Industrial IoT (24%), Smart Cities (26%), Smart Homes (14%), and Connected Health (20%).

From the above discussion, it should be clear that the future will be filled with IoT devices. It is a growing technology that can bring drastic changes to the way we interact with each other and control day to day activities.