According to experts, the ” Internet of Things ” may soon radically change the interaction between man and machine, as well as cause the fourth industrial revolution. We understood what this trend was and how it was used for the benefit of society.
What is IoT?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a world wide web of interconnected machines and other physical objects, through which information can be exchanged without human intervention. Gadgets connect to the Internet, broadcast basic data to the “cloud”, from where other items equipped with receiving sensors can collect this information and use it to simplify multi-step tasks.
For example, in European countries it is no longer necessary to spend hours turning around the parking lot looking for free places – the status of the lane is automatically displayed by the scoreboard placed above it. The driver just needs to make a choice where it is more convenient for him to leave the car.
Thanks to the Internet of Things, using a smartphone, you can turn on and off the home alarm, as well as configure the climate system via the Internet. Or find out on the way home by the fridge what to buy for a delicious dinner. Even homemade coffee makers, which will prepare a drink for you at a specific time, are also part of this concept.
What is IoT for?
Previously, IoT technology was used only in the field of “smart home”: to automatically turn on the light at night when a person appears in the room, to trigger an alarm when motion is detected in a closed apartment or to maintain a comfortable temperature in the room. Now, IoT is being used in all industries where process automation is needed.
The new model of human interaction with devices has greatly simplified the process of monitoring soil conditions – there is no need to control the harvest “manually”. Now sensors in the ground record indicators, measuring the amount of moisture and assessing the needs of plants. The drones then transmit the received information to engineers, who can adjust the care of the plants in real time.
What’s more, about 25% of the harvest can be saved thanks to online weather monitoring.
For example, the Netherlands became one of the world leaders in the cultivation of agricultural products and took the 2nd place in the export of seed potatoes thanks to the IoT system.
Smartep allows you to control nutrient solutions, irrigation, climate and other processes in the greenhouse. The developers promise an increase in the harvest for 20-40%, improving product quality, saving on energy resources and full control of production.
Thanks to the Internet of Things, the delivery of any goods from production or from warehouses has become more predictable. Logistics companies can track at what point the car needs to drive up for loading, and the client has the opportunity to observe the movement of his parcel to its destination.
Smart systems also solve the problem of food supply. According to Verizon analysts, up to 50% of the harvested crop does not reach the end consumer. The automation of logistics methods helps to reduce this percentage and improve the quality of transportation.
Walmart, one of the largest international retail chains, with over 10 thousand stores in almost 30 countries, owes much of its success to IoT technologies. Thanks to them, Walmart provides customers with exactly the products they need, which helps to minimize the number of written off and spoiled products.
For example, the introduction of a smart floor system with built-in sensors makes it possible to track the consumer’s journey across the entire market area and analyze which products are of the greatest interest to customers.
Stores without cashiers, augmented reality that allows you to tell more about the product, cameras that recognize customer emotions – all this significantly improves the quality of service.
Medical devices connected to the Internet can collect data, send it to the attending doctor, notify in time about complications and the dates of scheduled tests.
According to Gartner, in 2018 the number of such devices amounted to 347.53 million units, and by 2021 this figure will increase 1.5 times and will approach 505 million units.
In Australia, doctors, based on data from wearable gadgets, can remotely monitor the health of patients and respond in real time. And mobile operator AT&T in the United States has developed a system designed to solve one of the most dangerous problems for older people – unexpected falls.
In Ukraine, new technologies are used no less willingly. So, in 2017, “smart” HeartIn T-shirts appeared with a built-in system that conducts heart diagnostics, including a cardiogram. In real time, the data is transmitted to a program on a smartphone, where a person can assess his condition.
Moreover, in some countries, the medical Internet of Things is supported at the state level. For example, the Korean government is working to make smart devices accessible to older people, and Turkey is implementing IoT-based government-to-business partnerships to combat diabetes.
Planning transport routes based on data on the movement of people around the city, video surveillance, monitoring the water level in reservoirs, noise and pollution sensors make cities more convenient and safer. And the big data collected by the instruments enable the city authorities to better understand the needs of the residents.
The capital of the Chinese province of Ningxia – Yinchuan – is notable for the fact that it is the only city in the world that does not need bank cards, travel cards and, accordingly, cash. Instead, a face. In order to pay for the service, you just need to substitute it under the face recognition system, and the required amount will be automatically debited from your personal account.
To buy products, you no longer need to go to the store – you just need to order them through a mobile application. You also don’t need to wait for courier delivery: having paid for the purchase, you can safely pick up the goods in the nearest refrigerator – a storage room.
All dumpsters are solar powered, and when the tank is full, a signal is sent to the utility and it is removed.
In the local administration building at the entrance, employees were replaced with holograms. Many of the procedures that had to be done before when communicating with officials are now performed online.
This industry is most susceptible to change after the emergence of the IoT, as mobile operators are gradually rethinking their business models – becoming not only network providers, but also providers of “smart” services and applications.
LoRaWAN is a global standard for long distance data transmission, which provides extensive coverage and operates in the unlicensed part of the spectrum – that is, there is no need to obtain permits from the state.
The new technique will allow communication between devices at a distance of up to 15 km with minimal energy consumption. This will help reduce the costs of mobile operators and improve the quality of communication between subscribers.
Internet Of Things Forecasts
The Internet of Things market is currently experiencing a period of rapid growth. Ericsson analysts claim that in 2018 the number of sensors and IoT devices will exceed the number of mobile phones, and smart gadgets will become the largest category of connected devices.
Business Insider estimates that by 2025 there will be more than 55 billion IoT-connected gadgets, while the world’s population will reach only 7.6 billion people, and the total investment in the IoT sphere from 2017 to 2025 will amount to more than $ 15 trillion. – for comparison, the US budget is measured at $ 3 trillion.
IT professionals, in turn, are very concerned about security issues, as there have already been cases of hacking of companies in the United States through coffee machines and aquariums connected to the network. Fortunately, the scammers did not manage to get to the funds.
An equally important discussion is the transfer of information to third parties. So far, the Internet of Things technology does not provide for the protection of personal data, so hypothetically, a killer can hack into your gadgets and, for example, turn off the brakes in your “smart” car or deactivate the alarm in the house and absolutely calmly get inside.
Therefore, in the near future, developers will look for ways to make devices invulnerable from the outside, and we can only wait until the “smart” technologies can fully take root in our society.