The Internet of Things (IoT) technology is changing the way business and individuals live and work in their daily lives. Today, industrial operations, manufacturing units, healthcare centers, government offices, educational institutes, and businesses the world over are able to gather and organize data from diverse sources. They can analyze it, make predictions, and perform modeling – all in real time.
We are headed towards a data-frenzied era, where data, once it is available in cyberspace, will become a source of analysis for anyone. Is that globally beneficial or is that too dangerous? As this Cognizant Report likes to warn the readers, that although unstoppable telecommunications networks have provided a “tremendous opportunity” to drive innovation in product development, to reduce operational costs while maximizing revenue, the stumbling blocks have to be removed.
Right now, even with many IoT use cases running successfully, businesses have to deal with IT standards, Data Management limitations, infrastructure limitations, and skills shortages.
The Internet of Things has been described as a vast, emerging network of “IP-connected devices,” which working together, can deliver massive business benefits in the coming years. From optimizing asset management to tracking and repairing industrial machines in real time, this superb technology promises to bring a future of efficient business management across the globe.
However, one has to recognize that IoT’s future success is largely dependent on the further growth and development of allied technologies such as the Cloud, Big Data, and Machine Learning, to name a few because these technologies work in tandem to deliver business solutions.
Internet of Things Applications Used Right Now
In the world of IoT, data happens outside the data center because the internet has tons of connected devices gathering data in real time. The The Future of IoT: On the Edge is still a thing of the future as these devices themselves do not have the storage or computing powers of large machines in data centers.
In Operations and Manufacturing, IoT platforms are enabling inventory or material tracking, single-point asset control, real-time asset monitoring, and unified operational intelligence. As an example, GE’s Grove City manufacturing unit has implemented IoT networks in their locomotive remanufacturing plant for enhanced manufacturing efficiency.
In Service and Support, IoT devices are used for predictive monitoring and timely support services.
In Information and Operational Technology, IoT devices are used for connecting diverse types of third-party technology platforms like device Clouds, networks, and open APIs.
In customer management, IoT devices are used for product customization, usage and performance tracking, remote operations, and customer self service. Sysmex, a provider of medical devices and software applications, uses an IoT platform to monitor usage and performance data to further optimize customers.
From the IoT use cases just described, the post now moves to discuss the ten use cases that have stunned the world with their potentials to benefit the future generations of humanity.
Nine Beneficial IoT Use Cases
It is true; IoT is Everywhere! The new world of smart gadgets and apps is quite thrilling; and for the first time, technology has attracted the attention of the widest human population, regardless of age or gender. 10 Real World Applications of Internet of Things (IoT) – Explained in Videos offers some fascinating video clips of IoT use cases – the applications as they happen. These resources clearly indicate that currently, IoT has stormed the following application areas with doors opening up for more applications in future.
- Connected healthcare platforms and smart medical apps.
- Smart Cities equipped with self-driving transport, smart energy management, intelligent security systems, and automated environmental monitoring.
- Smart homes and buildings equipped with connected devices. The Ayla Agile IoT platform is designed to reduce time to market for secure and scalable home products.
- Wearables like the Myo gesture control, or LookSee bracelet have started aiding the daily lives of individuals.
- The Industrial Internet, which according to Gartner, has the highest potential for commercial success.
- Smart farming with the entry of monitored farming devices like sensors to determine soil moisture levels for enhanced irrigation systems.
- Connected vehicles with remotely monitored engine diagnostics or infotainment systems.
- Industrial safety, where natural disasters like floods are easily detected in high-risk areas to prevent damages to valuable assets.
- In Supply Chain, inexpensive and low-power IoT devices track the location of supplies.
For more information on IoT Data Analytics, the article titled The 10 most popular Internet of Things applications right now talks about how Real-Time Analytics has strengthened the above application areas. Also, review these IoT use cases from Kaa to get a first look at “IoT in Action” in production processes.
In terms of the Smart Industrial IoT, look at the IBM blog post titled The Top 5 Industrial IoT Use Cases. According to this post, Infosys and the Institute for Industrial Management at Aachen University conducted a joint study to explore the global awareness of smart asset management in manufacturing, and the study revealed that currently, though 85 percent of manufacturing operations are concerned about asset management best practices, only 15 percent of the surveyed operations have implemented best practice measures. Smart meters provide one way for manufacturing operations to track, monitor, and manage their energy resources.
The Jewel in the Crown: Internet of Things in Healthcare
If there is one IoT use case that is really working to benefit much of the global population, that is the healthcare industry applications. Years ago, telemetry became popular in healthcare for medical data collection for better treatment outcomes.
Another big IoT devices market in healthcare is Eldercare, which is deployed to track and monitor elderly patients. In the field of medical apps, stringent regulations has somewhat slowed down the rate of innovation. Due to regulations, medical centers are cautious about using IoT technologies that are not vetted though WiFi has gained considerable acclaim among the medical fraternity.
Much investments and research efforts have recently been put in medical apps development, and we may see the fruits of such labor in the next few years. Get more details in the article titled How IoT Medical Devices Are Changing Health Care Today.
In a consumer-driven healthcare market, the presence of IoT apps can enhance personalized healthcare with improved patient involvement, which can potentially increase the market value of healthcare providers.
Patient-Generated Data or PGD, as described in the article No Appointment Necessary: How the IoT and Patient-Generated Data can Unlock Health Care Value, can substantially enhance diagnosis, disease management, and treatment processes. With such massive data at hand, healthcare providers can detect and prepare treatment plans for patients at risk of specific health conditions.
The Health eHeart study at the University of California San Francisco is utilizing PGD to understand heart diseases and discover methods to predict heart conditions. The goal of PGD is not only to enable improved treatments, but also to foster closer engagement between the healthcare provider and the patient for collaborative decision making. Readers will information about other IoT use cases in hospitals in the article titled IoT for Healthcare: Three Use Cases.
Where is Internet of Things Heading in the Future?
Can you envision a future where our lives are completely controlled by a network of connected devices rendering instant access to “data” and “insights” that aid decision making? In another 5-10 years the telecommunications infrastructure can make that happen. Our lives will evolve from data-driven to become informed-decision driven.
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