Many decades ago, something which seems impossible and unsound has becomes real now. We are referring to the Internet of Things which has received pretty much hype for the past few years; nevertheless the true potential values of the Internet of Things are yet to be fully explored and utilised. Before we explore further on the Internet of Things and its applications in our current society, let us go to the basic question of “What is the Internet of Things”. The Internet of Things is the network of interconnected things or devices embedded with sensors, software and network connectivity with capability of collecting and exchanging data without human-human or human-computer interaction. The Internet of Things is set to disrupt the way we live and work; notably in the years to come while we are facing the Covid-19 and the Post Covid-19. The Internet of Things is setting our lives and works to be smarter and autonomous. Let us focus on the top 3 popular IoT applications and explore the real case of IoT with its implications in our daily live.
Imagine a home filled with connected products which can communicate with each other making them responsive; enabling us to live a much convenient, easy and comfortable home. You can adjust the temperature of your home air-conditioner with your smartphone from the moment you leave your office. You can instruct your cooker to start boiling soup and cook rice while you are leaving your office to ensure you have dinner ready once reach home; all these activities are execute with your smartphone. You can opt for the lighting of your home to be adjusted based on the dimness of any particular areas within your house compound. We are able to enjoy such easy, convenient and comfortable live with the Internet of Things applications; enabling us to focus on more important tasks at home such as spending more quality times with our family members and also focusing more on self-enrichment activities.
Let us check out one of the famous smart home device called Nest Learning Thermostat, which is a self-learning program thermostat. Nest Learning Thermostat has the self-learning capability to study your behavioural pattern of usage couple with your desired temperature for certain days and time of the week, and building a self-maintained schedule within a week for any of your heating and ventilated air conditioner. You will be able to have the desired temperature for your shower heater without adjusting it manually and also enjoying the desired coolness within your room with this smart thermostat. Nest Learning Thermostat could also indicate to you the duration of time for you to reach your desired temperature. All these convenience and energy saving features offered by Nest Learning Thermostat are done possibly by the usage of far-field sensor.
It is worth mentioning that the usage of IoT sensor for temperature monitoring serves as one of the main enablers in Smart Home setting. Nevertheless temperature monitoring capability by IoT sensor has gradually gained popularity in the Business-to-Business (B2B) ecosystem such as Food & Beverage sector.
(Please do Watch Out for our next sharing of IoT in Food & Beverage industry).
Connected wearables are predominantly use for personal capacity in the IoT application. In the early days of IoT wearables, this technology has been focusing in the sports and healthcare professionals. It evolved from the idea of tracking personal vital statistics coupled with their body performance data to monitor the fitness and health condition of an individual. In the latest development of IoT wearables, this technology is gaining momentum in other fields such as retail, manufacturing, entertainment and leisure activities.
Imagine how lives could be saved with the usage of wearable thermometer been applied on new-born babies and post-operation patients. The wearable thermometer with its IoT enabled sensor can monitor the temperature of the patient periodically without any human inference, constantly collecting data of the patient’s health condition and sending instant notification to the care providers if such emergency situation is identified. Therefore the wearable thermometer acts as a life saver device which could be critical for the new-born babies and post-operation patients who are very sensible to temperature changes. This technology development is vital for the healthcare industry.
A point to ponder: Could more lives been saved if the wearable thermometer has been vastly use by the general public in this pandemic Covid-19?
One of the latest IoT wearable developments which worth mentioning; Toyota is developing a wearable device to improve the mobility of visually impaired people. This wearable device is to be worn over the shoulders. The mechanism behind this device are cameras within the device which detects the surrounding and identify the signs. The wearer of this device able to receive feedback in regards to the objects in front of them by sending noise and vibration input. Hence it serves as a navigation tool for the visually impaired people. The development of IoT wearable device by Toyota for the visually impaired people has proven that technological development of IoT is beneficial for the minority of the society too.
- Smart City
Smart cities are the cities which utilise the Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as interconnected sensors, lights and meters for the collection data and data analysis. Subsequently the cities will utilise the information from the data analysis to improve the well-being of the cities and the citizens in the following key areas:
- Smart Infrastructure
- Cities must set the conditions for continuous development and sustainable urbanization through a more efficient planning of infrastructure and buildings. Internet of Things (IoT) plays a vital role in creating the conditions conducive for the development and sustainability of smart cities. In one of the targeted area for sustainability, CO2 emissions must be maintained at a minimal rate while urbanization process happens rapidly. Therefore cities need to consider investing in electric car and autonomous driving vehicles. Hence IoT devices such as interconnected sensors play a crucial role of implementing autonomous driving vehicles for private and public use.
- Smart Traffic Management
- Cities with rapid urbanization process need to implement an intelligent traffic control in ensuring efficient flow of vehicles within the cities. There has been development of smart traffic lights which operate based on the traffic volume of the respective area. The main mechanism behind this development of smart traffic light is the embedded sensors in the pavements which are capable of sending real-time of traffic flow to a central traffic management system. The central traffic management system will analyse the data from all the interconnected sensors and adjust the traffic light autonomously according to the traffic situation within seconds.
- Smart Waste Management
- The efficiency of waste collection is critical for cities undergoing rapid urbanization. It creates environmental issues and poses serious health risks to the citizens of the city. For a better efficiency in the waste collection, waste container embedded with IoT sensors is capable of detecting a certain threshold and send signal to the local waste management system. Hence the system is able to notify and direct the waste collection truck driver to perform emptying of the respective waste container. The system is able to study the behaviour of the citizens in regards to their waste disposal based on the historical data analysis. By doing so, the smart waste management is able to reduce the operational costs of waste collection and future planning of waste disposal yard needed.
Singapore is best exemplified as the Smart City of Southeast Asia region for its adoption of the world’s first driverless taxi system. The autonomous vehicle technology is estimated to reduce deaths from motor vehicle crashes, savings in fuel consumption and reduction in CO2 emission. It is estimated by a report from Mckinsey; 30K- 150K of lives could be saved each year by 2025 with the adoption of autonomous vehicle.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming our homes, workplaces and also our nation as a whole.
Everything that can be automated will be automated.Robert Cannon