As a brief summary, the Internet of Things is a giant network of connected devices and people that can fill multiple needs through collecting as well as sharing data.
The short form, IoT, commonly refers to devices that generally wouldn’t be expected to have an internet connection but still communicate throughout a network, without any human input.
Examples include smart TV’s, self-driving cars, fitness devices, and so much more. As a matter of fact, there are more IoT devices than people in the world, and this gap is only expected to grow larger as technology continues to advance.
The utilization of IoT devices applies to a wide variety of potential processes and outcomes. Below outlines a few of the many benefits IoT has on different business verticals and applications.
It is often a challenge for companies to accurately track and predict product demand. Incorrect analysis of your supply chain can incur avoidable costs that come with mistakes like over-supply and under-supply. Through the implementation of IoT devices, members of the supply chain can track and share all sorts of data.
For example, manufacturers can add sensors to their products that generate data to increase efficiency in their processes. Manufacturers can use this data to analyze production quantity, mitigate product malfunction, and identify areas of improvement that are lacking proper performance.
On top of that, IoT can improve other components of the supply chain process as well, such as transportation. This does not apply solely to the tracking of products, but also other inefficiencies in the way we utilize transportation.
For example, IoT can use smart grids that will contribute to processes such as freight monitoring and fleet management. A combination of product sensors, wireless networks, and big data analytics can streamline avoidable costs and unproductive processes in order to better the flow within a supply chain.
There is an abundance of IoT devices that can increase the convenience of one’s personal life at home. One of the biggest trends as of late has been the introduction of smart speakers, such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home. Smart speakers make it easier to acquire information, set timers, organize your day, and so much more.
A connected IoT device of this sort can organize your day according to a number of factors such as weather delays, traffic, travel distance, and typical routines.
For example, a smart speaker may change the alarm of a set routine in order to account for serious traffic caused by poor weather. We have just scratched the surface of the smart home industry with many more applications up and coming, such as smart plugs, lightbulbs, fridges, thermostats, and more.
All in all, these applications can actually help you save costs by providing you with the necessary data to mitigate inefficiencies.
Big Data and Artificial Intelligence
IoT devices have the capability to generate, store and share large amounts of various data. They provide companies and IoT users with vast data sets that contribute to big data analytics projects. Previously in this article, manufacturers were mentioned as a beneficiary of IoT devices.
Through big data analytics, manufacturers can acquire the necessary information for their products, the specific components of their products, and identify areas of improvement.
On top of that, artificial intelligence is being utilized in collaboration with IoT devices. AI can be used as a predictive analytics tool to assist companies in becoming more efficient within their business operations. For example, Google uses AI to provide the best solutions to energy consumption.
They utilize data gathered from thousands of IoT devices and sensors to predict the effects and outcomes of different approaches to future energy consumption. The application of AI in conjunction with IoT sensors has the potential to be beneficiary in numerous industries.
While there are still concerns regarding the privacy of utilizing IoT devices, the collaborative data network it provides proves to have many benefits as well.
If society can move towards finding a balance between the limits of IoT and it’s security reliability, we can expect continuous innovation stemming from this technology.