In 1999, Kevin Ashton, the executive director of MIT’s Auto-ID Labs, coined the phrase “Internet of Things” (IoT). Since then, IoT applications have evolved to connect physical objects and devices to the internet in order to collect, exchange, analyze and act upon data. At Dusun, we provide IoT gateways to connect IoT devices to the cloud and each other, facilitating data communication. IoT applications can transform our daily lives at home and in business, adding convenience, efficiency and safety. Let’s explore 13 IoT applications that are impacting our world.
1. Smart Homes
Standard homes become smart homes and apartments when they adopt technology (devices) to make everyday tasks easier and more efficient. Smart devices are becoming increasingly ubiquitous; for the period 2022-2029 Data Bridge Market Research forecasts their compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.80% with a market value of $680.9 million. Access to smart home applications (SMAs) on computers, smartphones or tablets provides remote control and monitoring of devices for the following:
- Security Systems: Control door locks, view outdoor cameras, and open and close gates and garage doors.
- Indoor Environment: Monitor and control the thermostat, humidity and air conditioning.
- Disaster Control: Fire, smoke, carbon dioxide and flood detectors.
- Smart Appliances: Switch on and off and control the furnace, air conditioner, oven, microwave, refrigerator and coffee machines.
- Utilities: Monitor electricity and gas usage to improve energy efficiency.
- Lighting: Optimize lighting ambiance through voice controls and/or proximity controls.
- Entertainment: Smart TV, game consoles and stereos.
2. Smart Cities
Smart cities have fully integrated, citywide IoT applications to manage the efficient delivery of services to make urban areas more livable, workable and sustainable. Barcelona, for example, mounted light pole sensors to regulate traffic and monitor air quality, noise and pedestrian volumes. Street lights can be modulated based on data. Smart garbage receptacles equipped with vacuums automatically remove waste underground, reducing garbage truck pickups and resulting odors. Smart city applications offer a range of possibilities that include:
- Energy Management: Smart grids reduce carbon emissions, improve energy efficiency, gather usage data, and signal failures and grid switching through the deployment of sensors on hydro transmission lines.
- Public Safety and Security: Monitor air quality and predict and manage traffic congestion to provide alternate route suggestions.
- Waste Management: Reduce carbon emissions by optimizing the frequency of garbage truck pickups.
- Water and Wastewater Management: Detect leaks, reduce water consumption and monitor local levels to act preemptively.
- Smart Buildings: Automate HVAC and lighting controls resulting in energy efficiency.
3. Smart Farms
Smart farms are using IoT applications to increase crop yields and decrease inputs, such as water, fertilizer and pesticides. Farmers now have the ability to remotely monitor all aspects of their operations, including soil moisture, air quality, temperature, humidity and machine health. The data collected by various sensors is transmitted to the cloud where it is analyzed to provide farmers with information that helps them make decisions about when to plant, how to irrigate and when to harvest. Other benefits of smart farming include:
- Precision Agriculture: Varying application rates of water, fertilizer and pesticides based on real-time data collected by sensors results in increased yields and decreased inputs.
- Soil Condition: Monitor soil moisture, pH levels and temperature to optimize irrigation and crop yields.
- Weather Prediction: Prepare for extreme weather conditions by receiving alerts and using historical data to make informed decisions about planting, irrigation and harvest schedules.
- Asset Tracking and Management: Locate farm equipment, monitor machine health and receive alerts when maintenance is required.
- Animal Husbandry: Monitor animal health, detect early signs of disease and optimize feed ratios.
- Aquaculture: Monitor water quality, temperature and dissolved oxygen levels.
- Greenhouses: Sensors measure temperature, humidity, ventilation and irrigation.
4. Smart Supply Chain and Product Management
Smart supply chains use IoT applications to manage the flow of goods from suppliers to customers. The goal is to optimize the efficiency of the supply chain and reduce costs. By tracking the location of assets, monitoring environmental conditions and predicting maintenance needs, businesses can avoid delays and disruptions. IoT supply chain applications include:
- Inventory Management: Reduce the need for physical inventory and receive alerts when stock is running low.
- Predictive Maintenance: Schedule preventive maintenance before problems occur.
- Environmental Monitoring: Monitor temperature, humidity and light exposure to protect perishable goods.
- Product Development: Improve product quality and design by collecting data about how products are used.
- Warehouse Management: Increase efficiency by optimizing the use of space and labor.
- Transportation Management: Monitor traffic conditions to plan the most efficient route and receive alerts about delays.
- Customer Service: Improve customer satisfaction by providing real-time updates on the status of orders.
- Mass Production: Monitor production line performance to identify bottlenecks and optimize output.
- Product Improvement: Gather customer feedback to improve product design and quality.
- Process Optimization: Analyze data to identify opportunities for process improvement.
- Packaging: Use sensors to track the condition of packaging and contents throughout the supply chain.
IoT is transforming the delivery of healthcare and improving patient outcomes. By monitoring patients remotely, collecting data about their health and providing them with personalized care, IoT is making it possible to provide better care at a lower cost. Benefits of IoT in healthcare applications include:
- Patient Monitoring: Collect data about patients’ vital signs, activity levels and location, and use this information to provide personalized care.
- Remote Patient Monitoring: Monitor patients remotely to collect data about their health and provide them with timely interventions.
- Chronic disease management: Manage chronic diseases more effectively by collecting data about patients’ health and providing them with personalized care.
- Medication Management: Improve medication adherence and reduce the risk of medication errors by providing patients with reminders and alerts.
- Clinical Decision Support: Use data to provide clinicians with real-time information about the best course of treatment for their patients.
- Care Coordination: Improve care coordination by sharing data between different care providers.
- Population Health Management: Analyze data to identify trends in population health and develop interventions to improve health in identified demographics.
- Research and Development: Use data to develop new treatments and cures for diseases.
IoT applications for wearable devices are providing people with new ways to stay connected, healthy and productive. By collecting data about our activity levels, sleep patterns and health, wearables are giving us insights into our daily lives that were previously unavailable. IoT is also being used to develop new types of wearables, such as smart clothes and jewelry. These devices are embedded with sensors that can collect data about the wearer’s body, environment and activity level. This data can be used to provide the wearer with real-time feedback, monitor their health and even provide them with personalized recommendations. Benefits of IoT wearable applications include:
- Fitness and Wellness: Monitor activity levels, sleep patterns, blood pressure and heart rate to improve fitness and overall health.
- Safety and Security: Use wearable devices to monitor the safety of employees in hazardous environments.
- Productivity: Increase workplace productivity by providing employees with real-time alerts and updates on their work tasks.
- Customer Service: Improve customer satisfaction by providing employees with real-time access to customer data.
- Elder Care: Monitor the health and safety of elderly loved ones from a distance.
- Diseases: Monitor patients with chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease to improve their health outcomes.
- Tracking: Use GPS-enabled, wearable devices to track the location of people and assets.
- Emergencies: Wearable devices send alerts in case of an emergency.
Retail applications of IoT are providing shoppers with new ways to find and purchase products. By collecting data about customer behavior, retailers can provide personalized recommendations and improve the efficiency of their supply chains. Retail IoT applications include:
- Inventory Management: Use IoT-enabled sensors to track inventory levels in real-time and reorder products when stock is low.
- Customer Relationship Management: Use data about customer behavior to provide personalized recommendations and targeted marketing.
- Online and In-Store Shopping: Use IoT-enabled devices for real-time update inventory and location updates.
8. Industrial IoT
Industrial IoT (IIoT, or Industry 4.0) applications are improving the efficiency and productivity of manufacturing and other industrial processes at the factory level. By collecting data about equipment performance, energy usage and employee productivity, factories can optimize their operations and prevent downtime. Some of the most popular applications for IIoT include:
- Asset Tracking and Management: Track the location and condition of assets in real time.
- Predictive Maintenance: Monitor data about equipment performance to predict when maintenance will be required.
- Energy Management: Optimize energy usage in industrial facilities.
- Process Optimization: Sensors relay data to improve industrial processes.
- Safety and Security: Monitor for potential safety hazards and improve security.
- Improved Packaging: Refine the packaging of products.
9. Hospitality and Tourism
IoT applications provide new ways for hotels, resorts and restaurants to improve the guest experience. By collecting data about customer behavior and preferences, hospitality businesses can provide personalized recommendations and improve the efficiency and security of their operations. IoT applications for hospitality include:
- Asset Tracking and Inventory Management: Track the location of high-value assets, like linens, dishes and other equipment
- Guest Room Energy Management: Smart thermostats and smart lighting can be used to automatically adjust the temperature lighting in guestrooms based on occupancy.
- Access Control and Security: Monitor and control access to a property.
- Maintenance and Repair: Monitor the condition of a property, and automatically alert you to any maintenance or repair needs.
- Marketing and Guest Engagement: Gather data about guests, and provide them with targeted marketing and engagement opportunities.
- Check-In and Check-Out: Make electronic keys available on mobile phones to deliver a smooth customer experience.
- Smart Beds: Automatically make adjustments to the firmness and temperature of beds.
10. Connected Vehicles
Connected vehicles are revolutionizing the automotive industry, and there are endless possibilities for how they can be used to improve safety, efficiency and comfort. Not to be confused with autonomous or self-driving cars, connected vehicles are equipped with sensors providing new ways for drivers and passengers to stay connected and informed while on the road. By collecting data about driver behavior and preferences, automotive companies can provide personalized recommendations and improve the safety and efficiency of their operations. Leading IoT applications for connected vehicles include:
- Telematics and Infotainment: Provide drivers with information about traffic, weather and road conditions.
- Automatic Crash Notification: Automatically notify emergency services in the event of a crash.
- Vehicle Diagnostics: Diagnose problems with vehicles and provide maintenance information to drivers.
- Remote Diagnostics: Remotely diagnose problems with vehicles and provide maintenance information to drivers.
- Tire Pressure Monitoring: Sensors provide information to drivers about when to inflate or deflate their tires.
- Parking Assistance: Help drivers navigate into parking spaces.
- Fuel Consumption: Monitor fuel consumption and indicate how to improve fuel economy.
- Changing Lanes: Alert drivers about when it is safe to change lanes.
11. Car Insurance
IoT offers opportunities for car insurance companies to reduce fraudulent claims and improve customer service. By collecting data about driver behavior and preferences, insurance companies can provide personalized recommendations and improve the safety and efficiency of their operations. IoT applications include:
- Car Usage-Based Insurance: Offer discounts to customers based on their driving habits.
- Pay as You Drive: Charge customers based on their actual usage, rather than an estimate.
- Vehicle Telematics: Use data from sensors to monitor driver behavior and identify potential risks.
- Wearables: Use data from wearable devices to monitor health and activity levels.
12. Disaster Management
IoT can mitigate the potential effects of disasters by providing early warning systems to help coordinate relief efforts. IoT devices can provide information about the location and severity of a disaster and help to identify areas that need assistance, thereby improving the efficiency of relief efforts. Disaster IoT applications include:
- Early Warning Systems: Use data from sensors to identify potential hazards (wildfire, weather events, etc.) and provide warnings to people in the area.
- Coordinated Response: Collect data from multiple sources to coordinate relief efforts and improve the efficiency of response times.
- Automated Alerts: Fire, smoke and carbon dioxide sensors notify emergency services.
13. Logistics and Fleet Management
IoT is integrated into fleet management in a few ways. The most popular are electronic logging devices (ELDs). An ELD is any technology that connects to a commercial motor vehicle’s engine to track, record and share hours-of-service data. ELDs automatically record a driver’s driving time and can eliminate the need for paper logs. This helps reduce the burden on drivers and improves compliance with hours-of-service regulations. IoT applications for logistics and fleet management include:
- Real-time tracking: Use data from sensors to track the location of vehicles and monitor driver behavior. This can help improve the efficiency of operations and reduce costs.
- Asset tracking: Use data from sensors to track the location of assets and monitor their condition. This can help reduce losses and improve the efficiency of operations.
- Inventory management: Use data from sensors to track inventory levels and monitor for errors. This can help reduce waste and improve customer satisfaction.
- Routes: Use data from sensors to optimize routes and reduce fuel consumption.
IoT Gateway Applications Offer a Better Future
The societal benefits of IoT applications are diverse. Industry can benefit from improved efficiencies in production and supply chains. Healthcare solutions can be delivered expeditiously, improving patient outcomes. Smart homes and cities benefit consumers with better security, safety and convenience. IoT applications offer the world ways to reduce the carbon footprint of industries and citizens alike. The potential for IoT gateway applications is limited only by the imagination. Contact Dusun and shop our products to discover how you can incorporate our technologies into developing your IoT solution.
American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) – Top 10 Growing Smart Cities
Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) – 7 Key Examples of Smart Buildings
Data Bridge Market Research – Global Smart Home Market – Industry Trends and Forecast to 2029
Gartner – Telematics
Wipro – What can IoT do for healthcare?