IoT is one of the fancy words commonly used in the technology world. But what does it mean for businesses and industries? It certainly opens new possibilities both for improving companies internal processes as well as for their customers’ experience. To fully understand its impact let’s discuss major possibilities IoT brings to the table.
WHAT IS IOT ALL ABOUT?
Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept that things can independently collect, analyze and exchange data through the Internet. They do it to predict and automate life and business processes. By the term “things” we mean for example household appliances, lighting articles and wearables.
According to Gartner by 2022 every minute about $2.5 million will be spent in the IoT and every hour there will be sold 1 million new IoT devices. About three quarters of all IoT spendings will belong to China, the United States and Western Europe. The goal of IoT is to create intelligent spaces like cities, transport or buildings.
But the Internet of Things is only one part of the whole group of amazing future ideas. There is another, which we call the Internet of Bodies (IoB) . We use this term, when your body connects to IoT. There are three different groups of it: external (wearable devices like Apple Watch), internal (to monitor someone’s health like pacemakers or digital pills) or embedded (human body and technology are melded together). There is also another interesting one – Internet of Everything. It combines things, people, process and data – everything, that has connection with IoT, but doesn’t have to be a “thing”.
Last but not least important concept is IIoT – Industrial Internet of Things. IIoT uses different sensors, which control operation of devices used in transport, by energy suppliers, healthcare and companies in the industry sector. This year the strongest industry gains will deliver healthcare, education and insurance – all having grow rates equal 11.9% or more.
HIGHLIGHT OF IOT HARDWARE
Starting with IoT hardware, there are a lot of different Arduino boards, which we can use for our IoT projects and devices like:
- Raspberry Pi is an inconspicuous little device, which in reality is a powerful mini-computer.
- ESP32 Pico Kit, which is considered as useful for building IoT products out of the box.
- Particle Argon (powerful Wi-Fi enabled board for development)
- Pycom WiPy 3.0, which supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and offers end-to-end IoT platform support.
And that’s not even half of different IoT hardwares.
SELECTION OF IOT PLATFORMS
When we think about big IoT Platforms, there are a few names, which will come to our mind.
- IBM Watson IoT with its Connection, Analytics and Blockchain Service, which helps with capturing varied data for devices and machines. It is useful to optimize operations and resources.
- Google Cloud Platform IoT Core, which works with all operating systems. It is designed to work with smart cities and buildings, real-time asset tracking and has multi-layered secure infrastructure.
- AWS (Amazon Web Service) IoT gives easy and fast start with their service, as there are many tutorials to help you with it. It helps not only with connecting devices to the cloud, but also interacting with other devices and cloud applications.
- Microsoft AzureIoT is designed for different industry needs and smart spaces. Their solutions are useful for remote monitoring, connected products, they are also easily scalable.
- Avnet IoT Connect Platform is a highly scalable, cloud-based software platform, which facilitates device management, data storage and app creation.
HOW DOES BUSINESSES BENEFIT FROM IOT?
As we now know quite a lot about IoT and its market, we can finally start answering the question: How could your business benefit from IoT?
- Big data to analyze trends – devices in IoT provide companies a lot of data about their customers and the market. Based on them, companies can notice new large trends and use these observations to improve their products, offering better user experience and responding to customers’ needs.
- Improve remote work – IoT technology allows you not to be physically present at the office, while working. You and your employees would be able to connect and work remotely, which is proven to make workers more productive and happier.
- Reduce errors – by introducing the Industrial Internet of Things to your business, the number of manual processes decrease. That reduces one of the biggest risks associated with manual labor – human error. Security in IIoT is very often updated, that’s why the risk of cyber and data breaches caused by humans also go down.
- Predictive maintenance – the worst event for your company is downtime. Most likely it is caused by lack of proper and predictive maintenance. If you only react to what’s happening, you do not control, what needs improvement, you only solve already happened problems. However, when you work proactive, you are aware of a lot of possible downtimes and can counteract them.
To summarize, IoT and IIoT is a still developing concept, which has great possibilities in terms of saving clients and workers time as well as has impact on productivity and efficiency for business.