You may not know what “IoT” means. However, probably you are already experiencing IoT in your everyday life. For example, connecting your TV to the Internet, monitoring your home surveillance cameras when you are on vacation, or adjusting the home air conditioning temperature using your smartphone apps.
The technology behind these applications that make our life more and more convenient is called ” IoT ” or “Internet of Things”.
In the past, things like personal computers and mobile phones were connected to the Internet. But TV and air conditioning were free from the Internet until IoT made them connected. IoT not only means a person can operate things connected to the Internet, it also means objects in the network can communicate with each other.
In addition to the TV and air conditioning examples, IoT has been widely used in various fields. Let’s explain the IoT concept in four different areas: automobile, transportation, medical care and agriculture.
IoT for automobile
In the future, our cars will be equipped with sensors and are able to operate automatically without a driver. This autonomous car concept (also called driverless car, self-driving car, or robotic car) is being developed and tested by car manufacturers around the world. It is expected that “10 million self-driving cars will be on the road by 2020” (Business Insider)
Autonomous cars nicely embrace the concept of the IoT as they are expected to integrate multiple sensors that can provide real-time communication with other things such as highway, traffic lights and other vehicles in the system to observe the immediate environment.
IoT for transportation
In big cities, traffic is getting worst. Right now, smartphone is increasingly becoming sensor in the transportation system. The IoT concept in the transportation system becomes “Internet of Cars” and “Internet of Travellers”.
By connecting cars with smartphones, now we are able to understand directions without dedicated car navigation devices. At the same time, mobile data from millions of users can be integrated with data from other things in the transportation system to provide real-time information to travellers.
“Mobile data is transforming the ways in which transportation data is collected, from infrastructure-based to probe-based. Mobile application users in the transportation system are not only the consumers of travel information; they are also the data collection sensors in the system.” (Jason Li on icrunchdata News)
IoT for medical
The healthcare industry is also part of IoT adoption. Wearable device is very common right now. Data collected from the wearable devices can help improve health management and healthcare services. For example, maintain health condition records and raise an alert when the health condition deteriorates.
“Wearable devices and home health monitoring devices assisting patients is a common thing now. Chatty medical devices are extremely appealing for patients of any age range. The devices are capable enough to transmit vital sign data from a patient home to the hospital staff. It allows them to have a real time monitoring of patient’s health. These devices use wirelessly connected glucometers, scales, heart rate and blood pressure monitors. Devices helping in monitoring real time ICU procedure are indeed a big part of IoT. There are devices for wireless ultrasound monitoring and remote vital sign monitoring from a hospital environment.” (Nile Lars)
IoT for agriculture
You might be surprised to see agriculture is doing something with IoT because traditionally, agriculture is a field that is not related to impressive IT innovation.
The automatic watering and fertilizing system in greenhouse cultivation is part of the IoT. Rather than give the water and fertilizer, the sensors attached to the farmland can monitor the status of the solar radiation and estimates timing for watering and fertilizing.
IoT for agriculture “improves operational efficiency, drives productivity, creates new revenue sources and, ultimately, makes sustainability synonymous with profit. and a more efficient agricultural.” (Jahangir Mohammed, Jasper)