These days, the internet of things (IoT) has become a top consideration for businesses trying to gain a competitive edge. IoT technology delivers useful information quickly to help businesses improve operational efficiency. It's based on sensors that communicate through radio waves.
More About the Internet of Things (IoT)
The internet of things is a system of interconnected physical and digital worlds. It relies on electronic sensors that collect and transmit data over wireless networks. Physical objects of any kind can now be embedded with sensors, turning them into digital devices. IoT sensors are capable of tracking environmental, biological, chemical, mechanical and electronic data, making them valuable tools for a wide range of industries.
Explore the state of IoT and how it is used with other advanced technologies during our Summit of Things on Oct. 27. Register below.
Why Is IoT So important?
IoT sensors can be used to monitor the performance of systems and components. Managers can analyze the data to determine system flaws swiftly and move faster at decisions on improvements. Not only can this data provide insights about a system's vulnerabilities, but the data can also be fed into machine learning software to generate quick recommendations to resolve complex problems. The combination of artificial intelligence (AI) technology and automation empowers an organization even more, as certain data can trigger automated actions.
The payoff to investing in IoT technology is that it streamlines operations, elevates productivity and increases profit margins. Valuable insights captured from real-time IoT data beyond internal operations include what customers think about products and services. Digital infrastructure including IoT is now used by many warehouses and transportation firms, allowing consumers to track deliveries online in real time.
What Technologies Have Made IoT Possible?
The concept of IoT has existed for many decades, but recent advancements have helped accelerate its adoption among major corporations. Here are the key technologies that have paved the way for IoT's rapid deployment:
- Access to affordable low-power sensors - Affordable sensors that don't use much energy make it easy for manufacturers to invest in IoT.
- Easy connectivity - Network internet protocols have made it easy for wireless data transmission from sensors to the cloud.
- Cloud platforms - The proliferation of various cloud-based software services has made business operations more seamless and scalable.
- Analytics - Data collected from sensors can be used in multiple ways. The key is to prioritize data relevant to improving the company's bottom line and culture while avoiding the trap of sorting through too much irrelevant data.
- Machine learning software - This software can scan millions of data points in seconds to generate reports that reveal valuable insights. Ultimately, it can draw data from various integrated remote sources connected to a network. The existence of this technology has pushed the boundaries of what IoT can do.
- Conversational AI - IoT devices can include natural language processing (NLP) software, allowing for conversational AI. Many consumers have already explored conversational AI through digital assistants such as Alexa, Siri and Cortana.
How to Unlock Business Value with IoT
A company can improve its financial health and stability by paying attention to what IoT data reveals about its processes. Here are key ways that IoT unlocks value for businesses:
- Use data-driven insights to cut costs and waste
- Digitize the physical world, making it easy to track real-time value
- Increase output and efficiency, leading to increased profits
- Formulate new business models and revenue opportunities
Industries That Can Benefit from IoT
Various industries can streamline operations via IoT technology by studying real-time and historical data generated by sensors embedded in objects. Tech companies that manufacture IoT devices are in a game-changing position to help the entire business and social landscape save time and money. Here are the key industries that have already played a huge role in IoT advancement:
- Manufacturing - It's important for manufacturers to cut waste as much as possible in the production process. Production efficiency allows for lower prices for consumers while raising profit margins for the manufacturer. IoT sensors measure production performance and can detect system vulnerabilities in real time. The faster producers fix production problems, the faster they cut losses.
- Utilities - Power and water plants use IoT to detect leaks and other flaws in delivery systems. An electric utility can now automatically switch to alternative energy sources when traditional sources have shortages or dropouts. Water utilities used to suffer massive water loss from pipe leaks, but can now detect leaks early, thanks to IoT. Many utilities have adopted smart meters to gauge energy and water consumption more accurately.
- Automotive - Not only do automakers use IoT to monitor assembly lines, but they also use it in the vehicles they manufacture. IoT sensors in cars alert drivers on system and component performance and when it's time to get service. Automakers also use IoT to connect with their suppliers and dealers. The digital connections between auto manufacturers, dealers, suppliers, repair shops and consumers have aggregated vast amounts of valuable data for everyone involved.
- Transportation and Logistics - Trucking and shipping companies use IoT to track vehicle performance, fuel efficiency, speed and geolocation. Transportation companies can streamline operations by hiring good drivers who pay attention to real-time vehicle data. Geolocation data can be shared throughout the supply chain to estimate delivery times. Logistics firms further benefit from IoT in being able to track the location and status of every inventory item being stored or shipped.
- Retail - Many retail outlets have warehouses or backroom storage areas to maintain a supply of inventory. With hundreds or thousands of products to track, IoT, RFID and a barcode scanner simplify the search for any item. Retailers tap into supply chain networks that use IoT to instantly answer questions about product availability. The retail industry also uses IoT devices that monitor consumer behavior in stores to improve the layout and customer experience.
- Healthcare - Hospitals have embraced IoT in the form of wearables that track patients. It's helpful for locating patients in wheelchairs that have gotten lost in a hospital. IoT devices can save lives as doctors remotely monitor a patient's heart rate, blood pressure and other bodily functions. Alerts are sent to medical professionals when a connected patient needs immediate medical attention based on biological data.
How IoT is changing the world with connected cars
Now that cars connect to the internet, the relationship between automakers and consumers is changing. It used to be when you bought a car from a dealer, you went to the dealer for service instead of the manufacturer directly. Now with connected cars, automakers have continuous access to customers via wireless communication. Modern cars equipped with automated self-correcting features help cut down on downtime and maintenance.
One of the most eye-opening IoT developments is self-driving cars. AI, automation and connectivity combine to make autonomous machines revolutionary with the capability of remote operation. This technology makes it possible for an individual to control their car with a smartphone. If you add voice recognition technology, you can actually talk to your vehicle from any location and tell it to do simple tasks.
While the internet of things may still be invisible to many people, businesses can gain powerful advantages by investing in it. If you want to learn more about how IoT is changing businesses and beyond, join us for the Summit of Things. It's our largest event this year that is highly focused on IoT, and attended by IoT leaders and experts from leading brands for panel discussions, keynotes, training sessions, and more. To register and to find more info about this event, go to: https://iotmktg.com/summit-of-things/