• The Internet of Things

    The term "Internet of Things" basically describes billions of “smart” devices—from tiny chips to mammoth machines—that use wireless technology to talk to each other (and to us). The IoT world is growing at a breathtaking pace, from 2 billion objects in 2006 to a projected 200 billion by 2020. That will be around 26 smart objects for every human being on Earth. You can see this is driving a lot of interest from manufacturers, device designers, software and tech companies such as Intel in releasing real-world applications for this technology.

     

    But it's not just tech companies chasing the IoT market - venture capital is crawling all over the IoT space making big bets on a huge array of companies that deliver products, software and services . The most recent infographic via CBInsights paints an incredibly interesting picture of investment across dozens of brands, you can see for yourself here: https://www.cbinsights.com/blog/iot-most-active-investor-infographic. On the venture side, you may not have noticed but Uptake, a Chicago-based IoT startup, beat Slack and Uber to become Forbes 2015’s Hottest Startup. They raised $45M at a $1B post funding valuation.

     

    Power, water, healthcare, transportation, oil & gas, construction and agriculture are all industries where IoT will have a massive impact. From maklers of machines to the companies buying and using them IoT will start to become more prevalent even if you don't exactly realize what the technology is actually providing. New networks are being deployed globally, using technology such as SigFox to enable these devices to communicate. Battery manufacturers are creating small power cells for IoT devices that will run for 10, 15 or even 20 years.

     

    So what are some of the applications of this technology?

     

    Health

    A connected defibrillator box that ensure units remain operational at all times, sends an alert when the box is opened and automatically calls emergency services in case of emergency.

     

    Agriculture

    Cattle management - a IoT device can detect heat periods & prevent health issues. GPS tracking provides herd management and sown pasture optimisation (livestock tracking stats). Large agriculture machines such as harvesters can provide real-time data on location, fuel, remaining catcher capacity etc.

     

    Energy

    Optimize oil recovery, reduce well intervention and maintenance costs, improve safety and environmental performance

     

    Smart Cities

    Parking management - Happier drivers saving time to find parking and reduces accidents & gas pollution

    Manhole monitoring - Send alert when opening cover, avoid street hazards

    Trash Bin Monitoring - Daily info on filling level , alerts in case of fire, tracking for moving bins

     

    Smart Home Automation

    Security systems, thermostats, water/flood sensors, video cameras, smart locks

     

    The Issue of Security

    As IoT products continue to connect more and more aspects of our lives, it means more and more of our private and business information is being entrusted into the hands of IoT manufacturers. IoT companies will be forced to increase security features to ensure users’ private information is safer than ever before. 

    The IoT Architecture

    Overview of the top level components

    You can divide the IoT technology into three main components:

     

    A device includes hardware and software that directly interacts with the world. Devices connect to a network to communicate with each other, or to centralized applications. Devices might be directly or indirectly connected to the Internet.

     

    A gateway enables devices that are not directly connected to the Internet to reach cloud services. Although the term gateway has a specific function in networking, it is also used to describe a class of device that processes data on behalf of a group or cluster of devices.

     

    The data from each device is sent to a cloud platform, where it is processed and combined with data from other devices, and potentially with other business-transactional data.

    The IoT and Your Business

    As with any dynamic and hi-growth technology the question is to analyze and discover what application the IoT can have in your business and if a solution exists. As more manufacturers build out sensors and devices, and as more IoT networks are created you will have more choice than ever before. Generator can incorporate IoT into your technology plan and road-map or evaluate current available technology today to make a meaningful impact on your business operations. Contact us for more information and an informal discussion.

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