IoT devices serve as the foundation for a wide range of IoT applications, which can be tailored to specific industries and verticals such as healthcare, industrial automation, smart homes, automotive, and wearable technology. These applications are becoming more sophisticated with the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning, allowing devices to possess greater intelligence.
Table of Content
- 1 IoT Applications
- 1.1 Applications of IoT in Building and Home Automation
- 1.2 Applications of IoT in Retail
- 1.3 Applications of IoT in Media
- 1.4 Applications of IoT in Supply Chain
- 1.5 Applications of IoT in Environmental Monitoring
- 1.6 Applications of IoT in Infrastructure Management
- 1.7 Applications of IoT in Manufacturing
- 1.8 Applications of IoT in Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare
- 1.9 Applications of IoT in Transportation
Applications of IoT in Building and Home Automation
Eco-friendly and energy-efficient buildings can be created by using IoT. A building enabled to use its energy efficiency by monitoring the physical conditions could not rely on persons to read the currently available data and configure accordingly the heating and cooling systems of the building to achieve the desired efficiency.
It is expected for the building management system to interact with the computer systems to make the needed changes automatically and, if required, notify the concerned persons of any problem. This interaction and notification are known as information management in a building.
On the other hand, in the case of home automation, different types of electrical and electronic appliances such as fans, lights, fire alarms, kitchen timers, etc., are controlled by using different control techniques. The appliances are controlled or operated with no or very less human intervention.s
Wi-Fi technique is very commonly used in home automation for connecting different appliances or devices with the controller device which can be a smartphone or wireless remote control. Wireless home automation using IoT can be regarded as an innovative application to control home appliances remotely.
IoT is also playing its role in fire safety devices used to protect homes and buildings. The consequences of fire are very dangerous and disastrous. It propagates in a very short time and can cover its adjoining areas. If we add connectivity to the fire safety devices using IoT, they can provide us the ability to remotely monitor our home/property and take appropriate actions in case of fire or case of any other dangerous situations. The safety devices can send alerts to our neighbours and friends that can control the situation before it transforms worse.
Applications of IoT in Retail
Retailers these days are using IoT extensively to promote the growth and retention of their customers. IoT helps retailers to .analyse customers’ patterns of shopping, individualize their offerings, and personalize the shopping experience of every individual customer. The nature of the retail business has always been a very dynamic one. The effective use of relevant technology would prove to be a major game changer in the retail space.
Consumers, nowadays, have become technology savvy. The expectations of consumers are ever-increasing. Now, it is up to the companies how far they can meet those expectations. They have to redesign their business models and business strategies to address customer needs and expectations.
They have to improve upon different channels as well as customer touchpoints. Mobile and digital technologies are empowering and enabling retail businesses to make their customized offerings move closer to the customers.
Some of these can be enlisted as follows:
- Deeper Consumer
- Insights Supply Chain Efficiency
- Inventory Optimisation
- Improved Customer Service
- Smart Digital Signage
- Just-in-Time Promotions
- Theft/Loss Prevention
- Personalised Shopping
- Smart Shelves
Customer closeness brings more sales and hence more revenues. Every customer experience, while shopping, is considered a digital experience by intelligent devices. By analyzing the navigation data of the customer captured by these devices, retailers can improve the ‘in-store shopping experience of the customer.
In order to have efficient supply chain management to fulfill the need of customers, we need to manage the complexities from start to end. It is essential to track the inventory and its condition and treatment throughout the delivery chain.
Placing proper displays at the right positions with correct and accurate information or lucrative offers gives retailers the opportunities to engage the shoppers. Digital signage can be utilised to display new inventory, promotional offers, etc. Its effectiveness can be measured by analysing the gathered data. We can integrate the sensors with the stockroom and the inventory on shelf for quantity and price regulation.
Retailers can leverage an IoT-based solution for connected store management. The various processes/activities like the issue notification process in inventory management and the automatic trigger for the replacement request, etc. can be streamlined by using IoT-based solutions in retail.
There are certain problems faced by each retailer like loss, theft, fraud, etc. which might occur because of various causes such as employee stealing, shoplifters, organized crime gang, etc. To prevent these kinds of illegitimate activities, IoT can bring an additional layer of protection by implementing smart technologies.
It is always good for retailers to have multiple revenue channels. Retail IoT gives many options for this like digital commerce, mobile retail, connected retail, etc. Online retailers have a competitive edge over traditional brick and mortar kind of retailers. It is because they know the right time to fulfil the demands.
To encash the market demands, these digital retailers can identify the customer requirements and do the up-selling and cross-selling of products. By leveraging digital intelligence, these retailers can provide demand-centric deliveries with added discounts.
Applications of IoT in Media
Media can very effectively use IoT to deliver relevant content to the consumer. Smartphones are certainly changing the media and entertainment landscape. Connected smartphones would be able to generate news through the collected data and deliver relevant news to individuals based on their previous history of consumption, interests, and habits. It all reflects the ever-increasing expectations around the delivery of more relevant and personalized content.
The consumer data that can be collected via IoT is the main concern for marketing agencies. The deeper insight into the consumer data means better ways can be developed to reach the consumers across a much broader ecosystem of consumption and touchpoints.
The value and insights associated with this data provide the context for the media consumption metrics. It gives a more clear picture and measurement of the information received instead of the existing measurement system which is based on samples.
For example, the data that is being generated from wearables can help the media industry in determining and understanding why a particular consumer should watch their content. At the same time, the media needs to be cautious while exploiting connected machines and IoT-enabled automation.
It may be that consumers are not prepared or willing to go with it. It is an interesting and very important point to know how the media industries are going to get the aggregated data from all the varied sources to analyze consumer habits, interests, movements, timing, etc.
The content delivery should not create an annoying or worse experience for the consumers rather it should create an interesting and delightful experience. So the media needs to carefully handle the aggregated data taking into consideration privacy, security, safety, and the legal issues.
Applications of IoT in Supply Chain
IoT can benefit the supply chain by optimizing the various processes in the chain. It can also improve the collaboration in the chain, may it be with the suppliers or the customers, by creating more value across the chain. IoT will improve material tracking, and factory workflow, optimize distribution and thereby increase revenues.
IoT in supply chain management may utilize Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID) tags on the product which provide us a whole lot of information like production date, warranty period, expiry date, sales, and after-sales data, etc. which would help us to automatically manage the supply chain efficiently.
RFID tags are also used in large-scale industries like shipping for tracking containers. Production planning can be optimized by having real-time information from the supply chain management. With the same investment, it will yield more productivity.
In supply chain management, IoT provides richer and deeper data intelligence and benefits the whole chain by increasing revenues and customer satisfaction. IoT also helps in reducing the bullwhip effect in supply chain management which refers to inefficiencies that generally occur in supply chain management.
Applications of IoT in Environmental Monitoring
IoT is also playing an important role in detecting various metrics of a particular environment with the help of various sensors. IoT sensors are very small in size and can be easily carried around and indicate air quality, radiation, hazardous chemicals, water quality, etc.
It will help us all to protect ourselves from these environmental hazards and especially the infants and asthma patients as well as the other people working in radiation-prone or hazardous environments.
The data gathered from the environmental sensors will help us to have a better and clear understanding of our environment and the surroundings so that we can prepare well to find the best suitable solutions in time for our environmental problems.
Weather monitoring will also help us in smart agriculture. Depending on the weather, sunlight, humidity, etc. conditions, we can better prepare for the right amount and timing of the use of water, pesticides, and fertilizers.
Ambient sensors can be deployed for weather monitoring and better prediction of weather. It will also help us to get prepared for extreme weather conditions. As more and more IoT-based applications and products become available, we can expect larger positive impacts on our environment.
Applications of IoT in Infrastructure Management
Infrastructure management refers to managing the infrastructure of an organization which may include storage devices, power, network devices, human resource, etc.
Some of the applications of IoT used in managing the infrastructure of an organization are as follows:
- Smart Electric Grid Management: The electricity data such as current and voltage can be collected by adding intelligent sensors along the line of transmission of the electricity grid. We can then send an alert in case of an abnormal situation to the grid operators before any problem occurs. Thus, the electric grid can be made more reliable and efficient.
- Smart Water Grid Management: We can make the water grid smart by adding sensors to it. Then we would be able to identify the leaks in the distribution system, enable predictive maintenance, adjust the water flow, balance the water outage from streams and lakes, etc. This improves the overall water distribution system.
- Smart Warehouse Management: In warehouse management, we can include smart forklifts which are sensor-enabled and; therefore, exhibits intelligence like automatic speed control, collision detection, anti-slipping, etc. in addition to the other features. This will give a boost to overall productivity.
Applications of IoT in Manufacturing
Using sensors in manufacturing has been already in practice. But these sensors were not smart enough to have intercommunication or interaction with the other machines. In the era of IoT, sensors have become smart and now the sensors can communication with each other as well as with other machines and equipped mentors.
With the help of IoT in manufacturing, defects or problems are identified much earlier and with greater detail. So, now we can fix the problems ahead of time, or sometimes, they can be fixed automatically by the IoT-enabled systems.
IoT makes the manufacturing process more reliable, less error-prone, optimized, and more productive with reduced losses and effective resource consumption. IoT makes the whole process of manufacturing streamlined, more automated, and more intelligent.
The worldwide investment in IoT-enabled manufacturing is growing with each passing year. The companies are realizing the real benefits they will get by implementing IoT-based solutions in the manufacturing sector.
The manufacturing cost is also affected dearly by the cost of transportation among other processes.
Applications of IoT in Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare
The application of IoT in pharmaceuticals will also help in tracking the dosage pattern of the patients. Usually, a healthcare professional checks the vital signs of a patient at regular intervals. For this, either the patient has to come to the hospital or the healthcare professional has to go to the patient’s place. It consumes a lot of time and a substantial amount of cost is involved in it.
Now, with the advent of IoT, vital signs can be continuously monitored and proper action can be taken. With the availability of accurate information about a patient, his/her condition can be predicted more precisely.
By using IoT devices, we can also track the medication uptake and observe any side effects of the medication. This enables the healthcare professional to have timely intervention as and when required. The implementation of IoT in healthcare gives more convenience to patients as well as lowers the overall cost and provides better care via remote health monitoring.
We can use non-invasive IoT-driven monitoring systems to continuously monitor the critically ill, chronic disease as well as elderly patients by being in the comfort and safety of their homes. We can have an alert mechanism that will inform the physician or caregiver in time to avoid any catastrophe.
IoT devices are said to have 3Is which are:
These 3Is can be utilized very well in pharmaceuticals and healthcare professions. We can have medical devices which are instrumented and interconnected with IoT devices to give continuous readings of the patient’s vital signs.
These can be observed through mobile phones, tabs, etc. as per the requirement and convenience. Further, they can be combined with analytics intelligence to have a better insight into the patient’s condition and provide recommendations accordingly.
Applications of IoT in Transportation
The logistics used in the transport sector can be made more transparent with the help of IoT. We can tag logistics with smart sensors which will give us data about its location, condition, weather condition, etc. to manage the situation accordingly. In addition to the logistics, the vehicle itself can be made smart which will better guide the driver regarding the best possible route, avoiding congestion and assisting in a safe and secure journey.
Transportation and logistics companies are now improving their customer service levels and their productivity by taking advantage of the analysis and intelligence drawn from the continuously generated data by the IoT-enabled cargo tracking solutions.
Effective cargo tracking also helps companies to ensure regulatory compliance. The collected data about the cargo conditions during transit can be submitted to the regulatory bodies as and when asked for by the cargo companies.
IoT also assists in having better control over moving assets. The assets like yard trucks or forklifts can be effectively utilized by knowing their current usage and location.
Moreover, city and transport services can also be improved by connecting them with smart parking lots which lead vehicle drivers know about the availability of parking space in a particular parking lot. More number of smart parkings can help in reducing fuel consumption thereby reducing costs of running a vehicle and reducing environment pollution.
As far as traffic is concerned, managing congestion and preventing accidents is the primary concern. IoT allows concerned organizations to better manage these issues. We can have smart devices installed all over the traffic control points. These will enable us to observe, analyze and take corrective actions in time. Thus, IoT may ease overall traffic management and save the lives of many by preventing or avoiding accidents.