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The Internet of Things
Imagine you enter your home, the lights switch on automatically, and the temperature settings adjust to the perfect level. Likewise, all that you do manually in your daily life gets taken care of by an intelligent system. Wouldn't life be so much more convenient and enjoyable?
These are some well-known Internet of Things (IoT) applications that have recently become commercially viable solutions to the monotonous portions of daily life.
The Internet of Things has been an area of interest among technology enthusiasts for quite some time now. It describes a state-of-the-art technological situation that transforms data fetched from various connected devices into meaningful information that can enhance lives.
An Overview of IoT
The internet's massive interconnection of everyone and everything has paved the way for the concept of IoT.
One of the first IoT applications dates back to the 1980s: the Coco-Cola machine installed at Carnegie Melon University. Tech experts connected the appliance to the internet, which helped them assess whether the drink was cold enough or not.
IoT technology is exciting and involves authorized devices and gadgets that transmit and receive information. These entities, connected through the internet, work as per preset instructions with the help of the data gathered.
Typically, a device will have sensors, processors, and communication hardware, which help send the collected data to the cloud for further analysis. The other connected gadgets fetch relevant data from the cloud to give the end-user information in the form they require.
Internet of Things | What Is IoT?
How Do IoT Applications Improve User Experience?
Here are just a couple of important ways that IoT applications improve user experience:
- Quicker access to required products and services — With intelligent IoT devices, you can fulfill your daily requirements by receiving products and services right where you are. For example, if you are out of groceries and your fridge is empty, your grocer will get the intimation on their smart gadget, and you will have your required essentials delivered to your home.
- Individualized experience in every scenario — Businesses aim to learn about their customer preferences through IoT devices. They review the data gathered from the connected gadgets and utilize traditional analytics to develop strategies to refine their customers' user experience in the most personalized way. So, as a customer, you enjoy discounts and offers tailor-made to suit your requirements.
The latest IoT applications focus on these aspects, ensuring that your overall user experience gets highly enriched with intelligent systems and solutions.
9 Interesting IoT Applications That Can Make Your Life Easier
The world now exhibits a modern ecosystem, with every sector well-equipped with the latest technical advancements. When you interact with the world outside, you will find several use cases which present the best scenarios for incorporating IoT applications into your daily life.
This article covers the following 9 most popular ones, proven to save you considerable time, energy, and money:
- Smart Homes
- Smart Wearables
- Smart Healthcare
- Smart Cars
- Smart Retail
- Smart Grids
- Smart City
- Smart Farming
- IoT in Travel
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1. Smart Homes
Smart homes are one of the most evergreen IoT applications that involve the automation of various housekeeping activities.
While a smart home allows you to lead a convenient life in your cozy living space, it also gives you a sense of enhanced security. It typically includes a collection of intelligent utility and security systems while simultaneously taking care of your entertainment needs in the most sophisticated ways.
IoT enables you to control everything around you by clicking a few buttons on your smart device, such as a mobile phone. For instance, you can adjust the light and thermostat settings. The other popular devices include IoT-powered innovative clocks, mirrors, and locks. You can also use smart home devices to set the music according to your mood, get the day’s weather report, and even water your garden.
You can have an IoT device set in your electricity meter; it will help you assess your everyday utility usage to improve it and save some money. You can also set up advanced locking and surveillance systems, which make your dwelling a safe place to live. And, suppose you are out on vacation and forgot to turn off your AC or left a window open; the IoT-powered gadgets can immediately check it for you once you send a request.
Furthermore, these IoT devices communicate with each other, constantly gather user data, learn about your daily chores and routines, and operate accordingly, thus ensuring you lead a stress-free life.
2. Smart Wearables
Smart wearables are extremely fascinating. They count among the hottest IoT applications, with their market expected to reach around $50 billion by this year.
Typically, these gadgets range from smartwatches to fitness bands. But you can find devices in the market that will allow you to monitor and manage almost everything to make your daily lifestyle comfortable.
You can check out branded IoT-based rings with innovative technologies, such as intelligent lock and business card share. These are well-equipped with sensors, software, and network connectivity, enabling you to exchange data. You will not require to carry your credit cards, door, or car keys anymore. With your ring connected to your smartphone, you can manage all their functionalities.
Smart shoes are yet another raging wearable. The sensors in the shoes can assess your blood pressure levels and adjust automatically to ensure you have the right balance and experience no pain while wearing them. They also allow you to monitor your posture and calories burnt.
Another hot pick has been the fitness band. The latest branded ones substitute your activity tracker, helping you monitor your heart rate, sleep, and step count. And they come with a large display, showing you information, such as GPS tracking, calls, and messages. Moreover, you can connect the smart band to Bluetooth and manage your song playlist.
You can also find other intelligent wearables, such as smart glasses, clothes, IoT-powered nicotine patches, and innovative jewelry. As they are easy to wear, carry, and take care of your day-to-day necessities, wearables help you lead a pleasant lifestyle.
3. Smart Healthcare
Healthcare is one of the fastest-growing sectors, offering excellent scope for crucial IoT applications.
The IoT technology enables medical practitioners and patients to use IoT-enabled remote health monitoring and reporting systems. Suppose you or your family member has a medical emergency, say, an asthma attack. Your physician will get a notification about the patient’s medical condition through connected devices. With the help of real-time monitoring equipment, they can collect data related to the patient’s vitals and decide the prescription or immediate action item. These IoT devices can gather and transfer crucial health statistics, from blood pressure, to oxygen levels, blood sugar parameters, and even ECGs.
These internet-enabled devices are a great help if you suffer from a chronic disease, such as diabetes, heart issues, and arthritis. You would indeed require constant monitoring, and making trips to the hospital every single time is not practical. You can opt for wearables to track your vitals, including glucose and heart rate. These devices collect the data and store it in the cloud, which your doctors can access from their clinic.
On the other hand, you may be perfectly fit. But if the data the smart devices collect daily shows some abnormality, your healthcare specialist can notify you and prescribe the required medication.
You can also find commercial products, such as connected inhalers, smart contact lenses, and internet-connected robots to help surgeons with complicated medical procedures.
These smart devices do not only give you timely access to appropriate medical opinions, but they also save you time and money, making your life easier.
4. Smart Cars
The automobile industry is one sector that shows excellent prospects for IoT-powered devices, with one of the IoT applications already in the market being connected vehicles.
A connected car can receive and transmit data, update software patches, and tether to other IoT-enabled devices. You can have access to Wi-Fi while on the go since these vehicles come with embedded hardware. Some connected cars also come with a dedicated smartphone app, which allows you to control your vehicle from where ever you are. With a few clicks of buttons on your smartphone, you can operate your vehicle's engine, doors, and even headlights.
The devices in a connected car fall under a few broad categories, such as GPS navigation, dashcam, and intelligent driving system.
While a connected vehicle allows you to operate it remotely, it also communicates with other connected cars. The data shared between such connected cars includes traffic and road condition updates. And when it comes to security, these IoT-powered vehicles exhibit features such as real-time location tracking, emergency calls, and safety equipment. These features ensure you drive your vehicle safely and reach your destination quickly.
On the other hand, connected cars take care of your entertainment requirements, as they come with a state-of-the-art infotainment system. You can decide what music you wish to listen to or tune to your favorite radio channel while driving.
5. Smart Retail
The recently developed IoT applications focus on bridging the void between retail and online stores, one such solution being the concept store.
Thanks to IoT technology, you can add items to your cart when you visit such outlets, just like you would while shopping online. While you will not find a cashier, you can go cashless and pay your bills online.
And if you are a retailer, IoT will enable you to manage your facility smartly. You can ensure sustainability and reduce operating costs. Also, through highly-sensitive sensors, you can monitor the energy consumption levels in your facility and work on reducing resource wastage. You can manage your inventory more efficiently, as the IoT technology will help you plan the maintenance and safe stock reload schedules.
IoT also provides intelligent solutions to manage your supply chain and logistics. Smart IoT sensors offer real-time tracking information for each item at every stage during the supply chain management lifecycle. They allow you to monitor the transportation phase, about how long it will take for the commodities to reach their destination addresses. They are also capable of identifying alternative routes to speed up delivery.
IoT-powered sensors that measure customer behavior parameters help you analyze your store traffic and busy hours. You can review fast-moving commodities and what to showcase in your store, ensuring improved sales and profit margins.
6. Smart Grids
A smart grid is one of the many integrated IoT applications; it enables consumers and their utilities to exchange information about electricity.
The arrangement includes smart meters, sensors, wireless networks, high-end monitoring systems, and intelligent devices for the consumers’ to interact with the grid.
It is an intelligent power grid, with its smart meter connected to IoT devices for exchanging close to real-time data with them. The shared data enables you to control your energy usage according to the grid conditions.
You may wonder how, as an end-customer, you would benefit from this IoT-enabled solution. These innovative grids increase reliability and efficiency. They control the power flow and detect power outages more effectively. They are also more capable of detecting power wastage and ensuring an even distribution of power, enhancing your user experience.
Moreover, smart grids are highly capable of managing electricity supply in natural disaster scenarios, such as a storm.
On the other hand, the IoT-powered grid system has a holistic approach to managing renewable energy. Its novel infrastructure effectively utilizes various renewable energy sources, ranging from solar plants to hydro stations. And with renewable power used resourcefully, it enables consumers like you to live in a healthier and less polluted environment.
7. Smart City
Some of the world’s megacities have a population of over 20 million. And experts believe more cities will develop soon, more populated than the existing ones.
But the ever-growing city population will demand continuous access to utilities, such as water, electricity, waste management, and a well-developed infrastructure.
Building a smart city, one of the advanced IoT applications, is an adept way to fulfill the city residents’ necessities. Its typical features include connected public transport, video surveillance, traffic management, connected streetlights, and air-quality management. Some are even capable of performing weather and flood monitoring.
You can travel from one place to another in a connected city as safely as possible. The municipality uses the IoT-based road-surface sensors and GSP system to find intelligent traffic solutions to make your trip more efficient. Likewise, with the GSP data fetched from drivers’ smartphones, you will get a notification for the closest free parking spots, thus making things easier for you.
You will benefit from innovative metering systems, as the utility companies will bill only for what your household consumed, keeping the process reliable and transparent. And the efficient waste management solution, using sensors for waste containers, ensures all the waste across the city is under continuous scrutiny. It enables you to live in a cleaner locality.
Soon, 5G will play a crucial role in developing well-connected cities with superior capabilities, such as Smart Grid utility services and automated vehicle fleets.
8. Smart Farming
The IoT-equipped farming techniques involve efficient sensors, gateways, monitoring, and analytics systems. They utilize rich, data-driven insights to improve the yields at reduced costs.
In agriculture, the data to analyze is massive. And so, using remote sensing technology and connected devices, you can evaluate the data collected by sensors. It will assist you in strategizing ways to improve your current practices, be it irrigation, crops, livestock, or water management, thus making your work easier and more efficient.
As you use real-time data monitoring and prediction systems, you can take immediate measures in adverse situations, such as sudden climate changes or air quality degradation. So, you can bring more agility to your processes, eventually producing superior grade crops.
The innovative irrigation solutions help improve crop health while keeping a tab on water waste. And in the long run, they ensure the conservation of natural resources and high profitability.
Another highlight of this IoT implementation is precision farming. It involves real-time data collection, analysis, and connected devices. You can check various factors that affect the harvest, such as soil condition, water availability, and livestock. It will enable you to improve your processes through reviewed data, resulting in sustained profitable yields.
It is one of those IoT applications which allows you to take advantage of the latest innovations, such as greenhouse automation and agricultural drones. You can set up short food supply chains and innovative closed-cycle agricultural units, anywhere in the city, perhaps on rooftops. And while you will require fewer resources, you will also reduce your fertilizer usage, thus ensuring your crops remain organic.
9. IoT in Travel
The travel sector is one niche where IoT technology has an immense scope; IoT can enhance automation and improve customer experience in the most personalized way possible. You can enjoy flight travels and hotel stays suiting your taste. And by operating a connected device, such as a tablet, you can adjust the room lighting, temperature, and other internet-equipped settings, all from a single location.
You can take advantage of IoT devices at airports. Sensors can notify you about your luggage location, thus making it easier for your to pick them up quickly. You can also use voice assistants and speakers to iron out the flight online check-in process or book a cab. On the other hand, IoT sensors can also simplify hotel check-ins.
In some cases, IoT devices connected to smartphones can provide location-specific data. Suppose you are a tourist staying at a hotel; the hotel staff, equipped with IoT devices, can share details regarding the nearest tourist attractions and the best ways to reach your destination.
Utilizing the rich talent pool, and encouraging enterprises to research and work on innovations using IoT, can help harness the benefits of this adept technology. While it will enable all to lead a comfortable life, future generations can also enjoy the efficiently saved energy and natural resources.
- Smart Farming using IoT, a solution for optimally monitoring farming conditions | ScienceDirect
Internet of Things (IoT) is present and future of every field impacting everyone’s life by making everything intelligent. It is a network of different devices which make a self-configuring network.
- 10 Powerful Internet of Things (IoT) Examples Of 2022 (Real-World Apps) | Software Testing Help
- The Internet of Things Helps Businesses Across Industries | Nomtek
The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing how businesses optimize processes and engage customers. Discover how IoT helps businesses expand and streamline operations for a better bottom line.
- Internet of Things | Wikipedia
- 5 IoT Real Time Applications That Would Make Our Lives Smart and Simpler | Stumagz
- Top 10 Innovative Wearable IoT Devices | IoT DesignPro
- Top 10 Real-world IoT Applications and Uses in 2022 | IntelliPaat
This is the list of real-world IoT applications and its uses in our daily lives in sectors such as Agriculture, Healthcare, Logistics, Biometrics, Tourism, Construction and many more.
- IoT and Smart City Technology: How Connected Cities Work | Business Insider
- Application of IoT in Smart Grid: Challenges and Solutions | IEEE
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.