IoT – A Brief Introduction
What is “IoT”?
We can summarize IoT as devices that become smart with the help of technology. It means devices that communicate with each other through a network, connect to each other’s systems and share information, and use communication protocols. All the data collected from these “smart” devices is transmitted through the internet as the next step and feeds “Big Data”.
The First Step of IoT
IoT was started to be spoken since the mid-90s. In 2000, the “Internet Digital DIOS” branded refrigerator was launched by LG as the first internet-connected refrigerator in the world and IoT was introduced.
IoT is not being used only in a few internet-connected luxurious devices as previous years, but also in televisions, personal accessories, cars, homes and all kinds of vehicles, every part of our lives today. With the development of technology, it is very easy to access IoT systems at affordable prices and transform every environment into “smart areas”.
Why Do We Need IoT?
The most basic motivation of technology is to make our lives “easier”. While the main reason why IoT systems have been popular lately is the same, there are also many different advantages.
Reducing operational expenses
Monitoring and increasing efficiency
IoT in Numbers
McKinsey’s “The IoT as a Growth Driver” report published in 2018 states that the Western European consumers will spend 12 Billion Euros annually on smart devices and IoT applications in 2020. Despite this expectation, 87% of people do not know or lack knowledge about IoT today.
Apart from all these figures, another surprising fact is that since 2008, there are more connected devices than the number of people living in the world. The number of these devices is stated as 10-11 Billion as a result of the researches and this number is expected to increase to 50 Billion in 2020 and to be 6.1 billion smart device users in the same year.
Another striking figure is information traffic. Information traffic of 20 typical household devices in 2020 is estimated to be more intense all the internet traffic in 2008.
Application Areas of IoT
The Internet of Things has the potential to fundamentally change both consumer habits and business models and value chains of companies. In the long term, IoT is no longer just about smart refrigerators or sports wristbands, there will be more. In the future, every product will be produced with an internet connection or will be easily transformed into a smart product practically and economically.
IoT applications are not limited to groups, there are many applications for both consumers and businesses/industries. Some of the applications currently used for consumers can be summarized as follows.
Application Areas of IoT
Smart environment IoT applications are mostly used in homes and offices to make our lives easier while saving time and expenses. For example, air conditioners, lights, audio devices are controlled remotely with our smartphones. Or smart locks with different sensors used in the doors can be accessed by mobile phone and all these systems can communicate with each other themselves if required.
In recent years, after smartphones, users have invested the most in wearable technologies. The important role of health in human life and the fact that wearable technologies gather any information about the health of the person makes wearable technologies more convenient for consumers. With a wristband, it is possible to measure the blood pressure and heartbeat of the user regularly. For example, this information can also be used for notifying related health teams in case there is any critical situation in nursing homes.
One of the most popular technological developments in recent years is driverless vehicles for sure. Especially Google and Tesla are making serious investments and studies on this subject. Besides smart and driverless cars, IoT is used in traffic lights to optimize green and red light durations according to traffic density or in parking solutions to direct the drivers to available parking spaces.
How Do Business Users Benefit from IoT?
The adaptation of companies to IoT continues rapidly. There is no reason for them to be afraid of changes, IoT offers great opportunities for both savings and productivity while providing convenience to managers in the production area and at the headquarters.
Imagine that a business center with five floors and a high number of employees can measure air quality temperature and noise levels, control the lights remotely, measure energy and water consumption, determine the need for cleanliness in toilets, and provide immediate information to the relevant teams and monitor all of these with an application on the smartphone. Isn’t it great?
How is IoT Used in Industry?
The use of IoT in production areas is slightly different. IIoT (Industrial IoT) systems’ main goal is to monitor and increase productivity. It is aimed to monitor the machines, production, production quality, processes in the factories where thousands of production is carried out and to ensure that all processes can communicate with each other. By this way, the factories are expected to reach the Industry 4.0 level which is the current level of the industry.
Many different IoT applications are designed to increase efficiency in different areas of the factory such as monitoring working conditions with various sensors installed in the machines, monitoring energy consumption in the factory, tracking the locations where the vehicles are located, and monitoring instant temperature levels in areas such as medicine and ceramic industry where temperature is critical. With these applications, processes in production areas are improved, losses are reduced and more efficient production areas are created.
IIoT applications can be used also outside the production sites or outside of the factory. For example, it is possible to track the number of products and shipments in the warehouse by smart sensors and to monitor the suitability of storage conditions (temperature, humidity) remotely. Monitoring the current location of the vehicles or managing the remote wastewater pump outside of the factory can be operated with IIoT systems.
Today, almost all technology companies invest and work on IoT solutions and the numbers will be bigger in the next years. IoT is getting more and more valued every day while it helps us to live in a digital age with many connected systems. IoT offers the most comprehensive solution and assistance to facilitate the life of end-users, maximize productivity in the industry, and feed Big Data.