01 Aug How the IoT Influences All Brands to Be Better
The Internet of Things (IoT) expands on a monthly basis. New gadgets hit the market which makes our lives easier, we tap into networks no matter where we go and every business on the planet seems to have or use an app. There’s no denying the IoT has changed life as we know it, but it also influences brands to strive beyond what they were once capable of.
The managed services market for the IoT is worth about $34.8 billion globally. As more smart gadgets enter the market, the number should grow even larger. The automated home market alone should hit $190 billion by 2022. Add in the use of smart gadgets in offices and you can see the fast pace of the industry’s growth.
The IoT influences brands to be better by making them keep pace with the latest trends and adapt to changing technology. However, the IoT impacts different industries in different ways. Here are seven industries and how IoT influences them to be better now and in the future:
The mining industry has notoriously been a dangerous profession. Workers go down into tunnels that sometimes collapse, are exposed to deadly gases and breath in foreign particles. However, technology is changing the mining industry in positive ways and demanding mining companies do a better job of protecting miners. For a few years now, the industry has turned to other ways of extracting resources, such as strip mining or sending robots down into the mines.
Now, thanks to the IoT, wearables with sensors track everything from a miner’s location to their body temperature. The clothing can also warn a minor if certain dangerous conditions are available and give them time to leave the location. No longer is there a need to carry a canary into the mine to warn of toxic gases, because the sensors do that work for the miners.
Manufacturing comes with a unique set of challenges, such as keeping the machinery running at maximum efficiency. In the past, engineers and repair people had to wait for a machine to fail and then figure out what was wrong. With the IoT, sensors find issues with machines vibrating or parts coming loose. The system then notifies the appropriate department to order parts of fix a small issue before it becomes a larger one.
Some of the types of sensors which can be embedded in machines and conveyor belts include voltage sensors to track how long something is running, temperature sensors to prevent overheating, moisture sensors to prevent damage and vibration sensor to sense overworked parts at the point before failure.
For large warehouses, one of the biggest hurdles they often face is keeping track of massive amounts of inventory going through the facility. However, the IoT changes the way warehouses track inventory in simple and intuitive ways. For example, sensors placed in conveyor belts track the items coming off trucks, follow them to their storage location and log them into a computer database.
No longer do items go missing and turn up many months later. To find any item, the worker simply punches in an SKU and pulls up the last known location. The sensors eliminate the potential for human error in reporting.
Houses of tomorrow look different than the houses of the past. Already, more than 50 percent of the IoT devices we’re using we access at home or work. Think about the ways you use technology in your home already. You likely have a Wi-Fi system, a smart TV and perhaps even a smart speaker, such as Alexa or Google Home. Now, look forward a few years to what a smart home might really look like.
Smart home technology is improving our lives and making day-to-day tasks easier. There are even refrigerators that let you know when you need more milk or are out of apples. The construction industry is slowly embracing this smart technology and implementing it into the homes they build. At a minimum, they see the need for a wired house and walls that don’t block signals.
5. Financial Services
When you think about the industries impacted by the IoT, finance might not be the first that comes to mind, but technology is even having an impact here. Around 58 percent of financial services companies have IoT capability and utilize items such as smartphones, cameras and sensors for running their businesses.
With the more widespread use of phones, in particular, finance companies also concern themselves with security. They share a lot of sensitive data within the company, so it’s vital to secure that info and not allow hackers access to it. With the IoT comes some security concerns, so finance companies beef up their protections, which makes them better equipped to protect their customers’ assets.
You would hope that when it comes to your health that the medical industry would be on the edge of the latest advances and this is true for many healthcare providers. There are so many different ways the healthcare industry already uses the IoT, but one example includes doctor offices with apps that send you push notifications about an upcoming appointment and health updates as test results come back.
On the backend, healthcare facilities need to reduce costs as much as possible while still providing valuable services. One way they achieve more efficiency is by pulling data from the network of things, analyzing it and figuring out how best to assist physicians with the best ways to measure an illness and come up with a plan of treatment. While the doctor must still know what is best for each individual patient, the system helps alleviate unnecessary tests or repeat orders for the same test.
The transportation industry takes people from Point A to Point B. The ways that IoT impacts transportation are myriad. For example, sensors installed on buses can track how well a driver is navigating the challenges of the road and make adjustments to training for better safety. Smart cities may have the ability to notify drivers of road hazards so they can take a different route.
If you live in a city where there is a subway system, the IoT tracks the speed of trains, when they are arriving and even how many people are on each train. This allows planners to make adjustments to schedules as needed to best meet the needs of citizens.
The IoT Is Changing Our World
The IoT is changing the world as we know it. Some of the technology we use, we don’t even think about anymore, such as our smartphones. However, in the next ten years, new devices will hit the marketplace that impact how we live our lives and how we do business. It’s impossible to predict or even imagine all the changes on the horizon, but businesses would be smart to stay on top of changes and embrace them as it makes sense for their particular industry.