9 Real-Life Internet of Things Examples & Apps in Use Today
You’ve likely heard the buzzword Internet of Things (IoT) at the restaurant, colleague, in article, or advisement. But the term is broad and covers an overwhelming amount of information. Long story short, the IoT refers to the rapidly growing network of connected objects that are able to gather and exchange data utilizing embedded sensors.
Cars, thermostats, refrigerators, lights, and more appliances can all be connected to the “new global platform.”
To help clarify how this technology works, we’ve laid out 9 best Internet of Things examples.
1. Smart Home
The smart home is probably the most popular IoT app today since it’s the one that is most affordable and readily available to users.
Most homes already possess a certain amount of “smartness” since many appliances already contain electronic controllers or built-in sensors. Practically, all modern washing machines use programmers that follow a distinct series of washes, rinses, and spins, depending on how you configure their different dials and knobs when you first switch on.
If you use a natural-gas-powered central heating system, you certainly have an electronic programmer that triggers it at certain times whether or not you’re at home, or a thermostat on the wall that switches it on/off according to the room temp.
If you’re really hi-tech geek, you can buy a robotic vacuum cleaner that constantly crawls around the floors sweeping the dust.
From the Nest Thermostat to the Amazon Echo, there’s a bunch of IoT devices examples on the market that consumers can control via their voices to make their lives more connected than ever.
- Managing all of the home devices from one place;
- Flexibility for new devices and appliances;
- Maximizing home security;
- Remote control of home functions;
- Increased energy efficiency;
- Home management insights.
Examples – The Amazon Echo runs through its voice assistant, Alexa, which people can talk to in order to perform a variety of features. You can tell Alexa to play music, give a weather report, order on Uber, get sports scores, and so on.
Nest Learning Thermostat is self-learning Wi-Fi enabled smart thermostat that applies machine learning to automatically optimize the heating/cooling of the home to conserve energy. You can also manually control the home’s temperature with a just few taps on your tablet or smartphone.
The wearable is a smart electronic device with microcontrollers. It can be worn on the body as an accessory or as an implant.
Imagine the detectors, pacemakers, and other medical wearable devices that can simply be connected by the Internet to alert proper response teams when an accident or something dangerous has occurred. These devices can perform many of the same computing tasks as mobile phones and laptop computers.
Plus, the Android watch and Apple watch have turned our wrists into smartphone holsters by enabling phone calls, text messaging, etc. And devices such as Jawbone and Fitbit have helped revolutionize the fitness world by giving folks more data about their workouts.
- Staying connected;
- Improves fitness;
- Data accuracy;
Example – The Fitbit One tracks the user’s steps, floors climbed, calories burned, and sleep quality. The device also wirelessly syncs with smartphones and computers in order to transmit the fitness data in understandable charts to observe your progress.
3. Smart Cities
The IoT is everywhere today, from industrial apps to emergency services, public transportation, public safety, city lighting, and other smart city apps.
Thanks to its technological advancements, municipalities are becoming more connected in an effort to improve the efficiency of infrastructure installations, boost reliability and responsiveness of emergency services, reduce costs, and more.
With adequate connections and data, the Internet of Things can solve traffic congestion problems and minimize noise, crime, and pollution.
- Road traffic;
- Smart parking;
- Public transport;
- Street lighting;
- Waste management;
- Public safety.
Examples – Barcelona is one of the first smart cities on the globe after the metropole has implemented several IoT initiatives that enhance smart parking and the environment.
Copenhagen leverages open data in its collaboration with MIT to develop an innovative smart bike system. Embedded with sensors that deliver real-time information to both the administrators and riders, data is shared to monitor and manage traffic congestion and air quality.
4. Connected Cars
With smart technology, automotive companies such as Tesla, Ford, Volvo, and BMW are looking forward to improving the in-car experience.
These models are equipped with Internet access. They can share that access with others, like connecting to a wireless network in an office or home. More cars are starting to come equipped with this function, so prepare to see more apps included in future vehicles.
And unified with machine learning, the Internet of Things helps in numerous aspects of transportation systems like fleet management/logistics, smart parking, and smart traffic.
- In-car content and services;
- Advanced navigation;
- Driver and passenger safety;
- Fuel and cost-efficiency;
- Convenient payment models;
- Benefits for the disabled;
- Environmental impact;
- Data collection.
Example – Airbiquity is an engineering and software company that delivers OTA (over-the-air) updates and management services for connected vehicles. Their users can opt to have a family or friends automatically notified in the event of a crash.
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5. Smart Farming
With the permanent increase in the world’s population, demand for food supply is hugely raised. Governments are helping farmers to use advanced methods and research to enhance food production. Therefore, smart farming is one of the fastest-growing fields in IoT.
Farmers are applying meaningful insights from the data to yield a better return on investment. Sensing for soil moisture and nutrients, monitoring water usage for plant growth, and determining custom fertilizer are some IoT examples in farming.
- It allows farmers to maximize yields using minimum resources like water, seeds, fertilizers, etc.;
- Solar-powered and mobile operated pumps save the cost of electricity;
- Smart agriculture use drones and robots which helps in many ways;
- Cost-effective method;
- It delivers high-quality crop production.
Example – John Deere recently acquired Blue River technology to further the company’s mission of applying the Internet of Things, machine learning, and other technology to agriculture.
Deere’s equipment monitors crucial agricultural factors such as moisture levels, air/soil temperature, and wind speed, plus transferring the collected data to farmers.
6. Industrial Internet
Industrial Internet is the new term in the industrial sector, also termed as IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things). It’s empowering industrial engineering with sensors, software, and big data analytics to produce perfect machines.
Smart machines are more consistent and accurate than humans in communicating using data. And this data can aid companies in solving inefficiencies and problems sooner. IoT applications for tracking goods, and real-time info exchange about inventory among retailers, will boost the supply chain efficiency.
- Optimum energy efficiency;
- Digital connected factory;
- Just in time manufacturing;
- Predictive maintenance;
- Machine repeatability;
- Packaging optimization;
- Logistics and supply chain optimization;
- Fast and more informed decision making.
Example – Heavy-equipment manufacturer Caterpillar is using the Internet of Things and AP (augmented reality) apps to provide machine operators with the view of everything from fuel grades to when air filters need replacing.
7. Smart Retail
The potential of IoT in the retail industry is enormous. It gives an opportunity for retailers to connect with the customers to improve the in-store experience.
Smartphones will be the “link” for retailers to stay connected with their costumers even out of the store. Interacting through smartphones and applying Beacon technology can help retailers serve their consumers better.
It can also track consumers’ paths through a store and enhance store layout and place premium products in high-traffic areas.
- Better customer service;
- Smarter inventory management;
- Automated checkout;
- Enhanced supply chain management;
- Optimizing product placement;
- Reducing shoplifting and fraud.
Example – Engage3 provides actionable using data science, deep domain expertise, and modern technology. Its MissionControl SaaS platform enables businesses to boost visibility and maximize ROI by applying predictive analytics, historical pricing, and product database containing millions of UPCs along with billions of annual price updates.
8. Smart Grids
The smart grid shows a fantastic opportunity to transcend the energy industry into a new eon of efficiency, availability, and reliability that will contribute to environmental health and economic prosperity as well.
Smart grids collect data in an automated manner and analyze the behavior of electricity consumers/suppliers for better efficiency and economics of electricity use.
They’ll also be able to detect sources of power outages more quickly and individual household levels like nearby solar panels, making possible distributed energy systems.
- Smarter and cleaner energy use;
- Lower costs;
- Help with water and waste management;
- Greater insights into regional issues;
- Improved transportation and parking;
- Enhanced integration of customer-owner power generation systems, including renewable energy systems;
- Quicker restoration of electricity after power disturbances.
Example – Amper exploits its Factory OS system to make effective use of web-connected sensors and data to improve the manufacturing process. Amper’s sensors register a variety of important facets, such as energy use and downtime, so supervisors and factory owners can plan better, reduce costs, and identify areas of growth.
With the introduction of Internet of Things applications in the healthcare sector, patient care becomes accessible to all. The IoT-enabled devices have made remote monitoring possible, empowering the doctors to provide superior healthcare.
It’s also facilitated patient engagement by making interactions with doctors much more efficient and convenient. Plus, remote monitoring has dramatically reduced health care costs by minimizing the length of hospital stay and preventing readmissions.
- Remote patient monitoring and telehealth;
- Electronic healthcare records;
- Robotics and healthcare automation;
- IoT powers preventive healthcare;
- Hospital information management system;
- Reduced errors and waste;
- Improved outcomes of treatment.
Example – QuiO is cloud software that wirelessly connects different therapeutic devices related to medications, activity, and health for patients with chronic conditions. Tools for web/mobile enable healthcare providers and caregivers to respond to data more effectively.
As you can see from these examples of IoT, the future of this technology is a bright one. New ideas crop out about how best to use these devices, it’ll be interesting to see which way the Internet of Things heads. This “perfect technological storm” hasn’t reached its full potential yet, so get involved now before it’s too late.