Sensors are making a comeback. Micro-electromechanical Systems (MEMS) becoming inexpensive may be one of the reasons that made it possible for sensor technology to become part of our lives again. They have unlimited uses and have a bright future ahead. Sensors are present in a wide variety of gadgets in use these days, like smart phones, Tablets etc.
Sensors are to the system what our nervous system is to our brain.
It is the means to provide data to the system that in turn analyse it to device an action on it.
IoTs refer to the things that are connected to Internet and can be remotely controlled and activated.
IoTs are the basis for smart homes, smart cars, smart industries, smart agriculture etc.
Sensors are now being connected to the IoTs and this marriage is predicted to be lasting and ever blossoming. Sensors being connected to Internet are revolutionizing fields like, technology, environment, healthcare, agriculture and hospitality in phenomenal ways. Here, in this article we are going to see how these fields are benefitting from the sensors and IoTs.
Power and Utility
Smart grids are an energy conservation friendly concept that has immense potential in our eco-friendly future plans. Smart grid sensors in IoT system can make it possible to device large networks that can share the power loads and monitor grid’s working in real time. Similarly, smart meters are going to prove beneficial for both consumers and the services. The billing that was done on monthly basis by meter reader can be done automatically every 15 minutes by smart meters for electricity, gas and water alike. The data would be collected and monitored in real time hence keeping the consumption of these precious resources in check.
IoT sensor devices can check and collect data like, temperature, pressure, flow rate and calibration in order to ensure preventive maintenance of these utilities. Energy loss such as gas leaks, theft and fraud can easily be detected using automated system through these revolutionary IoT sensor devices.(Chamberlin, 2015)
Civics and IoT Sensor Devices
Best example that can be shared to understand the concept and the multitude of its benefits in civics, like building a Smart City is the city of Barcelona. In 2012, they started amalgamating IoT related technology across urban systems like public transport, parking, street lighting and waste management. Taking the transport system, they installed sensor system to guide the drivers to parking spaces. Embedded in asphalt, these IoT sensor devices directed drivers to open spaces thus, avoiding congestion and emissions. The direct link of sensors with IoT system allowed online parking payment. (Adler, 2016)
Using smart technologies, smart lampposts were installed across Barcelona, making energy efficient power utilization possible. Sensors installed could sense pedestrians close by and would dim as they move away. This ensured 30 per cent less consumption of energy. (Adler, 2016)
IoTs and sensors technology is transforming the agriculture industry for better and helping the farmers to improve their crops production with keeping in check the challenges they have to face along the way. Problems like water shortages, limited availability of land and ever increasing consumption needs of global population which is expected to touch a whopping figure of 70% by 2050, according to United Nations. (thingworx)
IoT sensors provide farmers with information about crop yields, rainfall, pest infestation and soil nutrition and this data collected can be used in ground breaking research for developing improved farming techniques in the future. (Tharrington, 2015) Perfect example of Sensor based IoT being used these days is the new hardware, Rowbot, which is pairing data collecting software with robotics to fertilize corn, apply seed cover-crops and collect related information in to increase produce and decrease the waste. (Tharrington, 2015)
IoT sensors devices are bringing revolution in healthcare industries with state-of-the-art technologies to facilitate the patients. Ingestible cameras and internet connected sensors are being used for medicine management and for doctors to measure if the patient is taking the medication or not. (INSIGHTS, 2015)
Smart walking aids have already been introduced as the Next Generation Cane. It uses GPS, 3G and Wi-Fi to assist disabled people to move around safely and with much more agility. Similarly, Old homes are installing monitors with motion sensors to keep an eye on elders without intruding too much in their privacy. Sudden change in room’s temperatures can also alert the staff to take necessary measures.(Parton, 2015)
These are some of the phenomenal uses of IoT sensor devices that have brought revolutionary changes in various industries. It has a bright future ahead and will be instilled in many other fields and can do wonders for improved lifestyle.
Adler, L. (2016, February 18). How Smart City Barcelona Brought the Internet of Things to Life. Retrieved July 14, 2017, from Data-Smart City Solutions: http://datasmart.ash.harvard.edu/news/article/how-smart-city-barcelona-brought-the-internet-of-things-to-life-789
Chamberlin, B. (2015, Oct 06). The IoT powers up transformation in Energy and Utilities. Retrieved July 13, 2017, from IBM Center for Applied Insights: https://ibmcai.com/2015/10/06/iot-utilities/
INSIGHTS, C. (2015, December 21). 11 Surprising Applications For The IoT In Healthcare, Retail, Agriculture, and More. Retrieved July 14, 2017, from CB INSIGHTS: https://www.cbinsights.com/blog/surprising-iot-applications/
Parton, G. (2015, Oct 30). The Internet of Things: A Future of Sensor-Powered Healthcare. Retrieved July 14, 2017, from ElectronicDesign: http://www.electronicdesign.com/iot/internet-things-future-sensor-powered-healthcare
Tharrington, M. (2015, Nov 05). The Future of Smart Farming with IoT and Open Source Farming. Retrieved July 14, 2017, from DZone/IoT Zone: https://dzone.com/articles/the-future-of-smart-farming-with-iot-and-open-sour
thingworx. (n.d.). Smart Agriculture. Retrieved July 14, 2017, from Thingworx: https://www.thingworx.com/ecosystem/markets/smart-connected-systems/smart-agriculture/
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