Any events taking place in the world are reflected in the business. Elections, wars, crises and … bankruptcy. Only companies with a good margin of safety have a chance to survive. Those who managed to reduce their costs and significantly increase revenues. What is needed for this? For example, the introduction of the latest technology. In this article we will understand what IoT technologies (the Internet of things) are, how they help solve business problems and in what areas it is possible.
High-speed trains, which themselves transmit information about the state of trains and give recommendations on maintenance. Smart tractors that know how to sow and where to sow. Superorganic farms, the yield on the fields of which is 530 times higher than on ordinary. It turns out that we already live in such a reality, and it is even more fantastic than it seems. All this is the result of IoT technologies.
IoT is Internet of things, a network that brings together all the surrounding objects. Iron, car, refrigerator, bus — all these things “communicate” with each other. At the same time, a person does not participate in this communication, he only sets a goal, but does not program how to achieve it. The goal of Internet of things system is to make human life comfortable. She doesn’t need programs; she herself analyzes and predicts user actions.
For example, you drive home in your car. The car informs the house: the owner will arrive in 30 minutes, they say, come on, get ready. The house includes heating or air conditioning to create a comfortable temperature, instructs the oven to cook dinner, and the coffee maker — to brew coffee. A minute before your arrival, it turns on the light and the TV, where your favorite show is already starting.
The refrigerator, which itself orders products via Internet, is already a reality.
At the head of all this is the device. It monitors devices in the house and collects information. This is IoT — smart home. Devices are interconnected and form a single system that helps a person, no matter where he is. This is already a smart city. As you can see, Internet of things is much more than just a “smart” refrigerator, which itself orders products in the store.
At the heart of Internet of things is the technology of inter-machine interaction (M2M). This is when machines use mobile networks to exchange information with each other or transmit it unilaterally. M2M technology is used in healthcare and security systems, in production, utilities, energy, and banking systems.
IoT integrates these things into a single system
The industrial Internet of things system is similarly structured. This system includes:
IoT technologies are not being implemented as fast as we would like. But now it’s clear that the future lies with such technologies. And for some cities, this future has already come.
IoT technology is not only convenient. Although the opportunity to delegate to the system all the routine affairs and processes is worth a lot. First of all, it is safety and control. Wherever you are, you are in complete control of your home. On a city-wide scale, the benefits are even more obvious: technologies can optimize city transport or utilities. For example, “smart” garbage cans will only send signals to garbage trucks when they are full. The system will analyze the data and make the optimal route for garbage trucks. And instead of driving on a schedule, cars will only come when necessary.
The prospects for smart cities are the brightest. McKinsey experts calculated that by 2021 there will already be 600 such cities on the planet. And by 2025, they will produce more than half of world GDP.
As you can see, a smart city is more than just comfort. It is also a business where IoT is being introduced right now. The process is particularly active in the field of logistics and the agricultural sector — where there is a need to monitor the condition of objects or collect data for analysis.
Already, the industrial Internet affects almost all areas of life and business:
Now, in most farms in the agricultural sector, all mechanisms are manually controlled. Fertilizers are applied by eye, and the processing of fields from pests is carried out either on schedule, or when the pests have already begun to destroy the crop. The introduction of IoT is fundamentally changing. All mechanisms are equipped with sensors. When the tractor plows the land, the sensor analyzes the state of the soil in a particular area, the system itself calculates the required quantity and type of fertilizer and brings them into the ground.
In the process of plant growth, sensors monitor the level of humidity, the amount of nutrients and the presence of pests. As soon as one of the indicators is not normal, the system immediately makes a decision and corrects everything. Dry land — watered, and exactly where necessary, and in the required quantity. This approach increases productivity and saves resources.
So, automated soil moisture control systems are already being used in agriculture. Sensors analyze the level of humidity and, if necessary, include watering.
The introduction of IoT in plants and factories will reduce the number of personnel, maximize the use of resources and increase revenue by several times. For example, with their help, the factory can correctly distribute orders and load existing equipment at 100%, avoiding downtime.
The industrial Internet of things has enormous potential. The introduction of this technology allows you to save on maintenance and equipment repairs. Traditionally, repairs are carried out on the principle of «broken — repaired.» The master does not always notice minor breakdowns, as a result of which the mechanism may fail for a long time. As a result, downtime and expensive repairs. The use of special sensors will provide up-to-date data on the state of equipment and prevent breakdowns. This may also include accounting for stock balances. Now people are involved in this segment, and where people are, there are errors and inaccuracies.
Meters that themselves transmit readings and show the flow rate for each electrical device are beneficial for both the service provider and the consumer. Heating, which turns on an hour before you arrive home, allows you to save up to 50% of the money. All this makes a person’s life not only more comfortable, but also makes it possible to economically spend energy resources.
In medicine, Internet of things will allow you to switch to a completely different level of diagnosis and treatment. Special nanosensors and smart devices will monitor the condition of patients in real time. If necessary, for example, with an increase in blood sugar, such a system can immediately introduce a medicine. New technologies will prevent heart attacks and strokes, blood clots and heart attacks. Similar developments are already being introduced, for example, a smart cardiac monitor or a smart thermal monitor.
IoT helps customers understand and thereby improve service:
So, Rolls Royce gets data on how airlines use its engines. Samsung receives user data from its gadgets. She uses them to improve her products. So far this is only the beginning, but in the future, any business will be able to better understand its customers.
IoT creates new values for the consumer:
A company that uses new technologies offers a completely different product. For example, John Deere produces unmanned tractors for agriculture. In addition, his equipment is equipped with sensory sensors that monitor the state of the soil. The necessary fertilizers are applied in the required quantity. There are only a few such offers on the market, and they are in demand.
IoT streamlines business processes:
The business owner receives data from IoT devices in real time and can immediately correct business processes. For example, a taxi service analyzes the number of cars on the route and the number of orders. If there are more orders than cars, IoT automatically raises the cost of the trip. Such an algorithm is already used in many taxi services, such as Uber.
Implementing IoT improves business profitability:
The information collected by smart gadgets helps to develop a business in the right direction. This information helps to control and correctly distribute all company resources. In addition, data obtained in this way can be a source of additional profit. For example, Google collects information on how consumers use electricity. They can sell this information to energy companies or utilities.
By 2030, the contribution of industrial IoT to the global economy will amount to $14 trillion. The survey involved about one and a half thousand company executives around the world.
An absolutely safe IoT ecosystem does not yet exist. HPE research has shown that two-thirds of all devices do not encrypt wireless traffic, and their passwords are unstable. 9 out of 10 devices collect information about the owners without their knowledge. Therefore, there are risks that hackers may gain access to the “smart home” system through home appliances.
HPE study: 70% of devices do not encrypt wireless traffic
For example, the refrigerator will order 100 liters of milk, and the vacuum cleaner will turn on at night. In this scenario, criminals can even gain access to your car or home alarms.
Therefore, the main task set by the developers of IoT systems is to ensure security. Work on security is ongoing at all levels, including the state. So, the European Commission plans to certify devices that connect to IoT. In 2017 alone, more than a billion dollars were allocated to ensure the safety of Internet of things. Every year, the amount allocated for security will grow. Work is carried out in different directions: creating high-quality cloud services, preventing DDoS attacks, etc.