The Internet of things used to create innovative products in the consumer market: smart refrigerators, fitness trackers, digital readers, etc. At the same time, the technology is also suitable for solving a wide range of business tasks: increasing labor productivity and saving resources to ensure safety and customer feedback.
In recent years, developed countries have experienced a boom in Internet of things. If in 2015 there were about 15.4 billion devices connected to the network in the world, then, according to IHS Markit, by 2021 this number reached 31 billion, and by 2025 — 75.4 billion. Intel’s estimate is more optimistic — 200 billion devices by 2021.
Global Internet spending is also impressive: in 2016, it reached $737 billion. IDC predicts that $1.29 trillion will be spent by 2021, and the average annual growth rate will be 15.6%. According to calculations by General Electric, IoT will add 10-15 trillion dollars to the global GDP by 2030, which is the analogue of the Chinese economy as of 2017.
Since the early 2000s, Internet technology has been used to track equipment status and monitor production cycles. Over the past 5–7 years, this technology has become possible thanks to the advent of new wireless communication protocols and remote data collection.
Devices can collect any information about the production process. It connects to a computer and is analyzed online. This allows you to fully control the loading of cars, anticipate breakdowns. Even the oldest machines can be equipped with sensors.
Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform). They collect all the information collected and receive statistical and analytical reports.
According to IoT Analytics, as of 2017, there are 450 IoT platforms in the world. As a rule, they are universal and suitable for solving various problems. This may be control of the production environment.
The use of IoT platforms also reduces maintenance costs: equipment is monitored without operator intervention, at any convenient point.
The introduction of Internet of things and Smart Digital Twin technology has significantly reduced the time for the development and manufacture of automobiles at Volvo plants. According to Volvo CEO Martin Lundstedt, thanks to new technologies, the engine plant in Sweden has increased productivity 5–6 times.
Employee control is another task that Internet of things effectively solves. This may be tracking vehicles or agricultural machinery — to exclude the possibility of using cars for personal purposes.
Previously, it was almost impossible to track the movement of corporate vehicles and employees. Today, the installation of GPS / GLONASS modules allows any manager to receive real-time information about the location of subordinates. The program independently identifies and shows any suspicious routes. Due to this, it is possible to optimize logistics costs, including reducing downtime and fuel consumption.
In the construction industry, “smart” helmets are used for monitoring and ensuring safety — headgear with an integrated sensor. It determines the location of a person by GPS and allows you to register a strong blow or fall.
The Internet of things also opens up new opportunities for employees working remotely, including with physical objects. Due to the fact that all devices are connected to the same network, you can perform new types of tasks without reference to the workplace.
According to MarketsandMarkets, in 2017 the market for connected offices amounted to $22.21 billion. Presumably, by 2023 it will double, reaching $46.21 billion.
Although office space automation has been going on for a long time, the introduction of Internet of things takes this process to a new level. The technology makes it possible to increase labor productivity, optimize routine tasks and create comfortable and safe working conditions for employees. A “smart office” is a single fully or partially automated ecosystem consisting of connected devices. This allows specialists to solve more problems during working hours.
Building automation involves centralized management of a number of systems:
Among the possibilities of Internet of things is the creation of new services and products. It’s enough to evaluate the experience of Nike, which, in addition to sportswear, began to produce smart watches and mobile applications in cooperation with the manufacturer of navigation devices, TomTom.
At the Mitsubishi Motors factory in Japan, process robots allowed:
Agricultural machinery manufacturer John Deere installs numerous sensors on their machines. Due to this, an array of data is accumulated, on the basis of which analytical reports are then created.
Accumulation and analysis of data are also used for machine learning, especially in demand in the field of heavy industry and aircraft manufacturing. This technology includes predictive and descriptive analytics to prevent equipment breakdowns and industrial accidents.
Big data analysis technologies in retail will also help improve the quality of customer service: from forecasting demand to feedback from the client. So, working with reviews using Internet of things, including the use of chat bots, increases customer loyalty and helps to improve products. Detailed information about consumer behavior and habits can be useful to marketers to create the best deal.
The Internet of things is changing the agricultural industry, aircraft and heavy machinery, medicine, life and reality as such. The introduction of technology is a prerequisite for business competitiveness in the 21st century market.