In today's era, we can connect everyday objects—kitchen appliances, cars, thermostats, baby monitors—to the internet via embedded devices, and seamless communication is possible between people, processes, and things. A look at the IoT market reveals that the demand for IoT is only set to increase, with Forbes predicting that the IoT market is said to touch $250 billion by 2026. In 2021 itself, the IoT market has increased by 22.4%.
In this article, we will talk about IoT and how it's playing a big role in building smart cities. So let's get started.
What is IoT?
Internet of Things (IoT) is mainly the network of physical objects that are set with sensors, software, and other technologies, this is done to get connected and exchange data with other devices and systems over the internet. These devices range from ordinary household objects to sophisticated industrial tools. IoT devices can communicate and interact with each other over the network/internet worldwide and can be remotely monitored and controlled by software devices.
Advantages of IoT
Consider the task of monitoring a human cyclist riding on a road. There are many different parts of the overall system you can monitor. Some might be internal to the system, such as the cyclist's heart rate or sweating rate. Others might be external to the cyclist, such as a slope of the road, or external temperature and humidity. You can go beyond the sensor data and look at how that data is captured and transferred.
New business opportunities
IoT has created many business opportunities such as, It can manage your storage units, measure inner company resources, check if all of your hardware is in order and make requests to your suppliers.
Capabilities to predict and act
A key opportunity about Iot is the ability to predict needs before they arise and act with precision based on insights from the IoT network. Collected data can be used to predict and put you in front of issues before they occur. For example, manufacturer warranty and maintenance information can be paired with IoT-collected data to predict maintenance incidents.
IoT home automation is a smart home powered by IoT. Instead of manually going up to the device and taking action, many of the actions can be taken at the press of a button. These days, most smart IoT home automation devices allow you to control them via an app or even via voice commands.
What Industries Can Benefit from IoT?
Manufacturers can gain a competitive advantage by using production-line monitoring to enable proactive maintenance on equipment, when sensors detect an impending failure. Sensors can also measure when production output is compromised. With the help of these sensor alerts, manufacturers can quickly check equipment for accuracy or remove it from production until it is repaired. This allows companies to reduce operating costs, get better uptime, and improve asset performance management.
The automotive industry has experienced significant advantages from the use of IoT applications. In addition to the benefits of applying IoT to production lines, sensors can detect impending equipment failure in vehicles already on the road and can alert the driver with details and recommendations. With the aggregated information gathered by IoT-based applications, automotive manufacturers and suppliers can learn more about how to keep cars running and car owners informed.
Transportation and Logistics
Transportation and logistical systems benefit from a variety of IoT applications. Fleets of cars, trucks, ships, and trains that carry inventory can be rerouted based on weather conditions, vehicle availability, or driver availability, thanks to IoT sensor data. The inventory itself could also be equipped with sensors for temperature-control monitoring.
IoT applications allow retail companies to manage inventory, improve customer experience, optimize supply chain, and reduce operational costs. For example, smart shelves fitted with weight sensors can collect RFID-based information and send the data to the IoT platform to automatically monitor inventory and trigger alerts if items are running low.
What is a Smart City?
In general, a smart city is a city that uses IoT technology to provide services and solve city problems. Smart cities use a combination of the internet of things (IoT) devices, software solutions, user interfaces (UI) and communication networks. Theoretically, any area of city management can be incorporated into a smart city initiative. A classic example is the smart parking meter that uses an application to help drivers find available parking spaces without prolonged circling of crowded city blocks.
Energy conservation and efficiency are major focuses of smart cities. Using smart sensors, smart streetlights dim when there aren't cars or pedestrians on the roadways. Smart grid technology can be used to improve operations, maintenance and planning.
The Salient Role of IoT in Smart cities
Connected technologies and IoT solutions for smart cities play important roles in transforming cities into smart cities. Implementing a smart city with IoT and connected technology helps to enhance the quality, performance, and interactivity of urban services, optimize resources and reduce costs.
1. Smart Infrastructure
Smart infrastructure in smart cities, include advanced connected streets, smart parking, smart lighting, and other transportation innovations.
Smart lighting is an IoT driven technology that offers immediate results. Smart lighting is usually energy-efficient, which uses high-efficiency LEDs equipped with sensors that provide optimum lighting based on pedestrian and vehicle traffic needs. When a street is empty, lights dim—and money and resources get saved. Parking lots can be dimmed during work hours and will illuminate when a car enters, while the rest of the parking spaces can be kept at diffused settings.
Smart Parking Management
Smart parking management is an IoT based system, which is used in parking lots to find the vacant location for a vehicle at different public places. Wireless sensors are embedded into parking spaces, transmitting data on the timing and duration of the space used via local signal processors into a central parking management application. Smart Parking reduces congestion and decreases vehicle emissions. For effective deployment of smart parking technologies, each device needs to have reliable connectivity with the cloud servers.
2. Smart Buildings & Properties
Safety & Security Systems
Safety & Security Systems implemented in smart cities involve implementing remote monitoring, biometrics, IP surveillance cameras, and wireless alarms to reduce unauthorized access to buildings and chances of theft. It also includes utilizing Perimeter Access Control to stop access to restricted areas of the property and detect people in non-authorized areas.
Smart Garden & Sprinkler System
Smart sprinkler system synced with IoT is used to water plants with the assurance that plants get the right amount of water. Smart garden devices can also perform tasks such as measuring soil moisture and levels of fertilizer, helping the city authorities to save on water bills, and keep the grass from overgrowing in a convenient way.
3. Smart Energy Management
Smart grids are digitally monitored, self-healing energy systems that deliver electricity or gas from generation sources with the help of Various IoT solutions. Smart grid solutions can be used across industrial, residential as well as in transmission and distribution projects. Various IoT solutions like gateways can be used to achieve energy conservation at both the transmission level and consumer level. For e.g., gateways can provide a broader view of energy distribution patterns to utility companies with high connectivity and real-time analytics.
Smart meters can be used in residential and industrial metering sectors for electricity and gas meters where there is a need to identify real-time information on energy usage. Consumers and utilities with smart meters can monitor their energy consumption. Moreover, energy analytics, reports, and public dashboards can be also accessed over the internet using mobile applications integrated with IoT applications.
Internet of Things is reshaping almost all industries by enhancing the customer experience. It has proved that we will live in a smart world --smart homes (Home Automation), smart cities, and it is designed to make our lives more convenient. While the IoT is already boosting efficiency, productivity, and safety, the future of the IoT could disrupt enterprise business models, too.