The Future of the Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a topic that is becoming increasingly more common in conversation these days. As technology has been advancing so quickly over time, it is no surprise that concepts and ideas like IoT would start to arise in conversation. Both in a professional context and even in everyday conversation.

Today, June 4 2018, is actually the first day of this year’s annual IoT Festival held in Melbourne. This 4-day festival looks at all the exciting developments in IoT and what the future holds for how connected we are to IoT. It includes guest speakers, predictions for future advancements and insight into the changes IoT has the power to make a more effective society across the world.

The Internet of Things refers to any physical object that can be connected to the internet and controlled by the internet through a device. By connecting everyday items like light bulbs, alarm clocks, coffee machines etc to the internet has the potential to increase efficiency, minimise time spent on tasks and improve interconnectedness, both at home and in the workplace.

The IoT concept has been discussed since the 1980’s but technology just wasn’t where it needed to be for it to properly be executed. Now, with the constant advancements and changes to technology, IoT is a much more reasonable idea with extensive success. So many everyday devices can now be connected to the internet, making their control and convenience that much more accessible.

There were near 8.4 million devices connected to IoT in 2017 and these numbers are expected to more than double by 2020. Another amazing statistic is that in 2008 there were more objects connected to the internet than people.

The IoT potential now includes smart cities, smart agriculture, smart stadiums, connected cars, efficient industries and more! The Internet of Things is forever expanding to create efficient processes. Cities and agriculture are the two main areas currently utilising IoT.

Internet of Things for Smart Cities

Smart cities are already considered a very real thing. Also called digital cities, cyberville and intelligent cities, they are cities where electronic data is collected and communicated frequently. Leading cities around the world are already incorporating smart buildings, smart bins, smart drains and better connections for car and travel system. All of which has the ability to transform how cities function, increasing efficiency and decreasing the risks of issues. Increased security also maximises safety within these cities.

Smart buildings

Essentially, smart buildings are buildings run centrally through electronic and online networks. They  can help reduce waste of electricity, maximise efficiency within the building and help with security to prevent safety issues. Smart buildings can improve the function of offices, apartment buildings and overall assist in city functioning running smoothly.

Smart drains

Smart drains have the power to minimise the chance of flooding drastically. They have the technology to act when flooding does happen.They can work to reverse the damage as quickly and effectively as possible. They’re technology reduces blockages and build ups to allow as much water to be as drained as is possible.

As technology allows, these drains will be accessible to places beyond cities and will vastly help to improve drainage of all areas. Effective drains help decrease the chance of contaminated water, disease and flooding, and their implementation across the world could have impressive influence.

Smart bins

Rubbish and waste has been an issue worldwide for years now. Diminishing the chances of waste problems as the population continues to grow and cities continue to become congested is something that has needed to be faced. Smart bins have been around and experimented with for a while now.

They are able to maximise waste space through compression within the bin, increase recycling and improve the overall efficiency of emptying the bins with the use of WiFi to alert their main system when they are at full capacity.

These bins are being produced by a number of different companies and have promising futures. Utilising solar power, WiFi connection and compression technology to give the best option for city waste management.

Internet of Things for Farming

One of the biggest industries employing this effective technology is the agricultural world. We have spoken before about the impact of technology on farming and all farming practices but to really grasp the impact of the Internet of Things on this industry you just need to look at the bountiful ways in which IoT has changed agriculture, and for the better.

Connecting farms or rural areas to the internet and letting it become more interconnected has the power to really transform the agricultural industry dramatically.

Drones

IoT has allowed for drone use in agriculture which can help with imaging and checking for crop health, mapping and a range of other benefits like increased efficiency and the potential to grow with easier access to checking on crops or livestock as farms are extended.

Farming is an industry in which drones are exceptionally helpful and yet only recently has this technology been made available for farms. As they become smarter, their use goes beyond images and video, they have the capacity to assist in major farming functions and assure crop health and safety in the workplace.

Precision Farming

Precision farming refers to making the practices within the farm more efficient and precise. Drones can assist with this precision by checking on crops or livestock. But internet access is a major way to improve precision alone. While internet access may not be something the everyday person would think of, having access to it is still not a luxury all farmers are privy to.

The internet allows workers to be connected. It allows access to the latest information and technology whenever it is needed and decreases risks of injuries, loss or issues of any kind.

Livestock monitoring

The Internet of Things allows for the monitoring of livestock to become that much easier. With technology now you are able to install data collecting equipment to track and understand the movement of your livestock. This decreases the risk of injuries to the animals, animals being lost and increases the safety overall for the animals and anyone working on the farm.

Smart Greenhouses

With the ever increasing population worldwide, there is also an increase in the need for food and resources, the Internet of Things can assist with these growing demands and lower the chance of disaster occurring if not enough resources are being produced to suit the growing needs.

Smart greenhouses are self-regulated, controlled temperature micro-climates that ensure the right environments to grow whatever plants are needed. They are the future of the farming industry and prevent issues of weather, time or too-high demand from having an impact on farming.

Pumps and Water efficiency

Water efficiency is extremely important in the running of agricultural practices. With the constant fluctuation in rain and access to water across the world, the use of all water currently accessible on farms needs to be closely monitored and used smartly. IoT connected pumps allow for control of water to be more accessible, decreasing time needed to complete tasks.

The Internet of Things is becoming more and more a part of everyday life. Its impact is ever increasing and not just in highly populated areas. It has the power to help those in all different industries and locations and can help connect us all more effectively.