Internet of Things in the Corporate Sector: Marketing, Urban Life, Agrarians and Other
September 20th, 2016
Internet of Things, one of the main trends of 2016, is developing like greased lightning. We have already talked about the ABCs of Internet of Things. Today we’re going to talk how Internet of Things (IoT) technology is being used by large companies.
Internet of Things and Urban Life
Milton Keynes City Hall, Open University, and other organizations have joined forces to create the first in the UK city-wide M2M and IoT network with public access.
The network can be used for various purposes - for monitoring the availability of parking spaces and tracking garbage containers’ condition for timely removal of garbage. The technology is provided and managed by BT and Neul companies. They plan to install a network of small base stations that will provide communication coverage for the connected low-power sensors throughout the city.
Sensit system began to be deployed in Belgrade that is able to inform drivers about available parking spaces within the city limits. Besides that, smart parking analysis system also helps to improve a more even urban traffic without jams.
The demand for the Internet of Things in the modern urban planning is so great that Hitachi company launched Hitachi Insight Group - a new direction for their business, oriented at smart city IoT-solutions.
Internet of Things and Transportation
Virgin Atlantic invests in the Internet of Things, connecting its fleet of passenger and Boeing 787 cargo aircraft to the Internet of Things with the help of devices and sensors. During one flight, each “connected” aircraft can produce up to half a terabyte of data. Most of the new Boeing 787 can be called almost completely connected - from the engine to the chassis and valves. Thanks to this feature, possible mechanical problems can be identified way before they will cause a critical situation.
A few months ago, Microsoft and Rolls-Royce announced cooperation in the field of IoT development and its application in the automotive field. Microsoft will work to improve the intellectual Rolls Royce engines and such engines will use advanced operational intelligence, a smart self-learning software from Microsoft.
Rolls-Royce will use Microsoft Azure IoT Suite and Cortana Intelligence Suite tools to gather information about all activities and situations while moving as well as plan maintenance.
Previously, Rolls-Royce has invested in the development of jet engine sensors that can collect data in real-time, alarm about the engine condition, and even maintain it remotely.
Remote monitoring of vehicles, trains, and planes are one of the most actively used advantages of the Internet of Things in transport. Such monitoring will reduce the impact of cars on the environment, optimize their speed on various parts of the roads and their fuel consumption, and schedule maintenance.
Internet of Things and Marketing
Fitness First use iBeacon sensors that track the flow of visitors to gyms and automatically provide them with relevant information, such as upcoming training schedule. iBeacon can identify a person that regularly attends fitness classes and send him a note inviting to try a new kind of exercises.
Disney World theme park owners created “MagicBand” - wearable wristbands with RFID tags. Now, using these wristbands, Disney World visitors can register at the entrance to the park, buy food and tickets for amusement rides. Advantages for Disney are clear as well - they can use the data to track visitor traffic in the part, determine areas and amusement rides are more popular than others and analyze areas that require greater effort to attract public attention.
Internet of Things and the agricultural sector
John Deere, the equipment manufacturer for agriculture, construction, and forestry industries, is using big data and IoT technology to control moisture levels in the soil, which allows farmers to make timely decisions about irrigation of their lands.
Data collected by the sensors installed on the equipment gives farmers a chance to achieve high yields by telling when soil conditions are most favorable for crops and when it needs watering. This innovation helps to reduce operational costs and improve productivity.
Internet of Things and insurance business
Farmers Insurance company decided to use Internet of Things to solve incidents that can happen in supermarket parking lots. According to Ron Guerrier, company’s CIO, their customers will equip their vehicles with sensors that will notify the owner about incidents in the parking lot (for example, if a shopping cart bumps into a car). The sensor sends a message to the customer’s smartphone and it can also immediately contact Farmers Insurance representative to resolve the issue.
In addition, the Internet of Things and its popularity growth created a new kind of threat - breaking into the physical devices that are the heart of the IoT and stealing the data stored on them. The main danger lies in the fact that IoT-devices are designed to be operated remotely, therefore hacking can also be done remotely. With this in mind, many insurance companies began to offer a new kind of insurance - insurance policies that protect against cyber attacks. Considering that this threat will only grow in the future, we can expect that insurance companies will investigate cyber-risks and offer such insurance for their corporate clients.
Internet of Things in the Corporate Sector: Development Vectors
The technology of the Internet of Things, unlike many other IT innovations, first appeared and developed in the consumer sector. Fitness equipment, smart home systems, medical gadgets - all these solutions have become popular last year in 2015. Many experts say that 2016 will be the breakthrough year for the IoT in the corporate sector, which will become the largest market for the Internet of Things implementation. Because of this, the most important challenges of IoT technologies to be solved in the near future are going to be standardization and interoperability. In other words, Internet of Things requires common standards for the storage and data exchange so that the corporate sector can get rid of the disparate devices and platforms and move to a more unified infrastructure.
Internet of Things is also closely connected with another IT trend of this year - big data. The growth of the connected device numbers causes further growth in the amounts of data to collect, store, and process. Obviously, such data requires analysis and we should expect powerful analytics systems to appear in the nearest future, including real-time analytics. This would dramatically affect many daily tasks and ways to do them.
Special attention is given to the security of IoT-devices from hackers. If a break into personal IoT-gadgets or smart home systems will bring trouble or a threat to privacy to their owners, hacking corporate IoT-devices is not only a huge loss for the company, it is also a violation of the intricate systems, including a threat to life for the client or service personnel if it is a medical gadget, for example. Therefore, the IoT-security is the most important, but so far not resolved adequately problems. We’ll see how it goes - the sky isn’t the limit to the IT innovations.