A Day in the Life with the Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) is creating much buzz while it goes about transforming our lives. IoT is everywhere, even though we don't always see it or know that a device is part of the IoT. The IoT is turning physical objects into an ecosystem of information shared between devices that are wearable, portable, even implantable, making our lives technology and data rich. IoT business applications are numerous. Smart machines are changing when, where and how work is done in virtually every industry; but, what does it mean for real life? IoT is an unprecedented network connecting machines, individuals, data and processes and is now filtering down to real-life, shaping how we go about our daily lives. Some real-world examples of IoT are wearable fitness and trackers (like Fitbits) and IoT healthcare applications, voice assistants (Siri and Alexa), smart cars (Tesla), and smart appliances (iRobot). With IoTs rapid deployment coming into contact with multiple IoT devices every day will be unavoidable soon.
Real-life examples of Internet of Things devices
1) Smart Homes
Imagine waking up, not by an alarm blaring from your phone, but to the smell of coffee, light coming in your window from a curtain being drawn back, and a gentle stirring massage or vibration from your mattress. You wake up rested because a sleep sensor has made sure not to rouse you during a round of REM sleep.
Once you rise, your voice assistant tells you the weather for the day, makes clothing recommendations based on the forecast, and announces your calendar events, giving you reminders for the day (don't forget to call your mother, it's her birthday). Your iRobot has quietly cleaned while you slept. You use the washroom, and a smart toilet sensor checks your urine for health indicators – flagging any early disease detection to both you and your physician.
You've run out of milk for your cereal, but your smart fridge has already sent an electronic order for milk to an online grocery store who automatically charge a card on file for the food they deliver by drone to your front door. You can turn on the lights, turn up or lower the temperature of your home and ensure the door is locked all through voice instructions given to your connected home.
With face recognition technology you won't need a key to enter and exit your home, a face scan will let you in and lock up behind you. When you leave the house, a sensor communicates to a thermostat, the temperature resets to the desired "inactive" state and the lights shut off automatically to conserve energy. You live in a smart home, filled with smart appliances. Some of these IoT technologies are already widely adopted, some are still in the design phase, but it will all be a reality in the future.
2) Smart Cars
You leave your smart home and get into your IoT connected smart car. Driverless cars have always seemed like the stuff of futuristic movies. However, with IoT revolutionizing the transportation industry, digital technologies have made their way into the automotive sector. IoT enables human-to-human, machine-to-machine, and human-to-machine interactions that will shape how our automobiles operate. IoT connected vehicles are now equipped with sensors allowing them to pick up information from their surroundings. These sensors and cameras (like the reverse camera) provide the driver with a stream of diagnostic information that can be acted upon. Some cars even have automatic brakes that react if the sensors pick up something in the car’s path that the driver is unaware of. The smart cars that are connected to the IoT can aid in parking, facilitates better car maintenance, and help in predicting and avoiding collisions (even before a hazard comes into the driver’s line of view).
IoT connected cars transmit real-time data to manufacturers, so the manufacturers can quickly and accurately respond to any maintenance or machinery issues. Networked cars with drive assist, or that drive autonomously, are believed to decrease accidents and increase road safety. With more than 90% of car crashes attributed to human driving error that is probably an accurate assumption. IoT automobiles don’t get angry or tired or distracted. The automated driving program Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) is designed with best-in-class technology, alerting drivers to potential problems and taking control of the vehicle if necessary, to significantly reduce road accidents. Other connected car benefits include notifying family or emergency services should a collision occur, automated vehicle diagnostics and maintenance notifications, and driver habit tracking for insurance purposes. All of this adds up to safer roads.
3) Smart Cities
Once in your car, you'll be transported through the smart city you call home to your office. Because you live in a smart city, your commute is now 15-30 minutes faster than it used to be. Transit data, for example, can tell a city when it needs to increase public transit schedules on a particular subway line to reduce congestion and lower commute times. Traffic light cameras can alert a city to the need to adjust light timing to keep cars moving and lessen congestion, and if a collision occurs, inform emergency response instantly. More efficient public transit and traffic control contribute to lower carbon emissions, making the city air less polluted for inhabitants.
Through the power of IoT, whole cities are becoming digitally networked and therefore smarter. By collecting and analyzing mass amounts of data from IoT devices throughout various city systems, cities are improving the lives of citizens. Smart cities can make better decisions through the data it collects about infrastructure needs, transit demands, and crime and safety. A study showed that by using current smart city applications, cities are improving quality of life indicators (like crime, traffic, and pollution) by between 10-30%. IoT technologies in everyday life as part of your home, transportation, or city, connect to make a more efficient and enjoyable life experience. IoT promises a better quality of life by doing mundane chores and increasing health and wellness.