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Ankit Jhaveri

Degree:

MBA

Location:

India

Industry:

Technology

Year:

2016-17

By Ankit Jhaveri

11 ways how IoT (Internet of Things) is impacting the future – Part 1

The third week of September was an interesting week to be in Barcelona for anyone with the slightest inclination towards connected technology as Barcelona hosted the IoT World  Congress 2016.

IoT or Internet of Things is a buzzword thrown around frequently, but few truly comprehend the underlying impact and the potential it holds for the future. The IoT World Congress 2016 in Barcelona was a great platform to witness the role connected devices, sensors and cloud platforms are playing in disrupting conventional businesses, changing business scenarios, adding efficiency and even saving lives for a better future. Connected sensors with the cloud infrastructure and analytics hold the potential of monitoring, maintaining, tracking and analysing machines and humans for better decision making. The possibilities around IoT are endless but here are some of the most interesting examples from the IoT – World Congress from Barcelona that are creating an impact on the world and lives.

1. Connected solar panels, IoT and its impact on small schools in Nigeria

The UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the state government of Lagos funded a project with Schneider Electric to put together high-tech, self-contained solar systems for the future to consistently power up a local health clinic and 172 small schools for consistent power and not depend on conventional energy. The Lagos Solar project uses batteries that are charged by solar panels, along with intelligent inverters to a cloud based IoT solution that not only convert the battery power into usable electricity but also allow for remote monitoring and maintenance. [1]

nigeria_clinics

For remote sites like these that aren’t connected to a public electrical grid, there has to be a way to store solar energy so it can be used after sunset. That’s where the batteries come in. They are each the size of a typical car battery, and they line the walls of the system’s container and get charged by the solar panels during daylight hours. Schneider’s suitcase-sized inverters then convert the batteries’ 48-volt energy into the typical Nigerian appliance’s 230 volts, running through power lines into the school or clinic to power everything from lights to laptops.[1]

nigeria-clinics-2

Without this system, many of the country’s hospitals have had to rely on generators for power. If the fuel runs out or there’s another problem, they can be without electricity for 12 hours or more, which can be a grave lapse for severely ill patients needing urgent medical treatment. [1]

schneider_panels

2. Waste management and IoT

Problem:

Waste Management is a rising issue. One of the challenges around waste management is that different households have different collection requirements. Some generate more waste than others and if not cleared on time it could lead to garbage overflow, lack of waste segregation and threats of an unhealthy environment.

IoT based solution:

HP Enterprise has designed an interesting solution to tackle issues around waste management by introducing smart bins that have sensors which can identify waste content levels. The solution enables waste management companies to calculate levels of wastes at households or commercial offices and communicate this information through the cloud in real-time. Smart waste management solutions through the cloud provide substantial efficiency for waste management companies at a granular level, thus providing a cleaner environment at a lower cost.

smart_waste_management

smart_waste_man_2

3. Monitoring milk adulteration and distribution

Problem:

Milk distribution is one of the biggest challenges in India – an industry challenged for several years by theft, adulteration and growth in demand with limited supply.

IoT based solution:

Schneider Electric displayed an intriguing example to address this challenge through IoT solution.

Farm tank milk cans with sensors were introduced at farms. These sensors are capable to communicate and share data with the cloud and share information about location and levels of milk to a mobile application. An operator monitors this data  and gives status of several farm tank milk cans, which are tracked real-time.

Similarly, bulk milk cooler trackers with sensors communicate with servers, telemecanique sensors and Powermeters, transferred status and details of the bulk milk coolers to a monitoring dashboard. Trucks carrying the bulk milk coolers were also installed with similar sensors which made it possible for managers and operators to have real-time tracking and management of milk transportation. IoT turned out to be an incredible solution of this age-old problem.

milk_distrib_iot

4. Monitoring bicycle performance and maintenance

Problem:

Bicycle usage – recreational as well as functional is increasing, but so is the cost of maintaining or using bikes. Bicycles are used from triathlons to core-business functions like food delivery, but users have little information about the usage of bicycles. If this information is available, users could leverage this information for efficient usage and better management of a bike or a fleet of bicycles.

IoT based solution:

Step in – Smart Bikes. Smart bikes are bicycles with sensors which are capable of identifying detailed aspects of a single as well as several bicycles. Smart bikes provide information from speed, location, usage conditions, gears usage, brake usage and driving styles. This can significantly help improve performance of bikes, performance of professional cyclists and help monitoring bike usage. Bicycle companies could eventually change their business model from not only sales, but also offer support after the sale of the bicycles.

smart_bikes

bicycle_maint

5. Smart Parking Systems

Problem:

Car parking continues to be a huge challenge for every large city in the world.  Efficient utilization of parking spots around a city during peak and non-peak hours can substantially change traffic conditions and driving experience in every city.

IoT based solution:

Smart Parking solutions displayed at IoT World Congress showed the ability of connected sensor plates which were embedded in parking spots that communicated parking spot occupancy data to a cloud based solution that enables several users to identify vacant and occupied parking spots in the vicinity of the user. Such a smart system could help drivers plan better for parking, reduce traffic congestion and increase revenue for city municipalities through efficient parking revenues.

smart_parking_hp

6. Industrial Internet of Things (I²oT)

Problem:

Industrial automation is transforming factories around the world and across industries – electronics, automobile and medical devices. One of the largest challenges is monitoring and maintaining the health of machines. Machine downtime can severely affect the supply chain and eventually affect the performance of a company.

IoT based solution:

Real-time industrial health monitoring and early identification of machine breakdown is one of the most pervasive applications of IoT. Manufacturing machines are now enabled with connected sensors that are capable of transferring information to dashboards for real-time monitoring and maintenance. This information can be shared through cloud services to deliver real-time information on dashboards which could remotely be monitored, thus providing safety, performance and lower down-times.

(Continue reading in the next blog)

Sources:

[1] https://blogs.microsoft.com/transform/feature/schneider-electric-harnesses-the-sun-to-power-remote-nigerian-schools-and-clinics/#sm.00007bd4piggofe9yqu1myagflv5r

[2]  https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/cloud-platform/customer-stories-rockwell-automation

[3] http://www.iotsworldcongress.com/testbeds/2016-testbeds/#sthash.QKhXEbqB.dpuf

[4]https://dam.sap.com/mac/preview/a/67/yywXJ4lyXllLUggEw5nmEyOKgAUxXrHySUSMUHnnmUlPxOXS/36216_GB_36216_en.htm

[5] https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/cloud-platform/customer-stories-great-river-medical-center

[6] https://www.cognizant.com/industries-resources/healthcare/transform-patient-care-with-the-internet-of-things.pdf

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