Ruddersoft Official Blog - An IT Service Company in India

Iot (Internet Of Things): Top Real-World Applications

  • Ravi Pal
  • Jul 04, 2023
  • IoT System
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โ€œInternet of Things (IoT) is a network of connected devices with real-world applications in personal health, retail, supply chain, smarthomes, smartcities, agriculture, education, etc.โ€

The Internet of Things (IoT) or connected devices have become ubiquitous. With over 15B connected things, sharing data over the internet, IoT has become mainstream and with increasing smartphone penetration across the globe, the number of IoT devices is bound to cross the 30B mark by 2030. As a concept, IoT (Internet of Things) is a network of physical devices, interconnected and exchanging data over the internet. But how does that work?

The Internet of Things connects the physical world to the digital. It employs a set of sensors, IoT network technologies like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, BLE, etc., and the internet to connect two physical devices, enabling communication and data sharing. With IoT, you can control a light bulb using a smartphone application, you can open your car doors from a distance using RFID and BLE technologies, and enable proximity-based access control at your home as well.

IoT (Internet of Things ) is extending internet connectivity beyond standard devices that we have known for a long, say laptops, tablets, and Smartphones. With the ability to transfer data over a cloud-based network, IoT has enabled a new paradigm of smart business including smart manufacturing, supply chain, and retailing.

IoT: The Network Impact

Before IoT, we had a limited network that allowed data sharing. The Internet was new. Only a handful of devices could connect to the internet and then around 1999 Kevin Ashton sprung the idea of IoT (Internet of Everything), and we already had RFID (radio frequency identification), a short-range wireless technology that allowed auto identification and data capture using an RFID tag and RFID Reader, the idea of interconnected devices, IoT, started to take shape. Though IoT evolved from machine-to-machine communication (M2M), you might have heard the story of the coke machine at Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania, USA, it started to take shape into the internet of everything and the internet was at the center of it all. Wireless standards like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, BLE, RFID, etc., were the enabling technologies that made it possible.

At present, IoT is defined as smart objects with sensors and network technologies capable enough to connect and share data over the Internet. With low powered wide area networks such as LoRaWAN, NB-IoT and LTE-M, IoT has become quite prevalent in rural areas as well whereas in cities, LoRa, Sigfox, Zigbee, etc. are enabling low cost long range networks for city wide interconnectivity of services.

Application of Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT has enabled widespread connectivity, in business and in personal space as well. IoT devices and sensors are capable of sensing location, identifying objects and individuals, sensing temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors, and collecting various kinds of data remotely. As a technology, IoT finds applications in retail, inventory management, warehouse management, and asset tracking, item-level tracking, proximity sensing, access control and parking management, remote health monitoring, etc.

Apart from that, IoT finds applications in agriculture, supply chain and manufacturing, smart city and smart home, education, security, etc.

IoT in Agriculture

As the human population grows across the world, the demand for food supply is also going to touch new heights. Moreover, many third-world countries are already facing food scarcity. To tackle such food challenges, smart farming methods are crucial.

Smart farming is one of the fastest growing fields in the Internet of Things (IoT) as many governments are involved, helping the farmer to use advanced and latest techniques that help with reducing farming expenses, irrigation and fertilizers, soil health monitoring, food harvesting, storage, and food supply chain, etc.

IoT technologies such as BLE, RFID, and LoRaWAN can be leveraged in this regard. BLE and RFID with the help of LoRaWAN provide item-level identification and tracking, optimize farming techniques, and allow farmers to minimize costs, even in remote locations.

IoT in Healthcare

Healthcare is another sector where IoT plays an important role. Global healthcare is currently facing many problems and a lack of medical professionals and remote health are some of them. IoT technologies such as RFID, BLE, and various proximity sensors allow tracking of medical devices and medicines as well as medical professionals, help you manage the temperature and humidity at storage units where medicines and vaccines are stored, as well as allow healthcare professionals to create digital records of patients health which can be accessed remotely. Various IoT technologies are used in wearables (BLE in smartwatches, wristbands, health trackers, etc.) which allows remote sensing of patients' health vitals, heart rate, blood glucose levels, oxygen saturations, etc., remote monitoring and reduces the burden of hospital visitation for hospitals as well as patients.

IoT in Smart Cities

With rapid changes in lifestyle and a growing interest in a tech-savvy life, smart city and smart home projects are attracting huge investments and IoT technology is at the center of it all. Various IoT technologies such as Low Powered Wide Area Networks (LPWANs), LoRa, and short-range wireless technologies such as Bluetooth low energy (BLE), RFID, UWB, etc. are connecting various services within the city, allowing visibility and remote tracking in real-time. Smart transport, smart health, smart metering as well as digital services, complaints, and feedback mechanisms are helping us build better cities. The Internet of Things is improving the collective human living experience with more data collection and insights into the unique problems of societies.

IoT in Smart Retail

Retail is the largest business sector that is using RFID technology. Retail giants like Walmart and Target operate thousands of retail stores offline and online and various Internet of Things technologies such as RFID and BLE are helping them get more data, insights into day-to-day store operations, supply chain bottlenecks, and customer experience. IoT is enabling smart retail where supply chain visibility and order fulfillment are the top priority as these are the most crucial aspects of retail business. With the help of RFID tagging of items, pallets supply packages, ESL (electronic shelf labels), and BLE beacons, smart retail is a reality now.

IoT in Supply Chain

Modern supply chains face multifaceted problems such as warehouse inefficiency, bottlenecks, supply chain disruptions, lack of visibility as well and changes in customer expectations. Order fulfillment is the biggest issue these days as customers want on-time delivery of their orders and real-time updates post-order. They want easy return channels. IoT technologies have now made it possible to solve all these problems.

Internet of Things sensors, RFID tags, BLE beacons, etc. have made it possible to cost-effectively tag each item and consignment and real-time tracking. It has also enhanced visibility inside a warehouse and improved inventory management and control. With RFID, quick inventory count, and accurate record keeping are possible now leading to reduced stock shrinkage and enhanced growth.

To conclude, IoT has enabled a more aware, more data-centric business as well as lifestyle. People are using IoT devices in smart homes controlling lighting, access control, and security and a greater level of personalization. Various wearables are enabling a health-conscious populous, to carefully watch their oxygen levels, water intake, heart rate, and blood glucose levels. IoT technologies like LPWANs are enabling smart agriculture and smart city projects with wide network connectivity at low costs. In retail, IoT is enabling a great shopping experience, quick checkout at POS, and preventing loss due to stock shrinkage and shoplifting.

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