We live in an age people from all over the world are in contact with each other at the same time and distances are completely lost their importance. Also, advances in new communication technologies continue without slowing down, moreover, increases its speed. In this article, you will find 10 examples of the technology that brings objects together in a common network, in other words, the Internet of things, including today’s applications from different fields. Before starting to read, if you want to learn more about IoT technology, you can take a look at the article “What Is The Internet Of Things? What Kind Of A Working Logic Does It?” to get more detailed information about IoT technology.
1- Smart Homes
Smart homes consist of a structure in which many types of smart devices, from security to entertainment, from lighting to air conditioning, are connected over the same network. Control of the devices happens in two ways.
In the automation system, the devices work without your intervention, such as turning on/off the light when entering and leaving the room, adjusting the temperature of the thermostat which understands that your car is approaching the house. The remote control system allows the user to remotely command and control devices through an application or with a virtual assistant. For example, when you are away from home, you can see the person in front of your door via your home’s security camera, or you can also fill your cat or dog’s food bowl with your smartphone. These kinds of processes with the internet of things aim to offer people a more comfortable and safer life.
Some of the leading names in smart home apps are Google and Amazon. Google Home and Amazon Echo, smart speakers are connected via Google Assistant and Alexa virtual assistants. Hubs such as Samsung SmartThings can be called the point where all devices are connected. Both wired and wireless networks can be used in these systems according to preference.
Of course, there are some disadvantages of these very useful houses that are just like science fiction stories with all the facilities they offer. This, as many can imagine, is one of the most fundamental problems of the digital world, data security. On the one hand, the internet of things equips our homes with smart systems, and on the other hand, makes them the target of cyberattacks. Some researches show that because products such as doorbells, security cameras, and sockets in automation systems are mass-produced, hackers can find the security gap by acquiring and examining them. However, big brands are considered a more reliable option with their security researches and frequent updates.
Another disadvantage of the smart home system is the cost. But the sun side of the picture is that you don’t have to equip your house from a to z. First, starting with systems such as lighting and security that cost less, you can also make room in your life for smart home technology.
2- Smart Cities
Smart cities are one of the new life models of the future, eliminating the chaos of big cities. In fact, we can think of them as a larger-scale version of smart homes; a system that organizes and improves the entire complex structure of the city, such as transportation, health, energy, and education.
Here, one of the most fundamental elements of physical infrastructure is of course internet of things as well as technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud, and 5G. Thus, many other components of the city that you can think of, such as traffic lights, garbage cans, street lights equipped with sensor technologies, meet on a common platform. Even in this network, city residents are also involved with wearable technologies and smartphones, and all elements of the city are connected simultaneously with each other. Based on a culture of coexistence, this structure improves city services and promotes sustainability as well as increases the quality of life,
The smartest city in the world is Singapore, according to IMD’s Smart City Index 2020. In the city, where 5 million 619 thousand people live, city management bases its innovations on a people-oriented approach. “Virtual Singapore” is an effective example of the internet of things usage, as well as applications in many areas such as transportation, health, management, and security. This project creates the digital twin of the city, which means that it brings the physical city to the virtual environment in 3D. Simultaneous data from sensors in the city is included in a virtual 3D map of the city. So, for example, project developers find a more comprehensive area of investigation for installing solar panels on apartment roofs.
3- Internet of Things in Health Applications
When we look at areas of application in the healthcare sector, we can talk about technologies such as virtual hospitals and wearable biosensors. If we give an example from Singapore again, the city’s largest health complex, HealthCity Novena, allows citizens to easily access health services from their homes with telerehabilitation and telehealth digital applications.
During the Covid 19 pandemic period, which has alarmed the world since March 2020, access to health care has become even more difficult for all patients and especially the elder ones, who are in the high-risk group. At this point, biosensor technology can come to help us. With biosensors, values such as breathing and heart rhythm from the patient can be transferred to the health management system and all patients can be monitored remotely. Thus, if there is an anomaly in the values, the system is alerted. Also, microsampling devices such as Mitra can take a blood sample without the need to go to the hospital. Thus, at the same time, thanks to the internet of things, accumulations in hospitals are prevented.
4- Autonomous Vehicles
It looks like autonomous cars will be more in our lives soon. Because brands such as Tesla, Uber, Volvo, Google, and Toyota continue their driverless car projects without slowing down. New cars of Tesla of which Elon Musk is CEO, today enables autopilot features, while future ones are expected to be full self-driving.
Data from sensors both in their parts of the designed vehicles and in the external environment is collected in a cloud, and the results of their analysis, commands are determined within seconds. For instance, data that come from such as traffic sensors and the location of the car are processed instantly and creates an alternative route immediately. Among the possibilities provided by autonomous cars is that it significantly reduces accident rates and saves people time to deal with other jobs along the road.
Apart from these, autonomous service robots using the internet of things are also very noticeable. In addition to examples in the world, we can talk about the application from Turkey, that has recently started to apply; Pazardan. Currently, the app serves certain districts of Istanbul with a small robot that is monitored and commanded via an application. The robot brings orders from the district bazaar to the door alone.
Perhaps the most important application provided by the internet of things in the industry is the digital twin we mentioned above in the Singapore example. Digital twins, virtual replicas of plants and factories, allow managers to monitor analysis from here without interruption. In this way, a broken machine can be immediately intervened, and even possible failures can be predicted, and early measures can be taken. All this leads to a significant increase in productivity, as it minimizes the interruption in production. While big brands such as Siemens and Ford are among the names that use this technology in their facilities, NASA also benefits from this digital twin technology in the production of next-generation aircraft and vehicles.
6- Smart Agriculture
With the internet of things, smart farming is moving to another stage. Data obtained by sensors placed in fields or drones (light, humidity, temperature, soil quality) and automatic irrigation systems increase productivity and enable water and energy saving. Besides, autonomous tractors integrated into the same system are also gained farmers more time. Farmers can monitor and control all these operations remotely with a smartphone or tablet. In the same way, smart greenhouses make more efficient production with this automatic system. Agrisource Data is an example of technology companies providing services in this regard.
Vertical agriculture, which is done in a landless way in a closed environment, also plays a very important role in the self-sufficiency of cities in terms of food. Values such as humidity, light, water, and temperature are measured instantly with technologies such as artificial intelligence and the internet of things in the place of production. In this way, irrigation, lighting, and supplements to the needs of plants are provided to achieve a high level of efficiency. Vertical agriculture enables a water-saving of about 90 percent compared to traditional agriculture. ForFarming, an IoT-based vertical agriculture company in Istanbul can be given as an example.
7- Internet of Things Is a Great Opportunity for Companies
The internet of things gives companies important advantages in understanding user behavior. Access to data has become easier than before and has resulted in jobs running at less cost in less time. In addition, the marketing and advertising sectors examined the daily activities of their customers and got the chance to present the products that their customers would want to see with the data they obtained from here.
While social media is still the most important medium in digital marketing, the internet of things technology offers convenience to companies by automating the social media process and sharing created posts with the relevant audience. At the same time, this allows companies to instantly update their marketing strategies.
Another interesting example is interactive ads. Thanks to sensors embedded in products, companies say they are building more intimacy with their customers. For example, in the summer of 2018, when Malibu released 300 thousand bottles of rum, this application launched as part of the campaign of “Malibu Games 2018”, enabled 40 thousand bottles to be connected together. People interacted with their smartphones by participating in activities such as competitions via bottles.
Along with all this, in the product development process, companies take advantage of the internet of things to see errors and improvements instantly. In this way, early-stage interventions save time and reduce cost.
Besides the use of the internet of things in the fashion industry speed up the creation and production process, its applications that come to life really remind us of science fiction movies. Smart mirrors are one of the most interesting examples. These have already begun to take their place in some stores of famous clothing brands such as H&M and Zara. The smart mirror used by H&M can take selfies with the customer’s voice command, while Zara’s allows you to see the different colors of the outfit you are trying on.
The denim jacket, launched by Levi’s with the motto “connected not distracted”, has an ordinary appearance when viewed from the outside, but actually contains wearable technology inside. For instance, when your phone rings while you are wearing a jacket, you can answer an incoming call by rubbing your hand on the sleeve of the jacket. If you left your phone when leaving the house, your jacket warns you before you get too far.
An app called Coded Couture, designed by Ivyrevel partnered with Google, follows your daily activities and designs custom clothes for you. It equips the dress with details such as shiny stones according to the place where you will wear it (party, dinner, etc.).
9- Supply Chain
The Internet of Things plays an important role in making the entire supply chain process more high-quality and transparent. By monitoring the entire transport process of products, the arrival speed can be increased by alternative roads, at the same time it obtains clearer predictions for the delivery time. In addition, products that need to be transported under special conditions, such as medicines and food, are preserved by providing the ideal temperature with heat sensors. In general, process management becomes faster and more efficient with all these applications.
10- Sustainable Applications With the Internet of Things
The Internet of things gives us a big advantage in combating climate change. As we said when we talk about smart agriculture, thanks to the data collected from the environment, such as humidity and precipitation forecast via sensors, continuous environmental monitoring is provided, and in light of these, clear analyses are obtained, such as when and how much water should be spent. In this way, there is a significant reduction in energy and water consumption.
As a result of continuous monitoring of the environment, the amount of energy use is also updated according to instant data. Lights that are left on can increase their intensity or they can be turned off and on depending on daylight and movement in the room. Unnecessary energy consumption is prevented by turning on forgotten televisions on their own according to measurements such as the frequency of operation. Along with using in the solar energy sector, the internet of things is also useful in many other applications, such as indoor air quality measurement and smart trash cans.