Imagine you're at work and realize you might not have turned off the air conditioner while leaving your house.
What if you could use your smartphone to check the AC’s status and perhaps, even turn it off? Wouldn't that be amazing? Well, this can indeed be achieved with the help of the internet of things (IoT).
Until recently, internet access was limited to devices like desktops, tablets, or smartphones. But now with IoT, practically all appliances can be connected to the internet and monitored remotely. Internet of Things solutions are shaping the way we live our lives, by offering us better insight into the working of things around us.
So, what exactly are IoT Solutions?
Simply put, IoT is the interconnection of computing devices, embedded in everyday devices or objects, via the Internet, allowing them to send and receive data. Electronic devices, software, sensors, and other items—including those that are not normally associated with computing—are all connected to the network and can communicate with each other.
The key component in IoT services is the ability to collect data. Sensors are embedded into products or locations to gather information relayed back over the Internet. For example, factories may use sensors to monitor machinery and track progress through production lines.
Similarly, utility companies could use sensors on meters to remotely track electricity usage and more accurately bill customers. At home, it may be possible for appliances such as washing machines, to contact retailers when they need replacement parts or supplies such as detergent, making re-stocking easier for families and reducing waste for retailers.
Read More: What is IoT and how does it work?
IoT services have a multitude of applications in almost all industry verticals. It’s currently being employed in industries like retail, automobiles, banking, manufacturing, sports, etc.
How does IoT help businesses?
When you look at the commerce landscape, the biggest theme seems to be how data is going to change how we do business. If done right, IoT for business can allow companies to capture customer data and generate several valuable insights, in turn helping them gain more customers and improve customer loyalty.
1. Customer satisfaction and retention
One of the biggest benefits of having IoT for business is that it makes customers happy. With smart homes, for example, users can control their devices from just about anywhere using their mobile devices. This can help reduce waste and increase convenience in the home, which is something most people appreciate these days.
2. Oversee inventory and supply chains more efficiently
What if you could monitor your entire inventory from your smartphone or laptop? IoT allows you to do just that. By placing small sensors on items throughout your warehouse, store, or facility, you can keep track of supplies using real-time data. This means no more manual inventory management, and overstocking or understocking.
3. Enhanced predictive maintenance
IoT solutions enable machines to communicate their status through sensors incorporated into the machine itself — what’s working, what’s not working, and how long the components will last before they need to be replaced. This can greatly reduce downtime by enabling a technician to be on-site before the machine breaks down.
The Internet of Things is becoming more and more a part of our lives. While we’re still far from being fully immersed in the Internet of Things revolution, we are already seeing a lot of benefits from this new way of doing things. Here are a few examples:
1. Smart homes
IoT technology has made it possible for us to automate our homes. We can turn on and off lights and appliances, change the thermostat, or even lock up the house using our smartphones. It’s not just for convenience either – smart home devices can also help save money by using less energy.
2. Enhanced security
Security cameras have become increasingly popular as parents want to know what their children are doing at home. Cameras can be used to monitor other things as well: whether it’s your front door or your baby’s crib, you can use them to keep an eye out for intruders or potential problems while you’re away.
3. Improved health
Smartphones have made medical diagnosis far more accessible and affordable for millions worldwide. The next frontier of healthcare innovation is to help people understand the future health threats and how they can be addressed with the right tools and knowledge. In many ways, data is becoming one of the new resources that can save lives.
Turns out, IoT services aren’t just for tech startups and established companies like Google or Amazon. It's a technology that can actually improve any kind of business in a myriad of ways. Let's bust some myths about IoT for business across industries:
Smart manufacturing is one of the biggest IoT trends in recent years because it integrates with warehouse management systems and other technologies to provide value across the board. Manufacturing facilities will have many sensors working together for automation and efficiency.
2. Automotive solutions
The automotive industry is in dire need of change. Cars are getting more and more expensive to purchase, and the number of miles we put on them annually is growing.
This is where IoT comes in.
With automotive IoT solutions, the sensors embedded in cars and transportation networks can detect and record various parameters like speed and location data, to provide detailed, real-time information. This will also improve road safety by providing information on where vehicles are and what they are doing.
The future of retail is connected. The rise of the Internet of Things solutions is one way that retailers are capitalizing on the promise of connected technology and using it to improve customer engagement, store operations, and store experiences.
IoT solutions allow retailers to take advantage of Wi-Fi tags, MPLS connectivity, and other sensors to track customers in physical stores. This data can be used to make out-of-stock predictions and improve the overall efficiency of operations by deploying staff where they're needed most.
4. Banking & financial solutions
Banking and finance industries are not only using the IoT to collect data on their customers’ transactions, but also leveraging it to gather information on their behaviors. This enables them to create new products and services that are more relevant and personalized for each individual.
5. Media & entertainment
The Internet of Things solutions can help the media and entertainment industry by making it more convenient, reliable, and secure.
It also enables video streaming companies and content owners to perform key backend tasks like transcoding, analytics, and live streaming for synchronous OTT delivery. Moreover, IoT services help in making the network infrastructure more secure to avert any possibility of an attack on the network.
The opportunity for IoT solutions is growing each and every day. A report by DataProt predicts, "By 2025, there will be 152,200 IoT devices connecting to the internet per minute."
It will be no surprise to see more people becoming reliant on IoT-enabled devices in the years to come. Businesses will only gain from this greater connectivity, too.
By developing their own IoT strategies, companies can cut costs, increase productivity and efficiency, and improve customer experience (among many other things). Internet of Things solutions may not solve all of the world's problems right now—but the future looks bright for this technology. And if you’d like to make use of it right away, head over to Tata Communications and avail yourself of future-ready IoT solutions.