Ten Examples of the Internet of Things in Business
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly becoming an essential resource for businesses of all types. As the network of connected devices, objects, and sensors grows, so do the opportunities for businesses to take advantage of the network’s ability to collect and exchange data for a multitude of purposes.
Advances in the miniaturization of computer processors and electronic sensors have made it possible for just about any object to become a part of the IoT. Items as diverse as automobiles, oil-pipeline pressure gauges, dairy cows, and smartphones all have the capability of being connected to the IoT and having the data that they gather or transmit used for a variety of reasons.
Many businesses are taking advantage of the competitive edge offered by the Internet of Things and are doing so in several ways. Let us look at some examples of how the IoT is being used in today’s business world.
1.United Parcel Service (UPS)
UPS installed GPS devices in its delivery vehicles in 2008. They have developed an On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation (ORION) system that identifies the shortest and most fuel-efficient routes, allowing them to save an estimated 1.5 million gallons of fuel over 10,000 courses. The company plans to expand this system to cover all its routes by 2018.
This company is using the IoT to monitor and track safety equipment such as fire extinguishers, AEDs, and medical oxygen tanks. Sensors in the equipment can be monitored to show they are placed in the correct locations, and are fully charged and ready to be used in an emergency. Institutions can employ this facility to help in staying compliant with safety codes and standards.
3. Fitness First
Fitness First employs IoT technology to track who is entering their gyms. They can then have information sent to them automatically. The company envisions growing their business by reaching out to current customers, who regularly visit the gym and encouraging them to invite friends. Tracking usage of particular exercise machines can help the company make better choices when outfitting new gyms.
Aviation giant Airbus is incorporating Internet of Things technology to improve its Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) systems. According tomro-network.com, this is a tricky area to automate as it deals with elevated levels of complexity and sensitive, confidential data. Airbus is partnering with UnaBiz, an IoT network operator based in Singapore to enact its plan. A key component, is the use of wireless communication to transmit small packets of data over long distances. The goal is to increase dependability and reduce costs incurred in the MRO process.
5. Aviva Insurance Company
UK-based Aviva is using the Internet of Things technology to gain a competitive edge among insurers. They have focused on three significant areas of customer concern: safety, security, and leaks. The new generation of security cameras, sensors, and leak detectors that can be connected to the Internet have made this possible. Of special note is the LeakBot, which can help both the customer and insurer avoid costly water damage. About 25% of all paid claims are due to accidental water damage.
Global industrial giant Siemens is utilizing IoT technologies in several enterprises. The company is heavily invested in renewable energy and generating power from wind turbines. They employ sensors on the turbines that keep them running at peak efficiency and can help protect them when faced with powerful winds.
The ability to monitor and control wind turbines is critical as the technology expands and wind power installations are constructed in areas that are not readily accessible by maintenance crews.
7. Johnnie Walker
Diageo, is interested in using the IoT to bolster its marketing strategy, the parent company of Johnnie Walker. In March of 2015, they introduced a smart label to be featured on its flagship Blue Label Whiskey. The smart label can assist consumers when purchasing the product, but the smart label has uses that go beyond the point of sale. The label can sense if the bottle is opened or closed, and after opening it can send information to the consumer on the best way to enjoy the product.
8. John Deere
The giant agricultural equipment manufacturer John Deere has embraced the IoT to help farmers maximize their output. Sensors built into machines can measure soil moisture to assist in planning field irrigation. They are also incorporating the technology into harvesting and planting machinery that can automatically and precisely guide the equipment during operation. Though highly customized for their purposes, this use of the Internet of Things holds promise for other industrial manufacturers to modify for their own needs.
9. Walt Disney World
Disney World visitors can be outfitted with the company’s “Magicband” which contains RFID tags. The band allows the guests to buy concessions and gain entry to rides by tapping it on locally positioned receivers. The company can then collect the data from the park’s visitors and make determinations on which attractions are the most popular and where attention needs to be taken to improve the guest’s experience.
10. BT Group
The BT Group has developed a collar that can be worn by livestock that can monitor their health. Named the Silent Herdsman, this system employs a collar that can report on the amount of milk a cow produces, its fertility cycle, and when it has given birth. The collar can also locate animals that have wandered away or been stolen.
● Final Thought
As you can see, the IoT has opened a plethora of new opportunities for business to use networked systems and collected data to improve their products, provide safety benefits, and enhance the user experience in diverse fields that impact every area of society.
The continued growth of the IoT and its associated technologies will lead to new and unexpected uses as creative business minds find ways to benefit their customers and bottom line.
If you own a business, what is the impact of IoT and how does it help your business? We’d like to hear your thoughts, leave your comments in the section below.