Internet of Things

How will the IoT impact your industry?

Internet of Things (IOT) is network of physical devices, home appliances, vehicles, and other items that have embedded sensors, actuators, software, and connectivity which enables them to connect and exchange data via wireless networks and the internet. The IoT connects devices to a network and to each other, potentially creating entire ecosystems or interconnected communities of interacting people and objects that collect, analyze and exchange data and facilitate the connection of the physical and digital worlds to improve efficiency across many industries.

The IoT is often used to refer to machine to machine to machine (M2M) communication, but the real utility in IoT is in the use of sensors in not only every day products and in medical devices but in all sorts of places you would not expect. Although IoT is often used to refer to the sensors that collect and transmit the data, the important question here is how does all this increased data collection help companies improve their bottom line? Do you need help in ascertaining if your company can benefit from the collection of this data?

According to Daniel Burris of Burris Research, “The Internet of Things really comes together with the connection of sensors and machines. That is to say, the real value that the Internet of Things creates is at the intersection of gathering data and leveraging it. All the information gathered by all the sensors in the world isn’t worth very much if there isn’t an infrastructure in place to analyze it in real time.”

Some IoT examples currently in use or in development

We all are aware of the examples of smart homes and self-driving cars, however, the expansion of IoT is happening rapidly across many industries to radically affect manufacturing efficiency, design, customization, and data collection and analysis. Here are some examples:

Bridge Structure The two-mile six-lane Charilaos Trikoupis Bridge in Greece links the town of Rio on the Peloponnese peninsula to the mainland, spanning the Gulf of Corinth. Its 300 or so sensors monitor its condition, alerting operators when, say, high winds call for shutting the bridge to traffic. Soon after going live about ten years ago, for example, the technology detected unusual vibrations in the bridge’s cables and, in response, engineers added more weights.

In healthcare, there has been a number of apps and devices designed to help diabetes sufferers, which by some estimates half of US adults will suffer from by 2020. In 2016, Roche acquired distribution rights to an implantable long-term continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system which uses a 90-day sensor below the patient’s skin.

In 2018, researchers reported the development of an ultra-thin, flexible sensor that could be incorporated into contact lenses or on the backs of watches for real-time glucose tracking. Measuring blood glucose levels in patients in real time has been a very difficult and expensive option up until now, as CGM systems are bulky and expensive and most patients are not able to get them covered on insurance. Having to abstain from eating and then show up at a lab to suffer through a blood draw has been a limiting factor for many clinicians trying to increase patient compliance, so the development of real time non-invasive monitoring over the long term is a huge step forward in diabetes management.

Smart Store Mall traffic can be analyzed across several retailers so they understand the entire shopping journey. In the past, merchants had to run expensive survey projects to understand if store associates were being responsive to customer service needs and then enact elaborate staff training programs. Now, within smart stores, they will be able to use video or Wi-Fi foot-traffic monitoring to see if customers dwell over a product area. Then, in real time, direct an associate to help that customer or analyze that information later to adjust store layouts for more efficient customer visits. In addition, by monitoring store traffic and customer demand in real time, retailers can customize the current in-store shopping experience. That gives them the opportunity to implement rich digital marketing inside the store or announce events to customers via their mobile devices.

Other examples could include customer and production innovations along with intelligent digital supply chain and additive manufacturing such as 3D printing technologies. The IoT is still evolving, but the potential of the scope and application of these technologies is truly revolutionary. Here at Bereano Partners we can help your company assess how IoT technology can improve efficiency, supply chain orchestration and ensure a personalized and superior customer experience. Contact us today.