Imagine if you could somehow know exactly when to repair or replace an item, to restock your inventory or to prevent damage. But you don’t have to imagine it—it’s already possible, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT)! It offers unprecedented growth opportunities across all sectors, and the market is expected to be worth more than $3 trillion by 2020.1
Companies are turning to the IoT in large numbers to improve efficiency, productivity and profitability, or simply to enhance the services they offer.
Here are some sectors where the IoT is really taking off:
Farmers use sensors to accurately measure soil composition, humidity levels and temperature. This means that they can water their crops at the right time, add fertilizer when it’s needed and treat any diseased or infected plants as necessary. The IoT is particularly strong in the field of viticulture.
Connected vehicles in a fleet send useful information back to dispatch, including their exact location, the speed they are travelling at, their oil level, their gas consumption and more. This makes it easier for the manager to plan travel and vehicle maintenance or to crack down on lead-footed drivers!
A soft-drink supplier with connected vending machines can use bar codes to remotely check remaining stock from wherever they are, for better supply chain management.
Elevators with sensors can show building managers the number of users by day, month or year, and can help manage the maintenance schedule.
In the near future, doctors will be able to closely monitor at-risk patients. For example, it will be possible to monitor women with gestational diabetes using an app connected to their glucose monitor that will send warnings to their attending physician in real time.
In the energy sector, the IoT can be used to secure pipelines using sensors and cameras. In the event of a leak or spill, that section of the pipeline could be shut off to limit damage until the clean-up and repair crews arrive.
San Diego, California, and Jacksonville, Florida, have started trials using LED technologies to manage street lights, but also to locate potholes, follow up on repairs and manage parking. With advances like this, your GPS will soon be able to direct you to the nearest parking spot!
Finally, the new generation of 5G wireless technology, which is 100 times faster than 4G, will supercharge transmission speeds for mobile networks, which will be better for robotics (artificial intelligence) and driverless vehicles. It will create an even more connected world where the IoT is all around us. 5G will be rolled out in 2020, so it’s just around the corner!
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Content produced by Desjardins Business Insurance