Posts tagged applications

Google’s premium-level Ad Grants program no longer accepting applications

The Grantspro program offers non-profits up to $40,000 per month in search advertising grants.

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IoT and its applications: Connecting you, your home and your town

scanning of finger on a touch screen interface

The Internet of Things (IoT) is massive, and getting bigger by the day. As new applications come to light for these sensor-driven networked technologies, our world will become increasingly connected, and more autonomous.

IoT is the virtual Wild West of the technology world. Since it can include just about every “thing” we interact with on a day-to-day basis, the potential for new applications is boundless. In a largely uncharted category of technology, one thing is absolutely certain, that the world as we know it is changing.

Smart home automation

Your home may already have several IoT devices in it. Many modern thermostats connect to the Internet and enable you to control them from your smartphone or desktop browser. That same thermostat could be receiving data from smoke and carbon monoxide detectors placed throughout the home, or even your home security system along with its various sensors placed on doors and windows, motion detectors, and cameras.

See also: What is the Internet of Things?

This is becoming a very common home security solution as it is accessible from virtually anywhere in the world. It gives you greater peace of mind as you travel, being able to monitor and receive real-time updates of your home’s security from afar. Want to save money on cooling costs when you’re away? Just load the app and adjust the thermostat or set it up so your thermostat automatically adjusts depending on how close you are to it.

Some less common applications include smart refrigerators, ovens, and other appliances that enable you to do things like make a shopping list and have it sent to the cloud, control them remotely, or even take a peek inside them from your smartphone.

Industry 4.0

Industrial applications for IoT technologies are vast. Sensors that monitor a machine and relay data to a centralized console pave the way for entire floors of automated manufacturing equipment to be monitored and controlled by one person in a control room. This decreases staffing costs, improves general safety, and enables companies to more easily run their operation around the clock without the need for breaks and lunch hours.

One practical application comes by way of a sensor placed in industrial trash compactors that communicate with waste management companies to let them know when that compactor is full and ready for pick-up. Because it’s difficult for a human to tell when a compactor is at capacity, scheduling a costly pickup is often done by date rather than if the compactor is actually full or not. This technology ensures that a pick up only occurs when it’s actually needed, and that on the other side, you don’t end up in a situation where your compactor is overflowing.

Connected healthcare

Healthcare is one sector that absolutely stands to gain from IoT technologies. Hospitals, which are an area where things can go from calm and efficient to chaotic and overcrowded in a matter of minutes, rely on remote monitoring equipment to track their patient’s status when healthcare providers can’t be bedside at all times. A nurse’s station already receives real-time updates on a patient’s heart rate, oxygen, and other vitals which alerts them to a potential problem as soon as it arises, but this is really only useful at the patient’s bedside.

A new generation of health monitoring devices are more portable and capable of transmitting vital information wirelessly from virtually anywhere. Heart monitors a cardiac patient can wear on them day-to-day will enable doctors to make more accurate diagnosis and create a more targeted healthcare plan.

For newborn infants, products like Neopenda have the potential of enabling the vital signs of an infant to be monitored even in areas of the world where infant mortality is an especially big problem. It’s a minimally invasive, efficient solution for monitoring the vital signs of infants.

Tomorrow’s smart cities

Smart city projects are underway around the globe. The potential for IoT applications here is incredible.

Smart construction paves (literally) the way for structural sensors to detect weakening or structural damage to buildings, bridges, roadways, and more. A parking lot could be fitted with sensors at each parking spot, enabling visitors to see a billboard with real-time updates as to how many spots are open avoiding the all-too-frustrating issue of overcrowding.

Traffic sensors can transmit updates to central traffic control, enabling city management to adjust the pacing of traffic signals to improve efficiency and avoid traffic jams. Smart highways can even update drivers on their expected driving conditions enabling them to make better decisions about which route they take to work.

Surveillance cameras and audio sensors that detect problematic sounds like gunfire can enable local law enforcement to respond to an incident as it is happening rather than relying on citizens to call 9-1-1 to report that a crime has taken place. Finding and prosecuting a suspect is also easier when they can see the crime happening, identify the perpetrator, and quickly locate them as they flee the scene.

We are just now scratching the surface of the potential the Internet of Things offers us. We are beginning to discover new and exciting ways to put these technologies to use for us in order to improve our quality of life.

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IoT and applications: Truly the “internet of everything”

internet of things graphic

The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing like wildfire. Consumer education around this new basket of technologies is critical, since it basically describes a product category that can — and often does — include virtually every “thing” we interact with in our lives.

Your car, refrigerator, door locks, and even your toilet seat are capable of becoming part of the Internet of Things. All they need is a sensor and a network connection. From home automation to large industrial applications, this new generation of network-enabled devices are changing the way we live, work, and play.

So, what are some practical examples of the IoT and its influence in our lives? Here are just a few that could apply to the average consumer.

The dawn of self-driving cars

In a handful of years, your car may be able to drive itself without any need of human intervention. Brands like Tesla, Mercedes, and Google are already in the process of developing a new generation of vehicles that can navigate the roadways while you kick back and enjoy the ride.

Google, which started its self-driving car project several years ago, has well over 1.5 million miles of autonomous travel clocked on United States roadways — and every mile is an education for the technology.

Major auto manufacturers like Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, and Honda are also making huge strides towards freeing driver’s hands. Tesla, a relatively new name in the auto industry, scored over 375,000 reservations of its upcoming Model 3 within days of accepting them.

These cars are equipped with a host of different IoT components. They are littered with sensors that detect hazards, track the roadway, and more. They also rely on both on-vehicle and remote processing to determine the quickest and safest route to the destination. Many of these vehicles are expected to connect directly to the driver or passenger’s smartphone to give them useful information about the ride.

The IoT around you: home automation

A growing number of homes include connected devices. Home thermostats, security systems, appliances, and even smaller bits and pieces like window blinds and light bulbs are finding a new life in the Internet of Things.

Thermostats are possibly the most obvious and common example of the Internet of Things in the home. Twenty years ago, if you wanted to change the temperature in your home, your best bet was to walk over to the thermostat and adjust it. Ten years ago, you could program your thermostat to make your home more comfortable around the time you would be getting home from work.

Today, you can hop on your phone and control your home security system, temperature, and more from anywhere in the world in real time.

Your oven can even become a full-fledged member of the Internet of Things., enabling you to set food-specific temperatures and timers from your smartphone and even take a look at your food as it is being prepared from anywhere in the world.

Connecting future cities

Smart cities is a much larger and more involved area of application for the Internet of Things than the home, but the concept remains very much the same. Sensors, including video surveillance, traffic, and more placed throughout a city enable that city to be managed more efficiently and for its city government to respond to situations as they happen rather than having to depend on the citizenry to alert them to problems.

For example, traffic jams are a common problem in large and growing cities. Management of that traffic is done via traffic lights, but these are often set on timers and/or controlled via sensors embedded into the roadway that indicate cross-traffic is waiting for a green light.

If, however, there was a more big-picture view of how busy specific streets are, where accidents and other delay-causing events are taking place, traffic controls could be more readily adjusted to compensate for them.

A new industrial revolution

Another big area of development for the Internet of Things is in industry. Businesses small and large benefit from the type of data gathered by IoT devices in the workplace.

An IoT device that senses activity on an industrial machine could eliminate the need for a worker to physically monitor it on the warehouse floor. Multiple heavy machines could be controlled and monitored from a single control panel by a skeleton crew – saving the business money on staffing.

This rise in industrial automation paves the way for businesses to invest their staffing dollars on other skilled employment opportunities including research, development, systems management, and data science.

Speaking of data science, consumer IoT products relay a lot of valuable information to a business. This information enables the company to examine ways to improve on their products or services, lets them know how their products are being used so they can invest in expanding on those high-demand features, and more.

This also opens the door to a whole new area of value for the consumer. Apple releasing the Apple Watch enabled the company to add new incentive for customers to stick with the Apple-branded family of products. Additionally, it gave its customers a whole new fitness-tracking device, payment method, and a way to check and respond to messages without having to pick up their phone.

The examples of IoT technologies in the world are virtually endless. The Internet of Things is a large and ever-expanding category of products that reach into every aspect of our lives. Because, after all, the Internet of Things is… everything.

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