All You Need to Know About IoT and Smart Technology
The term ‘SMART’ is an acronym for self-monitoring, analysis and reporting technology.
Smart technology has become an extremely popular term perhaps because it allows previously inanimate devices, from doors to refrigerators to washing machines to easily communicate with us.
Smart appliances boast some form of automation, implying that you can easily program them via an intuitive user interface. A great example is an espresso machine that you can program to make some coffee at periodic intervals.
Smart connected appliances are those that are remotely monitored and controlled through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LTE, or any other means of connectivity. Typical examples would be a smart refrigerator, smart lighting, programmable thermostat, smart security camera, and a smartphone.
Internet of Things (IoT), commonly referred to as IoT devices, may be described as a mesh of appliances and devices that make use of chips, sensors, internet connectivity, analytics as well as programs to help bring some of life to previously physically static objects. See our full glossary of terms here.
IoT devices offer significant value, and they are equally automated, futuristic, and highly scalable.
Some good examples of IoT devices may include smart industries, smart home, or smart cities. Smart technology has not only revolutionized how we live in our homes but has equally enhanced other sectors including healthcare, education, and businesses.
As you continue reading this article, you will get to know the type of impact IoT has had on various business sectors.
So how does smart technology/IoT work?
By providing a broad range of benefits across multiple sectors, the smart technology trend has gained massive popularity and shows no signs of abating. But, how does smart technology work?
Just as we previously mentioned, smart technology is an advanced technology that makes it possible for us to effortlessly communicate with previously inanimate objects.
For it to be in full operation, there are a couple of things that are needed including a smart device, internet connection (although not always), and a central hub.
Smart components usually require a proprietary interface. However, most smart technology products can be regulated by a computer or a mobile device.
A significant number of smart technology products come integrated with Wi-Fi, and this makes it possible for users to monitor and remotely control their functionality.
Smart appliances and devices can also learn homeowners’ behaviors and automatically adjust their settings to offer the maximum level of comfort, convenience, and efficiency. Take for example a smart thermostat, which can automatically report energy use, adjust your internal temperature, remind you to clean the filters, among other possibilities.
The application of smart technology/IoT
Today, nearly every aspect of life has seen the introduction of smart technology. Smart technology trends are rapidly changing the way we live, work, and interact with each other. So, check out the below and get to know how smart technology has transformed our way of living.
Smart technology in our homes
Today, many people are doing what they can to make their homes smart. This is simply because the benefits offered by smart homes are potentially endless.
According to a Swedish research company, Berg Insight, there will be at least 63 million American smart homes by 2022. These homes will be equipped with nearly every smart object and all functions will be automated.
From internet-connected light bulbs, smart TVs, thermostats, washing machines, to high-end security cameras that allow you to remotely spy on your beloved pets, communicate with your visitors, and deter intruders from the comfort of your office!
Examples of smart home technology may include
- Smart outdoor surveillance cameras that allow homeowners to remotely monitor their homes while they are away, either for work or on vacation. Today’s smart cameras boast highly advanced features that allow them to correctly identify the difference between visitors, residents, burglars, pets, and alert you if suspicious behavior is detected. You only need to connect your camera to your smartphone for you keep an eye over your home even while you are on vacation thousands of miles away!
- Smart kitchen appliances such as smart refrigerators, smart coffee makers, slower cookers, washing machines, and dryers are all here to make your life easier, convenient and highly comfortable. With a smart coffee maker at your disposal, you will always have your favorite fresh espresso coffee at the hour of need. On the other hand, a smart refrigerator can seamlessly keep track of your foodstuffs’ expiry dates, create amazing recipes based on ingredients currently available, make shopping lists, among other things. And with a smart washing machine at your disposal, you only need to put your dirty clothes inside, select your preferred detergent, wash duration, and a few other settings and you’ll have them cleaned in a few minutes! It’s more than amazing!
- With your home equipped smart garage doors and smart door locks, you can remotely deny or grant access to visitors accordingly. What’s more, smart door locks can detect when residents are approaching the home and unlock the doors for them.
- Smart vacuum cleaners can be programmed to clean your home even when you are not around, effectively removing all pet dander, dust, dirt, and other debris.
- Smart thermostats, smart light bulbs are highly effective at keeping your energy bills as low as possible. In particular, smart thermostats come equipped with Wi-Fi, allowing homeowners to schedule, monitor and remotely regulate their home temperatures. Besides being able to be controlled and customized remotely, smart lighting solutions can detect when occupants are in a room and adjust lighting according to the set preferences. What’s more, some smart lightbulbs can adjust themselves based on daylight availability.
- Smart system sensors can detect electric surges and turn off electronic devices accordingly. Others can sense dangers such as freezing pipes or potential water leakages and turn off your main water switch so you don’t experience any incidence of flood in your home.
Smart technology in the healthcare sector
In a sector as important and as complex as healthcare, there is an even greater need to embrace scientific innovations by adopting and implementing smart technology.
Smart technology continues to transform the world in ways both small and big, and integrating this technology into our healthcare system is an incredible way to enhance both safety and patient care while keeping the overall cost of health care as low as possible.
Examples of smart technology in health care may include:
- Smart insulin pens and continuous glucose monitoring: Diabetes has proven to be a healthy ground for the development of IoT in the healthcare sector, as a condition that needs regular monitoring and administration of treatment. Currently, it affects approximately one in every ten adults! Smart Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) is a machine that helps diabetes patients to regularly monitor their blood sugar levels, by taking readings at routine intervals. Smart CGMs such as Freestyle Libre and Eversense relay data on blood glucose levels to other smart-enabled devices such as Apple Watch, Android phones, and iPhone, allowing the wearer to seamlessly watch the provided information, detect trends and act according to the doctor’s advice.
- Closed-loop insulin delivery: One of the most fascinating applications of IoT in healthcare is the Open Artificial Pancreas System (OpenAPS). If you didn’t know, this is an advanced type of closed-loop insulin delivery system that not only gauges the amount of sugar in a diabetic individual’s bloodstream but goes a step further to deliver the required amount of insulin hence closing the loop’. The automatic delivery of insulin gives patients a chance to sleep through the night without the danger of their blood glucose levels dropping.
- Ingestible sensors: Digital Proteus Health and its ingestible sensors are other typical examples of how smart technology has revolutionized the sector of health care. According to a study conducted by WHO, nearly 50% of medicines are usually not taken are prescribed. Proteus’s ingestible sensors are one way to lower this figure as much as possible. The company produces pills that have the potential to dissolve in your stomach and relay a small signal that can be detected by a sensor worn on your body. The resulting information is relayed to your smartphone, confirming that you have taken the medication as intended.
- Smart inhalers: Asthma is another chronic condition that currently affects hundreds of millions of people across the globe. Thankfully, IoT has started to give increased insight into and control over its symptoms and treatment. Smart inhalers such as the GlaxoSmithKline’s Diskus inhaler are equipped with special sensors that generate important information such as inhaler use, to show the doctor whether the medical device is being used as intended. For patients, it provides clarity, motivation because it reveals to them whether the device is helping to improve their condition or not.
Industrial Internet of Things
The application of smart technology and IoT is not just limited to health care and homes!
The term Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), or Industry 4.0 or the fourth industrial revolution refers to the name used to describe the application of smart technology in an industrial or business environment.
The concept is strikingly similar to that of home automation or consumer IoT and involves the use of multiple sensors, wireless networks, analytics, big data to gauge, examine and optimize various business processes.
If applied across an entire supply chain, the impact of IoT can even be greater. Smart technology can ensure real-time delivery of materials, effective management of production from start to finish, create new streams for revenue for businesses, enhanced workforce productivity, and significant cost savings. Smart technology can also be used to enhance worker safety in hazardous environments such as gas and oil fields, power and chemical plants. When employees are connected to smart sensor-based applications, they may be able to know impending dangers and rescue themselves accordingly.
There is no doubt that smart technology has had a positive impact on every human on this beautiful planet. The IoT has not only transformed the healthcare sector, education systems but industrial and business sectors as well.
If you take into account the benefits that it brings on board, we can only hope that IoT will continue to evolve beneficially as technology advances.