What are Real-World Applications of the Internet of Things (IoT)?

By Farhan Kazme

The power of internet connectivity is going beyond smartphones and computers. Similarly, the buzz around IoT and its application is immense. IoT is basically the idea of interconnected devices to make them smart enough to reduce human labor while enabling them to share the information with cloud-based applications, humans, and other devices. It works with the help of machine learning and predictive analysis, the combination of which can boost the efficiency of a domain quite easily.

You will be amazed to know the advancements of IoT applications that have changed our daily lives. With superior sensors, newer wireless networks, and revolutionary computing capabilities, the IoT could indeed is the next frontier in the race of its share to the world. Let’s discuss the real-world applications of IoT in some of the significant areas.

Application of IoT in Healthcare

Nowadays, healthcare services are costlier than ever, and the healthcare industry is in despair as the number of chronic diseases is increasing day by day. It is where IoT app development is at our rescue. Though it is not possible to control the aging process or to eradicate chronic diseases, we can make healthcare easier on the pocket.

Realtime Monitoring

IoT helps in real-time monitoring by connecting devices to save lives in case of emergencies like asthma attacks, diabetes, heart failure, etc. The real-time monitoring of the condition of the patients by smart medical devices helps in collecting medical and health-related data. This data is automatically sent to the physicians and other concerned parties that can reduce the readmission rate to almost half. IoT devices can efficiently collect and transfer the health-related data of the patient, including oxygen and blood sugar level, blood pressure, weight, ECGs, etc.

Besides this, IoT can automate the workflow of patient care via healthcare mobility solutions and other next-generation healthcare facilities. It enables the machine to machine communication, interoperability, information exchange, and data relocation that adds to the effectiveness of the healthcare services. End-to-end connectivity protocols can be 5G, W-Fi, Bluetooth LE, ZigBee, etc. Healthcare personnel are in full control of the whole process and can change the ways by which the illness and ailments are spotted in patients.  

IoT has innovated revolutionary ways of treatment, and the technology-driven setup has brought down the overall cost by cutting down unnecessary visits and utilizing better quality resources with improved allocation. IoT has introduced precision and accuracy to the medical records by storing all the data digitally in the Hospital’s Information Management System (HIMS) or (HIS). It has created interactive platforms for patients’ and doctors’ engagement.

Not to forget about the advancement in PACS (Picture archiving and communication system) in the form of IoT-driven ultrasound and MRI technology that doesn’t rely only on software innovation. IoT’s significant benefits can be observed in the following fields:

  • Data Assortment
  • Remote Analysis
  • Real-time Tracking (in case of threatening diseases)
  • Alerts to the concerned person
  • Remote Medical Assistance
  • And much more…

IoT in Agriculture

In IoT-based smart and effective farming, a system is built to monitor the crop field via sensors like light, temperature, humidity, soil moisture, etc. The irrigation system is automated to ensure that farmers can control and monitor the conditions of fields from anywhere. The most famous application of IoT in agriculture is precision agriculture that is about raising livestock and growing more crops with the same resources.

IoT in Agriculture

Various organizations are also leveraging the updated IoT technique to get optimal results and improving the overall yield. Crop-metrics is a precision farming organization which aims to provide ultra-modern agronomic solution while being the experts of precision irrigation. It includes Variable Rate Irrigation, virtual optimizer PRO, soil moisture probes, and so on. VRI optimization will help in maximizing the profitability of irrigated crop fields, improving yields, and increasing the water use efficiency.

Agricultural Drones

Apart from this, agricultural drones are being used to improve various agricultural practices like irrigation, crop-health assessment, crop monitoring, plantation, crop spraying, and soil/field analysis. All this information can be handy to accelerate productivity while ensuring the quality of the crops being produced. From the data collected, after you have input the details of the field to be inspected, you can draw insights regarding:

  • Plant health indices
  • Plant height measurements
  • Plant counting and yield prediction
  • Canopy cover mapping
  • Scout reporting
  • Field water ponding mapping
  • Stockpile measuring
  • Nitrogen content in wheat
  • Weed location and volume mapping
  • Chlorophyll measurement

Agricultural Drones

The agricultural drone collects thermal, multispectral, and visual imagery during the flights and then efficiently lands in the same location from where it took off. And not to forget the advancements in livestock monitoring via wireless IoT applications to collect essential data about the location, health, and safety of the cattle. The applications of IoT in agriculture have also revolutionized greenhouse farming.

IoT in Education

IoT has been beneficial for the education sector, like many others; from so-called “flipped classrooms” to integrated mobile technology and more effective teaching methods, the educational industry is moving to IoT-enabled connectivity.

IoT has replaced paper, pencils, and chalkboards as conventional learning methods and instructional approaches give it room to expand even more. IoT in schools simply means a more collaborative and better-connected future for education. IoT devices give better access to the students to everything from learning and practice material to communication channels. It enables teachers to measure the learning progress of students in real-time.

Interactive Learning

Today, learning is not just limited to the combination of texts and images but is much more than that. A lot of textbooks are combined with web-based sites that incorporate animations, aiding materials, additional videos, and real-time assessments to improve the learning process. IoT has set the basis for interactive learning. In addition to that, IoT in education is also being used for security purposes. As there are hundreds of students in any educational institution, so it is quite challenging to monitor the activities and whereabouts of every student. But IoT has made it much easier with 3D positioning features. 

While talking about IoT in education, how can we forget about educational apps? These are a creative and useful tool to transform ways of learning and teaching. 3D textbooks can be created to offer a more exciting and interactive method of learning new concepts to the students while improving their intellect as well.

IoT end-devices can collect data like attendance and send it to the central office’s server without any human intervention to save your time and resources.  

Application of IoT in Manufacturing

In today’s world, competition is fierce between companies, and demand for the products is increasing. Companies need new ways to increase their production without compromising the quality of the product. It is only possible with IoT that employs a network of sensors to collect data and then save the data on the cloud software for analysis and management. It also gives us insight into the manufacturing processes via machine learning.

IoT in Manufacturing

With the help of IoT, companies can track their assets and use them wisely. IoT covers everything, from worker’s health to the distribution of the products. Sensors help monitor the individual function of the machine all the time to check if the machine is working correctly or not. If these sensors detect any abnormality in the machine, like slow speed, rise in temperature, or any other malfunctioning, these sensors instantly send an alert to the maintenance department. This approach allows the maintenance personnel to act when the problem arises.

Also Read: IT Solutions for Manufacturing Industry | Automation & Modernization

IoT makes the workplace safer with wearable health devices. These devices monitor a worker’s health and risk activity that can cause any injury. Moreover, in some industries like oil and gas, IoT monitors the gas or oil leakage. Sensors are used to check the condition of the machine, and then to detect any abnormality in the final product. Item is discarded when these sensors find any defect in it, so the customer gets the best quality. In short, IoT can control anything from resource allocation to producing the final product.

IoT in Logistics

From supply chain monitoring to safe transportation, IoT-based solutions are changing the ways of working in the logistics sector as well. IoT can create smart and efficient location management and fleet management systems that will help companies to track the activities of the driver, location of the vehicle, and delivery status. Once items are delivered to the destination, the manager will be notified with a push message. It has now embarked its place as an irreplaceable assistant to plan and comply delivery process as it detects and updates all the changes in real-time.

Also Read: Top 10 Technology Trends

Minimizing Human Errors

When it comes to the connected logistics ecosystem, inventory management and warehousing are among the most crucial steps that need special attention. The use of a small and inexpensive sensor can enable companies to track the items, monitor the inventory status, and tracking the position of items. Through IoT technology, employees can successfully prevent losses while ensuring the safe storage of valuables and goods. Such IoT solutions in logistics can efficiently minimize errors related to human handling.

IoT in Logistics

How can we overlook the importance of predictive analytics while talking about logistics? Internet-enabled devices can collect a massive amount of data and can transmit it to the central system for detailed analysis. It can be helpful for delivery planning and identifying defects. Supply chain management has become relatively easier with IoT and Blockchain as it traces the lifecycle of the products from the origin of goods to all along with the transportation to the final customers. Blockchain has solved many security-related issues and also added immense value to the supply chain.

What can be more fun than IoT-based self-driving vehicles and drone-based delivery system in the logistics domain?

IoT in Smart Cities

World’s population is increasing immensely by each passing year, and the natural resources are becoming scarce to meet the needs of the growing population. The piles of garbage, freshwater scarcity, the collapse of traffic, and air pollution are alarming. But what is the solution to these challenges? The answer to this is Smart City – an intelligent and networked city. It can help in improving the quality of life and lowering the consumption of natural resources.

Smart infrastructure can set the grounds for continuous development. As digital technologies are becoming critical, so urban infrastructures and buildings should be planned more sustainably and efficiently. Steps should be taken to keep carbon dioxide emission at a minimal level, and IoT has made it possible.

A cloud-based air management tool can capture the pollution data in real-time to forecast the emission. Thus, enabling the authorities to take measures to prevent the environment from air and environmental pollution. The IoT-based devices have resulted in the introduction of low-emission zones with speed limits and free public transport to make the cities smart. The major challenge of large smart cities is to control and optimize traffic by implementing intelligent transport solutions that control the traffic flow across the city.

IoT-based pavement integrated sensors are used to send real-time updates about the traffic flow to the central platforms, which work for managing traffic to analyze the data. Then, it automatically adjusts the traffic lights according to the prevailing traffic situations within a few seconds.

Smart parking options are also available, which uses ground-based sensors to notify about the parking space when a vehicle leaves the parking area. IoT in smart cities has reduced the interventions of humans to a minimal level enabling them to take advantage of the technology to the fullest.

Final Word

The future of IoT is tough to predict; still, it is a reality that IoT-based technologies are providing solutions to manufacturing, logistics, agriculture, healthcare, education, and many other fields. The benefits of IoT cannot be calculated as it is continuously revolutionizing, and there is still a lot more to come. However, the key lies in proper implementation and fair usage of the technology to get the most out of it.


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