What is IoT? The Internet of things is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines provided with the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
We have all heard about IoT. Some tell that it’s the future, some that it’s now a reality… And it is true that it is a reality, and in Adding Technology we believe that it will be a key part on future software projects.
Until now, ERP’s or proprietary software developed by companies have been based on the software. With the arrival of the IoT world, this same software can reach “things”, obtaining physical values in different locations which we could use to improve decision-making on businesses. That is the true future of IoT.
What elements does an IoT project rely on? It is a project in which we are able to manage sensors of all kinds, actuators, as well as different input / output devices to finally save the data obtained in the cloud, to be able to consult them, through a microcontroller.
As for sensors, we can name from a temperature sensor, or presence detectors, luminosity sensors, accelerometers, GPS, fingerprints detectors…
As for the actuators, the most typical are the stepper motors, servos and relays, to be able to act on any electrical equipment.
As for the input / output devices, they make possible the user to interact with the system, if required. In this group we can have a KeyPad, buttons, screens, joysticks…
Finally, and in our opinion very relevant, wireless communication devices, which will be uploading all the data generated to the cloud. Some of these devices are: WIFI, GSM, NarrowBand, LORA, BLE or RF to interact with other proximity devices.
Who manages all these devices? For this we need an ATMEL-type microcontroller or similar, and the development of software running on it, that manages everything.
What possibilities does it have? Well, a project with these features can develop many functions, some of which could be impressive. However, in our opinion, it does not stop moving from the category of gadget if it is not capable of interacting with the company’s management system, be it its ERP or its own system. If it is not, we can’t talk about business IoT projects. In this way, the company can get value from all that data that it is obtaining from different locations. This is when the new acronym IIoT (Industrial Internet of Thinks) is used.
In addition, this connection offers the possibility of having information directly from the users, for continuous improvement. The analysis of this information allows the creation of new business opportunities, based on the information received from the use of the products.
Next, we are going to show some examples:
An example could be adding a device in the vehicle so that the insurer knows at what time or where (urban or rural) the car is driven, and thus being able to adjust the price of the insurance to each kind of client. The information on user habits could vary or create new products that are adapted to said habits, or even the insurer’s actuaries would have real data to recalculate the risks.
Another example where it could be applied is in waste management. Small selective waste collection areas could be distributed throughout the city, in which the user could identify himself, indicating the type of waste he wants to deposit, and the system would manage the opening of the different areas where to deposit the waste. Finally, it could inform central systems of the quantity of each of the materials it has deposited, being able to manage this data to adjust its decisions to the real data they are obtaining, promote the recycling of other materials or even reward those users who recycle more.
Finally, another very useful example would be an automated irrigation management in growing areas. Detecting humidity and soil temperature for each type of crop and thus watering only with the necessary water, could obtain savings in water consumption and more efficient crops. The collection of rainwater could also be managed and, at the time of irrigation, decide whether to use these tanks or running water. Finally, we could manage weather forecasts so that an irrigation does not start if there are forecasts of impending rain.
In the following entries we can see these examples in a more detail way, and how these projects are developed.