IoT, big data, business intelligence…not a day goes by hearing something about advanced technologies. It evolves at such a fast pace – you can hardly keep up. Is the world changing again? And what can you actually do with that Internet of Things?
IoT is actually not that new. The idea of IoT has been around since the early 90s. At that time, they had the idea to attach a RFID (radio-frequency identification) chip to all people and objects. By attaching a chip to everything and everyone, everything and everyone could be identified resulting in a number of possibilities. Although RFID has turned out to be successful for various purposes, it did not succeed to connect the entire world.
But what is the Internet of Things?
Billions of people use the internet. But also, objects (or things), such as smart watches, refrigerators, thermostats, cars, medical equipment and aircrafts are connected with the internet to exchange data through the network. We call this the Internet of Things (IoT). The predicted number of objects connected to the IoT is forecasted to be 30 billion by 2020 and 75 billion by 2025.
Given the huge amount of data generated by the IoT, we speak of big data. This involves sets of data that are too large (due to the amount, transfer rate or diversity) to be maintained in a normal database. Data is useless on its own. It must first be analysed and structured in order for it to have value.
IoT uses in everyday life
Loyalty cards to collect data
We all know the loyalty cards, that stores use to collect a great amount of data based on our daily shopping. Software solutions enables retailers to filter, sort and analyze this data to make it usable. Data about the popular products, optimal walking routes and special offers provide information that retailers can use for optimisation.
Automatically control maintenance
To ensure the safety of a lift in a building, regular maintenance is crucial. By collecting and analysing data such as elevator use, last date of service and information of the used (or repaired) parts, maintenance can be controlled automatically. As soon as maintenance is needed, the technician receives a message with information about which lift needs maintenance and which parts he needs to bring along.
Parking application: Reduces traffic and city bustle
On your way to Utrecht you want to know where the nearest free parking spot is. Your parking app searches for real-time information. It appears there’s a free spot on the Catherijnesingel. Your navigation system directs your car automatically to the free parking spot. To get you to that free parking spot a variety of data is collected, analyzed, transformed, exchanged and used. The advantages of this parking application? Less traffic and less burden on both the environment and the city.
How can you use IoT for your business?
For many companies, the data that is exchanged on IoT can provide the efficiency they need. But it’s not a matter of checking the right boxes today and starting tomorrow. Preparation is key. It starts with two questions: What do we need it for and what can we do with it? You need a plan and a purpose to use the Internet of Things. Which processes do you want to improve? And what do you want to achieve: efficiency? A better customer experience? Market leadership? Safety?
Retailers and warehouses can use big data to optimize their inventory management. Camera’s and sensors can be used to non-stop measure and detect the stock in the shelves and racks. Are the products put correctly on the shelves? Is there enough stock? This provides useful information for replenishment.
Digital fitting room
Fashion stores can install digital fitting rooms, so you don’t need to put on and take off all the clothes to see whether it fit. The smart mirror recognises you, analyses you and dresses you. In fact, the mirror is a large screen with a camera. You select a pink T-shirt, the mirror shows you how that shirt fits you. Do you want a different color? Or another size? Just select the one you want. Imagine how much irritation, sweat and time will be spared! If you’re happy with the result, it also offers you to take a photo and put it on Instagram. This approach will make the store appear ‘cool and innovative’, increase brand awareness and attract more young customers.
Dalosy and IoT
At Dalosy we also use IoT. Thanks to the data exchange via Internet we can always offer the best and fastest service to customers. It enables us to monitor which software version is running on which system and see which security patches needs to be installed and when. In addition, it enables us to maintain proactively so we can keep improving our service to our customers.
Should all companies start with Internet of Things?
Is IoT the answer to everything? Do you miss the boat if you don’t start immediately with Internet of Thing? We don’t think that every company benefit from the possibilities that IoT offers. So always think critically.
Identify the following:
- Which bottlenecks do you encounter?
- Which processes can you improve, increase efficiency, make more attractive or safer?
- Can you use IoT for this?
Some approaches solve various problems, increase efficiency and lower your costs. Such as the earlier mentioned parking application. Other uses are fun and handy, but don’t really pay off. Dalosy would be happy to be your critical partner and advise you on the sense and nonsense of IoT. We can help you set up a business case, make an accurate calculation and search for alternative options.