What’s all this about the Internet of Things?
We’ve all been hearing about this magical and mythical Internet of Things (IoT) and how it will change the course of history for man. But let’s face it, who actually knows what it means? We take a look at exactly what it is and what it spells for the future of the human race as it moves into its next phase of development.
Internet of Things 2.0
As the arms of broadband and WiFi extend and the cost of connecting lessens, the capabilities of “things” are ever increasing. But the Internet of Things isn’t a new phenomenon, attempting to connect objects to the internet has been thrown around ever since the first internet connected toaster was revealed in 1990. Although it may have seemed slightly ridiculous then, it has now become a common term and feature for many products.
According to Forbes.com the IoT is, “the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet.” With the rise in wearables, it is easy to see how humans are becoming more and more intrinsically connected with this new modern way of thinking. It means that everything we own will be able to talk to each, should we wish it.
But what is the value of all this connectedness?
The Internet of Things 2.0 is here and in everyday use already! A perfect example is how phones are already learning the habits of their owners, if you regularly go to one area at approximately the same time, your phone will begin sending you a notification around that time with the quickest route to get there. Eventually it could develop so that if traffic is particularly bad, a notification is sent to your team, making the process a lot smoother and much less stressful as you frantically try to make it on time without breaking the law.
Or imagine when your alarm goes off in the morning, it sends a message to your coffee machine to get that cappuccino on the go. Very Back to the Future.
But with all this data flying around, what is actually being done with it? How does it become valuable for industries like healthcare, construction or facilities management? Here at Totalmobile, we like to refer to the Internet of Things as “connectedness”, we see all this data and think about how we can make people’s lives easier in the workplace, by being intuitive, personal and easy to use.
There are a few industries that are already leading the march for IoT, manufacturing, healthcare and construction are some that have already seen major development and are areas that our Digital Management Software has seen great results.
Managing a mobile workforce who are able to upload and complete documentation on a native platform that then talks to a back office system has increased productivity and efficiency across the board.
Healthcare both personally and publicly has seen a rise in the use of IoT. You rarely see anyone without a fitness tracker these days, telling you to eat more, run more and generally be healthier! We are looking ahead to when a healthcare visitor receives a notification on their mobile phone that their patient has got out of bed and made a coffee as per their regular schedule. Or more importantly, when this doesn’t happen the app will also notify the health worker that something could be amiss, allowing the healthcare worker to visit quickly and in turn, increasing the level of care for the patient.
Construction has been exploring the use of IoT for equipment servicing and repair or remote usage monitoring, paving the way for more efficient processes and less wastage. We see a future where a part will notify the area manager that it is beginning to overheat and when it expects to need replaced. This will save money on emergency repairs, save production from breaking down and enable efficiency and productivity.
Although, as always, there is a note of caution with these weird and wonderful developments, security is a major consideration for any company to acknowledge and plan for with the Internet of Things, as well as privacy and data sharing and how this can all be stored, tracked and analysed safely.
IoT and Totalmobile
For us, IoT is captivating our development teams; we see the huge possibilities that this will have for Digital Workforce Management and those responsible for field service management, particularly the value that it will provide not only in efficiency and profitability but also through analytics and data. We see the data that the Internet of Things is producing and we recognise the need to use that for the benefit of our clients. You will be seeing future content from us on IoT including an Ebook and some more useful blog articles, so stay tuned!