Connectivity is extensively extending its reach to gadgets and devices owing to the internet and other technologies. The evolution in connectivity has made it possible to connect ourselves with the devices and gadgets that we use in our daily lives. Connectivity is bridging the gap between people and bringing them closer to technology. It has almost personified our gadgets and devices making it a part of our life, in other words, it has redefined the relation between us and the gadgets, almost diminishing the gap. This gap is expected to reduce further in the future with the help of advancement in connectivity and biomedical technology deployment.
Connectivity is prevalent in the IoT, smart devices and wearable computers, home automation devices, smart environment, smart grid and in various other forms.
Let’s dive into the connecting world and discuss each in detail:
Smart devices are the electronic devices which are connected to other devices or networks with different connecting technology like Bluetooth, NFC, Wi-Fi, LiFi, 3G, etc. Some of the examples of smart devices are smartphones, driver-less cars, smart thermostats, smart doorbells, smart locks, smart refrigerators, phablets and tablets, smartwatches, smart bands, smart key chains, smart speakers and the list goes on. Smart devices are specially designed to be interactive to increase the user interface and make it user-friendly.
Smart devices prove more effective when they are embedded with Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Wearable computer, also known as wearables or body-borne computers, are quite popular today. These are small gadgets or devices which are worn under, with, or on top of clothing or on the body. The fitness bands also known as fitness trackers are examples of wearable computers. These fitness trackers give you a detailed analysis of your health aspects like heartbeat rate, body temperature, steps walked, blood pressure, etc. along with the information on calories burned.
Wearable devices like Apple watches are connected with your smartphones which further enhances its use. The fitness data can be synced to cloud servers so that you have it with you wherever you go.
Home Automation Devices
Home automation also called as domotics is building automation for a home which turns your home into a smart home or smart house. A home automation system controls the home lighting, room temperatures, entertainment systems, and other home appliances. They also include home security such as access control and alarm systems.
Home automation works on the concept of centralized monitoring system in which all the controlled devices are connected to a central hub or gateway. These devices then can be easily controlled through smartphones using apps or the web browser interface.
Some of the applications of home automation are:
- Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC): It is possible to have remote control of all home energy monitors over the internet incorporating a simple and friendly user interface.
- Lighting control system: It is a "smart" network that incorporates communication between various lighting system inputs and outputs, using central computing devices. These systems detect the light intensity and adjust the light in the room thus saving the energy.
- Smart Grid: A smart grid is an electrical grid which includes a variety of operation and energy measures including smart meters, smart appliances, renewable energy resources, and energy-efficient resources. Some of the important aspects of smart grid are electronic power conditioning, control of the production and distribution of electricity.
- Household security and surveillance system: When integrated with a home automation system it can provide services like remote surveillance through security cameras and sending data over the Internet, or access control and central locking of all the doors and windows.
- Indoor Positioning System: It is a system used to locate objects or people inside a building using lights, radio waves, magnetic fields, acoustic signals, or other sensory information. Indoor positioning systems use different technologies, calculating the distance measurement with reference to nearby anchor nodes with fixed positions like WiFi / LiFi access points or Bluetooth beacons, magnetic positioning using a smartphone, etc.
Internet of Things (IOT)
The Internet of things (IoT) refers to the concept of extending Internet connectivity beyond conventional computing platforms such as personal computers and mobile devices. From home appliances to driverless cars, from healthcare to virtual assistants, from delivery-drones to the latest car-vending-machines, all these are great examples of Internet of Things (IoT). Embedded with electronics, internet connectivity, and other forms of hardware such as sensors, these devices can communicate and interact with others over the Internet, and they can be remotely monitored and controlled.
Some of the applications of Internet of Things in major industries are:
Healthcare: Also referred to as the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) or Healthcare IoT in medical industry, the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is the collection of medical devices and applications that connect to healthcare IT systems through online computer networks.
IoT has induced the healthcare industry with a number of benefits, such as:
- remote health and monitoring
- real-time consultation solutions
- improved affordability of healthcare and reduced hospital costs
- enabled doctors to provide higher levels of personalized care
- tracking health records and patient history in real-time through cloud services.
Transportation and Logistics: The top-priority objectives of logistics companies are to ensure just-in-time delivery, supply chain visibility, product lifecycle transparency, and quality services. The success of any logistics company lies in efficient inventory management and warehousing, automation of internal business processes, fast delivery and taking care of safe storage and quality of goods. IoT like drone-based delivery services have the highest potential in retail, logistics, agriculture, and e-commerce. These can add speed and efficiency to the working environment.
Some other benefits of IoT in logistics and transportation industry are:
- driverless cars
- location management systems
- inventory tracking and warehousing
- IoT and blockchain improves supply chain management
- smart traffic management systems
- maintaining vehicle health.
Manufacturing: In the manufacturing industry, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) make use of smart sensors and actuators to enhance manufacturing and industrial processes. IIoT leverages the power of smart machines and real-time analytics and takes advantage of data to enhance qualitative and quantitative production. They are better at communicating important information that can be used to drive business decisions faster and more accurately.
The industry can not only analyze how their products are being used but they also determine the usage patterns. Manufacturing industries are adopting IoT tools to increase their efficiency which helps them in their day to day operations and facilitates them to optimize their production quality and offers high-end safety as well.
Some of the services provided by IoT in the manufacturing industry are:
- digitally connected factory
- in time manufacturing
- optimum energy efficiency
- predictive manufacturing line maintenance
- fast and more informed decision making
- machine repeatability
- production flow monitoring.
Customer service industry: Customer service has been revolutionized with the induction of AI (Artificial Intelligence) in IoT. AI is really starting to make an impact in the customer service industry. Customer service executives are being replaced by chatbots which are reliable and can stay available to customers 24x7.
In addition, IoT in the customer service industry is reaping benefits like:
- prompt customer support service
- boost in lead generation
- increase in customer-reach efficiency
- cost Effectiveness
- easy accessibility and faster communication.
Connected devices are revolutionizing the world with the fast pace. Technology like Neuralink is developing an ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interface to connect humans and computers to treat serious brain diseases along with the goal of human enhancement. Technologies like connected devices will keep evolving. However, our goal should be to make it easily accessible to the masses so as to make the world a better place.