October 09, 2020
The Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming our world through connected technology.
What Even Is IoT?
The Internet of Things (IoT) blends software, hardware and connectivity, linking everyday items to the internet and allowing them to send and receive data wirelessly.
IoT at Home
IoT first gained buzz as a game-changer in the home, by providing support to connected appliances, like refrigerators that could monitor the contents and re-order groceries, and toasters that used an app to get your toast right every time. As the technology cost has dropped, the use of IoT has expanded to power smart home tools for lighting, climate control, security and overall electricity usage.
Tech giant Bosch, for instance, offers connected solutions for mobility, manufacturing and the workplace, while General Motors and Tesla used the technology to provide instant assistance to drivers in Florida in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.
In the business sector, IoT is making its presence felt across operations, healthcare and IT departments.
IoT can help businesses to better address consumer needs and to help improve operations by helping track devices and their usage. In fleet management, for example, IoT can help monitor vehicles and driver behavior. This can help companies boost safety — including maintaining a standardized speed to increase safety and avoid insurance claims — and productivity — by posting saving fuel and decreasing maintenance expenses.
The IoT can help save lives more directly, too. Healthcare is being hugely impacted by the technology, as companies like Medtronic use it to track and treat heart conditions with a connected cardiac device, and monitor and dispense insulin via an external pump.
Impacting the IT Dept.
IoT is also impacting business operations to help improve efficiencies. Companies are hiring an increasing number of data scientists, software engineers, IT managers and related tech support to manage and distill the huge amounts of data that an IoT device can deliver. Moreover, these careers are in high-demand. Software engineers, data scientists and IoT specialists are can command salaries in the six-figure range, on average.
IoT in the Collaboratory
Cox has teamed up with Arizona State University (ASU) to form the Cox Connected Environments Collaboratory to facilitate innovation — and boost sustainability — on the ASU campus. Among the initiatives underway are tests of IoT-fueled sensors and cameras to improve bike and skate parking availability and ensure there are sufficient walk-only zones and to improve public safety.