So, what do you know about the Internet of Things?

As technology and infrastructure advance, it is becoming increasingly easier to find internet-ready devices. This allows us to keep track of and control objects or things that are far from us, and to make decisions based on the information we obtain from them.

The Internet of Things (IoT) not only refers to in objects that are commonly connected to the internet -like smart phones, computers, tablets etc – but also daily appliances that are not usually connected to the internet, but can be. By making use of specific components, it is possible to activate an internet connection, and interact with them remotely in order to monitor or control them.

One of the most representative examples of the IoT is found inside homes, where many appliances can be controlled by another device without having to get out of your chair or bed. This might include the ability to turn lights on or off, change the colour of your lighting, open or close curtains, adjust the temperature of the house, control sounds systems to play your favourite song as soon as you enter the house, or even set your washing machines to start a load when it is convenient to you. These are just a few examples of objects that we refer to when we talk about “smart homes.”

In fact, only a few months ago, I installed a monitor in my home that monitors the water level in a tank on my terrace. Why did I do this? I monitor the water level in this tank because it is located in a dangerous spot of my house. A slight stumble or slip on the roof could mean a serious accident, so I monitor the water level from the safety of my phone, and can keep track of how much water I have at my disposal, and when I might need to get a water truck come by with more. The sensor is connected to a mini-computer (raspberry pi) that measures the water level at pre-established intervals. The measurement is sent to to a server and saved in a database. This database is constantly consulted by an app created for iOS. This makes checking on the water levels of my home water tank much easier, and a lot less dangerous than climbing onto the roof. And I can check it from anywhere. This system could be even more robust if I connected it to a water pump that activates whever the measurement comes back under a certain point. I could generate statistics about what times of day water is in higher demand, or which days of the week or month bring in the lowest measurements. These reports could help me become aware of my water consumptions patterns so I can adjust my use of water to save more.

Just as the IoT can help out at home, there are also other consumer applications for different environments, like in industrial areas, commercial spaces, rural settings or other infrastructure. In health-care and medical areas, there are devices that monitor patients’ heartbeats, blood pressure or glocuse levels, for example. They will send automatic alerts if the sensors detect critical levels, so the patient can be treated quickly and efficiently before the situation declines. This kind of technology saves thousands of lives. Another use of the IoT in commercial spaces, for example, is in so-called smart-parking, which tells drivers how many parking spaces are available thanks to sensors located at each parking spot. You can also pay for parking at parking metres using a mobile app.

As you can see, the applications for IoT or almost limitless, and very useful. Like in the case of my water tank, if you can thing of something you’d like to monitor or control remotely using your mobile phone, contact us. We’ll are happy to prepare a quote for your idea, and help you make it a reality.