The Internet of Things has settled in for good in the daily lives of millions of people around the world. Smart devices connected to the network and to one another, with ability not only to exchange data, but also to become more intelligent and content aware, make it easier for us to function on many levels. According to the International Data Corporation, by 2025 the number of devices connected to the Internet will be around 42 billion.1 That makes IoT one of the biggest concepts to support societal and economic growth and one of the fastest growing segments of ICT.
According to the definition, Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals, or people that are provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. A thing in the Internet of Things can be a person with a heart monitor implant, a farm animal with a biochip transponder, an air purifier that turns on when the norm of suspended dust concentration in the air is exceeded, an automobile that has built-in sensors to alert the driver when tire pressure is low or any other natural or man-made object that can be assigned an Internet Protocol (IP) address and is able to transfer data over a network.2 IoT is present in most people lives – we wear smart bands or smart watches that let us know when we should move because we sit too long or inform us about low or high blood pressure, smart shoes that record biometric data and give us advice what can we do better while we run, we use smart luggage to check where it is if it gets lost during our flight, etc. Finally, we live or wish we could live in smart homes that save our time, energy and environment.
IoT influences many aspects of our lives – smart home, human-centred smart city, smart agriculture, smart energy management, humancentric industry 4.0. In this blog we try to focus on couple of them.
Smart cities use IoT devices such as connected sensors, lights, and meters to collect and analyze data. Then city authorities use these data to improve public utilities and services, infrastructure, transportation and more. Smart city devices work to make everyday tasks easier and more efficient, while relieving pain points related to public safety, traffic, and environmental issues.3
- Smart city devices used for transportation can ease traffic, help with parking prediction, and prevent car accidents.
- Smart utility meters allow utility companies to manage energy flow more efficiently and also help users with tracking their energy consumption – and that leads to great financial and environmental impact.
- Smart grids allow for two-way communication between the utility and its customers, meaning you can not only get energy, but also send excess energy, produced e.g. with solar panels, to the energy supplier.
- Smart waste management solutions can monitor how full trash cans are and send those data to waste management companies providing the best waste pick-up routes, while smart bins can present information how to recycle. 4
- Smart air quality monitors alert citizens about exceeded norm of air pollution and advise them to stay home or do outdoor sports on particular day.1
The best examples of smart cities are: Copenhagen (known especially for its renewable energy strategies), Helsinki (which stands out for its mobility based on public transport, a strong healthcare system, vibrant leisure options and a strong citizen involvement in decision-making processes), Paris (leader in mobility and urban design), Vienna (the city with the highest quality of life in the world) or Stockholm (the most sustainable city)5.
IoT-NGIN technologies will be tested in Human-centred Twin Smart Cities Living Lab in Helsinki and Tallin.
Technologies like IoT, robotics, AI or drones help to increase the quantity and quality of products, while optimizing human labor required by production.1 By using such tools, farmers can monitor field conditions without even being at the field. Technologies based on smart machines and sensors integrated on farms help, among others, with disease detection, irrigation and fertilization optimization, hail protection, reduction of spraying and supporting manual fruit harvesting.
In IoT-NGIN Smart Agriculture IoT Living Lab is located in Greece, where the involved IoT devices include multiple types of ground micro-climate, soil and leaf information stations, drones, mobile robots, as well as wearable devices.
Industry 4.0 – the Fourth Industrial Revolution
Industry 4.0 refers to a new phase in the Industrial Revolution. It focuses heavily on interconnectivity, automation, machine learning, and real-time data. Industry 4.0, which encompasses IIoT and smart manufacturing, marries physical production and operations with smart digital technology, machine learning, and big data. The aim is to create a more holistic and better-connected ecosystem for companies that focus on manufacturing and supply chain management.2 IoT tools can notify worker about dangerous situation, send a warning signal, they monitor employees’ body positions and stress levels to ensure workplace safety and above all they optimize production.
The first Industry 4.0 Living lab will validate the IoT-NGIN federation framework in real-life applications implemented at BOSCH’s facilities in Spain.
It is clear that IoT changes our lives and aims at making it easier and more comfortable. It is important though, to create an ecosystem in which IoT puts
society, its needs and security in the center. The important thing is that the technology should serve the development of the society and individuals – not the other way around. It should always be human-centric, as innovation cannot be a value in itself – it is only a value when it serves a change towards more open, equal and just society. Citizens should be willing and be able to use the technology that meets their needs and is useful in their daily lives. That’s why technologies developed in IoT-NGIN will be tested and validated in the above mentioned use cases.
Europe is leading the way to ensure the development and adoption of trusted and sustainable IoT. In combination with other advanced technologies, it can drive the digital and green transformation of our society and economy. 1 Europe also makes sure that the technologies developed within its projects serve Europeans in the best possible way and so IoT-NGIN project will.