The Internet of Things or IoT is a network of interconnected devices, like sensors and smart devices any smart city project will also use big data to capture, store, process, and analyze large amounts of data generated by several sources and transform that data into useful knowledge that enables better decision-making processes.
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Hospital items, inventory and durable assets are equipped with RFID tags, and it’s possible to attach tags to boxes containing medications and single-use items. Readers located in hospital rooms and corridors send the information about the current location of assets. Personnel can track movable assets using a map of the hospital. When a certain item is needed, a doctor or a nurse makes a request and the IoT system finds the nearest available item(s) and informs the user of its location.
With smart tracking, a healthcare organization can reduce the careless use of its property and better protect it from theft. When an item with an RFID tag leaves a designated area without authorization, an IoT system generates an alert notification that informs hospital security about the potential theft.
Automated reports on hospital asset utilization also help hospital inventory specialists reduce duplication of identical unused assets, cutting expenditures on unneeded equipment rentals, purchases and maintenance. Avoiding unnecessary expenses, hospitals save money, which can be invested in new advanced tools and equipment.
Traffic management is one of the biggest infrastructural challenges faced by major cities. People generally prefer riding in their own vehicles, no matter the quality of the public transportation system, and without consideration for how much time and money are spent reaching their destinations.
The current flow of people back into major American cities has caused an increasingly massive amount of traffic congestion. Several cities are combatting this congestion by fetching information from CCTV feeds and transmitting vehicle-related data to city traffic management centers, in order to help improve road and traffic conditions. Better organized traffic systems mean better flow of vehicles on the road, with fewer idling cars, buses and trucks stuck in traffic jams. All of this eventually translates to lower run times, proper utilization of natural resources such as gas, and less pollution. In essence, the challenge is to reduce stop-start driving, which burns more gas and creates more pollution, in addition to taking more time.
However, smart traffic management also involves other factors, like smart parking sensors, smart street lights, smart highways, and smart accident assistance, among other things.
Smart meters are widely available Internet of Things (IoT) devices designed to provide statistics about ongoing energy usage, and they allow customers to track usage and use a pay-as-you-go system that cuts down monthly utility bills.
Aside from making things easier for customers, smart meters carry advantages for utility companies as well. For example, they can manage the bi-directional energy flows to and from power grids, and they can foster progress on renewable energy products using the provided smart meter data. Furthermore, smart data analysis solutions can monitor grid usage and make relevant decisions based on fluctuations.
Smart meters for water supplies also have significant advantages for providers, particularly concerning maintenance savings. Analytics apps offer proactive information about leaks and other pipeline failures. And the dashboards connected to the smart meters are able to highlight spikes in usage, alerting companies about potentially necessary upgrades.
Customers benefit from such analytics for utility management too. In addition to showing current usage details, IoT analytics software suites let providers examine usage trends over months or years. The trend information gleaned can then guide providers as they roll out new services, prevent periodic outages or gauge peak usage times.
The IoT is already having a positive influence on consumers and the utility sector at large. As technologies improve and people explore different ways to use them, the advantages will only become more apparent.