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Smart Cities and IoT: The evolving new world

Smart Cities and IoT: The evolving new world

According to a prediction, IoT (Internet of Things) will be the largest device market by 2019 surpassing smartphones, PCs, connected cars and wearables put together. B2B IoT applications will include remote monitoring, predictive maintenance, asset tracking, inventory management, etc. B2C application of IoT will start from fitness bands, smart TVs, smart refrigerators and go on to autonomous cars, intelligent home assistants, etc. By 2020 total number of IoT devices are expected to reach 50Bn.

IoT applications:

IoT applications across verticals are:

  • Infrastructure:
    • Smart cement: Censors mixed in the cement will notify if there is any damage in the well. Will be used for highways development, bridges, airports, buildings, and pipelines. Self-healing cement can be used in buildings for damage control and to enhance their lives.
  • Education:
    • With the use of electronic handheld devices, teachers are enabled to track student records stored in the cloud and provide necessary attention if needed for few pupils.
    • Homeschooling: with learning on devices, students can get consistent learning experience at school and home.
    • Enhanced safety: students are provided with details of conveyance from school and can schedule journey without investing time in potentially unsafe areas.
    • Examples: Internet connected system managing all technical equipment, wireless interactive board.
    • USD 100Bn Indian education market presents a significant opportunity for IoT.
  • Smart home:

    Lighting, heating, opening & closing of doors, wake up music could be automated. Some of the devices used in the smart home are:

    • Smart lock that one can control with smartphone / handheld device / biometric / app.
    • Smart curtains controlled with app or voice assistant.
    • Smart security cameras connected to smartphones.
    • Thermostats operated with smartphone app can switch on or off the fan or track temperature.
    • Smart plug and switches.
    • Smart speakers capable of ordering a pizza, booking a cab or streaming music.
    • Smart bulbs that change color or don’t go off due to power cut but gets awakened when they hear the doorbell.
    • Smart doorbell that sends notification to the connected smartphone on ringing up.
    • Tracking of carbon monoxide levels, water leaks, fire and smoke with smart devices.
  • Healthcare:
    • Remote patient monitoring: Regular reports of patients could be sent to the doctor and risks of heart attack, cancer, etc. could be minimized. The patient may also be asked to conduct a test at a remote location the data of which goes directly to the doctor.
    • Inventory management in hospitals.
    • Implants with sensors directly sending data to doctor’s computer.
  • Manufacturing:
    • Automated machines: Machines communicating with each other and performing tasks according to schedule.
    • Preventive maintenance: sensors that notify controller computer of the overall health of the machine. Failure or interruption can be detected early and depreciation could be calculated efficiently.
    • End -to-end vigilance of supply chain and assessing the issues.
    • Trackers can monitor alertness on the job, warn fatigued truck drivers and avoid accidents.
    • Cameras to send data indicating a presence of workers at the site. Eliminating, need for, Separate attendance systems.
  • BFSI:
    • Smart ATMs: withdrawal and deposit of cash, cheques from a single machine.
    • Insurance: Tracking distance travelled, driving habits. Allowing distance traveled rather than time frame (annual premium) for policies.
  • Automobile:
    • Connected vehicles: cars can communicate with each other.
    • Smart tyres notify the driver of any danger due to road conditions. For example, on the icy surface, tyre senses probability of skidding and signify the controlling computer to apply brakes.
    • Adaptive cruise control: Senses speeds of other cars on the road thus help to maintain proper distance from them.
  • Travel/Hospitality:
    • Smart suitcases / luggage monitoring
    • Predictive maintenance: if room air conditioner is not working, maintenance teams will get notified
    • Check in, unlocking/locking doors of rooms, etc. through mobile app
    • Study guest preferences over IoT platform, and on their next visits, personal greetings with name and preferred room ambiance provided.
    • Using of robots for cleaning, in-room dining and other services
  • Agriculture
    • Monitoring of farms: any disturbance at the farm can be conveyed to the farmer when he is away.
    • Remote controlling of farm activities.

IoT applications in Smart Cities:

Smart cities have availability of high-quality utility services like electricity & water, robust transportation system with smart parking facility at major public places, entertainment areas, enhanced security systems, improved health & education facilities and proper waste disposal system. Smart Cities are expected to be more livable, sustainable and efficient.

IoT is going to be vital for these next generation cities. IoT will not only help establish better control enforcing law and order but will also assist in reducing wastage, better management and judicious use of resources. Some of the applications of IoT in Smart Cities are:

  • Smart Traffic Management:

    Rising incomes and better lifestyles lead to increase in vehicle numbers increasing pressure on road/ public infrastructure. Additional traffic will need smart traffic management systems with features like:

    Traffic Management:

    • Use of real-time data, analytics, GIS mapping can help divert traffic through alternative routes. Sensors installed at various locations will notify the central controlling system of congestion on a particular route and alert a vehicle driver.
    • Smart Traffic Signals: communicate directly to the car controlling system and warn about change in the order of signals enabling better speed control and awareness.
    • Adaptive traffic management reducing stoppage time at the signal by undertaking a vehicle count using the platform and change traffic lights depending on traffic volume.
    • RFID tags help to detect vehicles exceeding the speed limit. On exceeding the speed limit, an alert would be sent to the car as well as on smartphone app.
    • Smart parking system: Using M2M platform, smartphone sensors, installed at parking zone and payment gateway, smart parking system will provide details of available parking slots in a parking area and online parking fee payment. Parking sensors will notify IoT system in a car or send an alert to the smartphone app for available parking slots.
  • Smart water supply and management:

    Only 0.01% of water lies on the surface of earth hence it becomes crucial to use water judiciously and create intelligent water supply systems that reduce wastage of water. Some of the features of smart water management will include:

    • Predictive maintenance: Water pressure and vibration sensors will sense a hydraulic and health of water supply infrastructure. Helping detect leaks and damages early, reducing cost by averting disasters, e.g., avoid pipeline burst, proactive maintenance.
    • Real-time water usage information with the help of meters and smartphone app to aid users conserve water.
  • Waste management system:
    • Smart garbage management: Smart trash cans sends alerts on reaching the threshold. Notification to local civic body's garbage collector vehicles to better prepare route plans and management. Heavily reducing transportation costs.
  • Security and safety:
    • Collection of crime data and implementation of preventive measures. Faster action with live feeds.
    • With the help of drones and cameras installed on patrol cars firmer action and prevention is possible
  • Ensure safety through fire & smoke detection, people count, traffic analyzer and vehicle counter. Smart energy:
    • A combination of smart grid and smart metering for judicious use of energy leading to less wastage. These meters will send accurate readings to the grid while also giving users snapshot of their daily electricity usage.
  • Smart buildings:
    • Smart building will be equipped with sensors that will control heating, lighting, security, etc. of the building and will alert in times of natural calamities.