Firstly, no! It’s nothing like GoT!!! (That’s Game of Thrones for the non tragics).
So, to start the discussion we need to go back a little.
People tend to forget the base meaning of the word INTERNET. The general consensus is that people think the Internet is Google, Facebook and websites. The word Internet is short for INTERNETWORK, which is essentially a bunch of small networks connected to create a larger one for the purpose of exchanging traffic. In the case of “the Internet”, it’s a lot of smaller networks all over the world connected by routing devices to provide a coordinated information highway that application layer services use to send and receive data. Examples of these application layer services are things like the World Wide Web (www.), email, music/ video streaming services and email services.
What is the Internet of Things – IoT?
The prevailing stream of thought is that the Internet is purely made up of computers, smartphones and servers that humans use to work and communicate, generally only with the purpose of exchanging information between other humans. However, the truth is that the Internet is no longer related only to “human interaction required” devices. There are multitudes of different network connected devices that autonomously collect and transmit information that is used in multiple ways every day. These devices are of such range that they cannot always be easily categorised as a type of Internet device, as a mobile or a PC, thus the term the “Internet of Things” is born.
Examples of IoT devices are more common and present in our lives that one can imagine. They are out in the open and very easily seen in the public domain and in our everyday routines. They range from the parking ticket meter that you can swipe your credit card on to pay for a parking ticket, all the way to the new wave of fitness trackers that allow people to monitor their exercise output and track it online. IoT devices allow information to be gathered and interpreted or communicated in a way that assists our life functions directly.
But actually, the really cool (and arguably more important) IoT devices are the ones that occur in the business sector. They allow business to be smarter, more efficient and resultantly more profitable in their businesses.
IoT applied to businesses
Manufacturing plants have devices that record information on production lines. The information is sent to analytics engines and then to the board of the corporation where they can review the plant productivity in another country by just opening a screen – or better yet – they don’t even need to look at real-time stats, they can just receive a monthly report that says Plant XXX has produced this much of product with a certain amount of wastage. This empowers businesses to make decisions on direction and focus, and enables improvement.
Bremmar has also started working with IoT devices. We are in the processes of rolling out Wireless Access Points with Bluetooth Proximity devices, including custom programming interfaces, for a property management client to be able to look at shopper traffic patterns within their shopping centre tenancies. Information such as which shops do the shoppers go to and in what order – i.e. how long does a shopper stay within a designated area and how many times has as certain mobile device or shopper returned to a store.
We also recently deployed a setup for a client with a remote manufacturing plant which consists of a long range wireless network that carries information through the site, around 1Km away. The site has network enabled Weighbridge sensors which communicate back to the main camp via wireless so that supervisors get live information on the weight of product coming through.
Even within our office we employ very small network devices to display our Managed Services SLA Service Board Data onto large projector screens for our technical staff to have a live track on work we are facilitating for clients.
So, in summary, hopefully the above has given a brief introduction to IoT. The old Internet as we know is fast growing into the Internet of Things which is allowing public and enterprise life to grow and work in new and exciting ways. I will leave you with a very interesting article from Business Insider Australia online magazine that greatly illustrates projected impact and growth of the IoT over the next 5 years. Needless to say, it’s BIG and it’s COMING…
Bremmar can assist your business to Work Smarter. Contact us to know how we can possibly help with your IoT strategy.