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Internet of Things (IoT)

What Is the Internet of Things (IoT)? Everything You Need to Know

Need to get up to race on the tech trends of IoT quickly? Here’s your five-minute primer on this burgeoning field of tech. Smart devices form the basic units of the Internet of Things.

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Real Benefits That IOT (Internet of Things) Brings

The IoT/Internet of Things is a phrase you’ll hear everywhere if you follow current developments in technology. It refers to the vast network of “smart” devices, from a Web-enabled doorbell camera to an intelligent dishwasher. If it’s inside an electrical enclosure and connects to the Internet, you can be pretty sure that it’s a part of the Internet of Things.

Here’s the thing about the Things that make up this Internet: They’re getting much more numerous and more critical in our daily lives. Don’t let that scare you, though. There are tons of beneficial applications for IoT devices, so long as you know how to use them safely.

Need to get up to race on the tech trends of IoT quickly? Here’s your five-minute primer on this burgeoning field of tech.

1. What Is IoT?

Smart devices form the basic units of the Internet of Things. (See the next section for a list of everyday devices.) Each intelligent device connects to the broader Internet, and these intelligent device networks (and their connections) are collectively transferred to as the Internet of Things.

The fundamental purpose of intelligent devices and IoT is to allow people to control and monitor the functions of their world in new ways through devices equipped with sensors and an Internet connection. It’s a relatively simple concept with a vast range of applications. Intelligent machines can handle controlling lights, housing an Alexa-like voice assistant, or collecting fitness information from your workout.

Most IoT devices connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi, but it’s also common for IoT devices to use other wireless protocols, such as Bluetooth and Zigbee. Remote operation is a standard feature for intelligent devices and typically comes in a connected mobile application.

What Is the Internet of Things (IoT) Everything You Need to Know

Source: metamorworks/Shutterstock.com

2. Common IoT Devices

In many highly developed countries, like the U.S., IoT devices are already near-ubiquitous. These are some of the ones that you’ll find just about everywhere:

Voice Assistant Speakers: Web-enabled intelligent speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Home are now constant companions for many people in their residences. These devices often serve as smart home hubs that allow users to control other smart devices in the home.

Personal Fitness Trackers: Fitness trackers like the Fitbit can monitor heart rate, steps per day, and other health and lifestyle factors.

Smart Lighting: These systems allow you to control your lighting remotely from your mobile devices, measure energy consumption and develop custom lighting schemes and routines that always give your space the perfect ambiance.

Smart Thermostats: A intelligent thermostat automatically tracks and analyzes energy consumption. As with intelligent lighting, most can be controlled remotely through apps.

Smart Security Systems: Many home and business owners equip their properties with intelligent security systems like the popular Ring doorbell cameras. These systems usually offer features like remote monitoring and programmable routines.

Smart TVs: These popular TVs include features like built-in access to streaming services, and many also work with voice assistants like Alexa.

Wi-Fi Routers: Wi-Fi is an essential part of the Internet of Things, and routers distribute Wi-Fi networks to the devices that need them. When placed in a suitably rated outdoor enclosure, such as a NEMA 4X enclosure, Wi-Fi routers can even be deployed outdoors.

Many of these technologies are most visible in our homes today, but they’re also gaining widespread use in businesses. A smart thermostat that helps save on heating bills is just as valuable for a business as it is to a homeowner. But beyond that, increasing numbers of businesses also use IoT technologies like smart inventory systems, GPS sensors for delivery vehicles, and even drones.

Common IoT Devices

Source: RossHelen/Shutterstock.com

3. What Are the Advantages of IoT?

IoT offers numerous opportunities for business owners, governments, and ordinary people. These are some of the use cases where you’ll find the Internet of Things at work:

Smart homes are making many people’s lives more convenient and more connected. Many homeowners have improved control over their energy consumption, security, and home aesthetics, thanks to smart homes.

Businesses can use data collected through IoT to streamline and improve their operations. More competent inventory management, pinpoint shipment tracking, and new ways to target customers are all on the table.

Intelligent sensors can help protect expensive property for both businesses and individuals. A homeowner can detect whether they have a water leak through IoT sensors, and a semi-truck owner can detect when an engine part is near failure.

IoT health tools allow patients and providers to adopt a more collaborative and analytical approach to their relationships. Data collection through medical wearables (and even cutting-edge technologies like swallowable sensors) presents some exciting opportunities for data-driven medicine.

Naturally, these advantages all assume that IoT devices are being deployed securely and responsibly. When they’re not, users can open themselves up to some significant vulnerabilities.

4. What Are the Risks of IoT?

Safe technology use requires you to know the risks, and IoT certainly has some of its own. Thus far, the most significant dangers of IoT have emerged in two main areas: security and privacy. We’ll tackle each in turn.

For many people and organizations, data security is the most significant current area of concern in IoT. Why? IoT networks and devices are juicy targets for cybercriminals since they’re often poorly secured and potentially packed with personal information. Many IoT device owners don’t take all the recommended security steps with their devices, such as regularly changing passwords or even changing default passwords after setup.

Data privacy, however, is a related issue that’s increasingly shaping up as a significant regulatory battleground. It poses numerous thorny questions: What privacy rights do IoT users have when it comes to data that they willingly submit? Is it unfair to give advantages to those who give up some privacy rights, such as providing health insurance discounts to employees who wear fitness trackers? These are questions that we’ll have to face very soon.

What Are the Advantages of IoT

Source: HQuality/Shutterstock.com

IoT is surely one of the most powerful technologies of the new millennium. Like most technologies, it offers solutions for many problems while creating a few critical new issues of its own. So long as you’re aware of both, IoT will continue to provide tons of ways to enhance your life.

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3 Technologies To Streamline Field Operations

This article will show you three technologies that you can leverage to streamline your field operations and help your company. Continue reading to learn more.

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3 Technologies To Streamline Field Operations

For a majority of businesses, work isn’t entirely done from the office setup. Depending on the nature of products and services you sell, it may be imperative for you to have a team out and about meeting your customers’ needs.

Whether you’re having a construction site led by field engineers or you do offer managed IT services (both of which require your employees to be out in the field), you need the right tools to ensure seamless workflow and improved productivity.

One of the tools that may benefit your business during field services is field service management software. You can use this tool to monitor the progress of your projects and collect data for all your field operations. It’s said that there’s much more this application can do for your business. Learn more about the software here.

This article will show you three technologies that you can leverage to streamline your field operations and help your company. Continue reading to learn more.

Cloud Technology Cloud-based software gives you a cost-effective way to manage data collected from field operations. It also serves as a medium for establishing real-time communication between technicians, managers, and customers. A cloud-hosted field service management system connects field workers, including service managers, with back-end and front-end touchpoints using one system for capturing, processing, and executing data collected from the field.

Additionally, you can use cloud-based software to enhance your customer experience by reducing waiting time. Channels that facilitate real-time communications give an avenue for responding to tasks quickly due to the speed offered by SaaS (Software as a Service) deployments.

One of the technologies that give streamlined communication is the cloud-based Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP telephone system, which can be used for teleconferencing with your field workers. A cloud-based telephone system can be integrated with a smartphone using a mobile application. As a result, you can enjoy the flexibility of receiving calls anywhere using the tall free service.

1. Internet Of Things

Internet of things (IoT) refers to the interconnectivity of smart devices through the Internet. Intelligent machines can monitor and interact with their environment and send the collected data back to the intended recipient.

3 Technologies To Streamline Field Operations

For instance, you can network your field project site with cameras connected to a central access point online. With the current technology of cameras, you can monitor what is happening on your site using your smartphone in real-time. It’s said that you’ll only need to be granted access credentials by your networking professional to take advantage of the feature above.

2. Drone Technology

Formerly, drone technology was primarily deployed in military operations. However, the application of drones has expanded to be used by SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises), entrepreneurs, and large corporations to perform different tasks. Some of their applications are:

a. Geographic Mapping

With a drone, you can capture high-resolution data and shoot photos in places difficult to reach, such as on mountaintops, coastlines, and islands. Moreover, you can use a drone to generate 3D or three-dimensional maps.

b. Precision Agriculture

Farmers are believed to have incorporated drone technology in monitoring their crops. Drones fitted with infrared sensors are used to monitor crop health. The condition of the plants will help the farmer take the necessary steps in improving the health of their field. Apart from this, you can use drones to spray insecticides and apply fertilizer.

c. Aerial Photography

Currently, you can use a drone to capture motion pictures or photos, which was formally only possible with cranes and expensive helicopters. Additionally, flying drones are used in sports and real estate photography. Media houses are also using this technology to get footage and information from live field broadcasts.

Reasons Why You Should Buy a Drone

d. Disaster Management

You can use a drone to collect information and navigate rubble and debris, searching for injured victims after an artificial or natural disaster. Drones fitted with high-definition cameras, radars, and sensors can help rescue personnel gets a high field of view, eliminating the need to use human-crewed helicopters. Due to the flexibility of drones, you can use them to get a close-up view of hard-to-reach areas.

e. Wildlife Monitoring

Poachers are a known threat to some of the globe’s endangered wild animals, such as elephants, big cats, and rhinos. The kind of drones used to aid in wildlife monitoring have sensors and thermal cameras that can work at night. As such, they can keep an eye on the environment at almost any time of the day. The videos and pictures captured help get insight into behavior, habitat, and patterns of animals gravely affected by poaching.

3. Wrap Up

Fieldwork is believed to be much easier and effective when the relevant innovations are put in place. With technology, you can streamline workflow, improve productivity, cut on losses, reduce time wastage, and perform tasks previously impossible to do through human means.

Depending on the type of field operations you’re involved in, there’s always a technology solution available for you to maximize. Do good research on the option you should use for your fieldwork to benefit from them after procurement successfully.

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