IoT Application Domains

 General audience classification icon  General audience classification icon  General audience classification icon
There is a rapid increase in the adoption of IoT in the various sectors (e.g., intelligent transport systems, smart health care, smart manufacturing, smart homes, smart cities, smart agriculture, and smart energy) of the society or economy. IoT technologies are being applied in the various sectors of the economy to increase efficiency, solve technical challenges, and create value to increase companies' earnings and improve user experience. The increasing adoption of IoT technologies in the various sectors of the economy or industry has made IoT technology the pillar of the fourth and fifth industrial revolutions (industry 4.0 and Industry 5.0).

Application domains of the Internet of Things solutions are vast. Some of the applications of IoT include the following[1]:

  • building and home automation,
  • smart water,
  • internet of food,
  • smart metering,
  • smart city (including logistics, retail, transportation),
  • industrial IoT,
  • precision agriculture and smart farming,
  • security and emergencies,
  • healthcare and wellness (including wearables),
  • smart environment,
  • energy management,
  • robotics,
  • smart grids.

Smart Homes are one of the first examples that come to mind when discussing the Internet of Things domain applications. Smart home benefits include reduced energy wastage, the quality and reliability of devices, system security, reduced cost of basic needs, etc. Some home automation examples are environmental control systems that monitor and control heating, ventilation, air conditioning and sunscreens; electrical charging of vehicles; solar panels for electrical power and hot water; ambient lighting control, smart lighting for aquaria; home cooking and food ordering; access control (doors, garage, gate); smart plant irrigation systems (both indoors and outdoors); baby monitoring; timed pet food dispensers; monitoring perishable goods (for example, in the refrigerator); household items remote monitoring (for instance, of washer cycle status); tracking and proactive maintenance scheduling (such as e.g. electric car charging); event-triggered task execution. Home security also plays a significant role in smart homes. Examples of applications are automatic door locks, sensors for opening doors and windows, pressure, motion and infrared sensors, security cameras, notifications about security (to the owner or the police) and fitness-related applications.

In Smart City, multiple IoT-based services are applied to different areas of urban settings. The aim of the smart city is the best use of public resources, improvement of the quality of resources provided to people and reduction of operating costs of public administration [2]. A smart city can include many solutions like smart buildings, smart grids for improving energy management, smart tourism, monitoring of the state of the roads and occupation of parking lots, public transportation optimisation, public safety, environment monitoring, automatic street lighting, signalling with smart power devices, control of water levels for hydropower or flood warnings, electricity-generating devices like solar panels and wind turbines, weather monitoring stations.
Transportation in smart cities may include aviation, monitoring and forecasting of traffic slowdowns, timetables and current status, navigation and route planning, as well as vehicle diagnostics and maintenance reports, remote maintenance services, traffic accident information collection, fleet management using digital tachographs, smart parking, car/bicycle sharing services [3]. IoT in transportation makes cars interconnected, particularly in the approaching autonomous vehicles era.

Smart Grid is a digital power distribution system. This system gathers information using smart meters, sensors and other devices. After these data are processed, power distribution can be adapted accordingly. Smart grids deliver sustainable, economical and secure electricity supplies efficiently.

In Precision Agriculture and Smart Farming IoT solutions can be used to monitor the moisture of the soil and conditions of the plants, control microclimate conditions and monitor the weather conditions to improve farming [4]. The goal of using IoT in agriculture is maximising the harvest, reducing operational costs, being more efficient, and reducing environmental pollution using low-cost automated solutions. An interaction between the farmer and the systems can be done using a human-machine interface. In the future smart precision farming can be a solution for such challenges as increasing worldwide demand for food, a changing climate, and a limited supply of water and fossil fuels [5].

Internet of Food integrates many of the abovementioned techniques and encompasses different stages of the food delivery chain, including smart farming, food processing, transportation, storage, retail, and consumption. It provides more safety and improved efficiency at each food production and consumption stage, including reduced waste and increased transparency.

Like precision agriculture, which is part of IoT in industry, Smart Factories also tend to improve manufacturing by monitoring pollutant gas emissions, locating employees and with many other solutions.

Industrial IoT and smart factories are part of the Industry 4.0 revolution. In this model, modern factories can automate complex manufacturing tasks, thanks to the Machine-To-Machine communication model, which provides more flexibility in the manufacturing process to easily enable personalised, short-volume product manufacturing.

In the healthcare and wellness, IoT applications can monitor and diagnose patients and manage people and medical resources. It allows remote and continuous monitoring of the vital signs of patients to improve medical care and wellness [6]. An essential part of smart welfare is wearables, including wristbands and smartwatches that monitor the activity level, heart rate and other parameters. Smart healthcare includes remote monitoring, care of patients, self-monitoring, smart pills, smart home care, Real-Time Health Systems (RTHS) and many more. Medical robotics can also be part of the healthcare IoT system that includes medical robots in precision surgery or distance surgery; some robots are used in rehabilitation and hospitals (for example, Panasonic HOSPI [7]) for delivering medication, drinks, etc. to patients.

Wearables used in IoT applications should be highly energy efficient, ultra-low power and small-sized. Wearables are installed with sensors and software for data and information collected about the user. Devices used in daily life like Fitbit [8] are used to track people's health and exercise progress in previously impossible ways, and smartwatches allow to access smartphones using this device on the wrist. But wearables are not limited only to wearing them on the wrist. They can also be glasses equipped with a camera, a sports bundle attached to the shoes, a camera attached to the helmet, or a necklace [9].

Smart supply chains integrate IoT and other modern information and communication technologies to manage supply chain systems and facilitate the flow of raw materials and finished goods, increasing efficiency and productivity in manufacturing, transportation, retail, distribution, shipping, planning and management. IoT sensors are installed throughout the supply chain infrastructure to collect monitoring data, sent to data analytic platforms for advanced analytics. The analysis results are used for the various stakeholders to make quick decisions and react or respond quickly when necessary. Some tasks are automated using IoT actuators controlled by commands from data analytics platforms that analyse sensor data and then carry out control measures or responses. Some of the IoT use cases in supply chains include:

  • Location tracking -the tracking of the location of raw materials and finished goods throughout the supply chain.
  • Monitoring the products' physical condition or state during transportation and storage throughout the supply chain.
  • Asset monitoring and management (e.g., fleet management) -monitoring the various assets deployed throughout the supply chain to facilitate the smooth functioning of the supply chain.
  • Stock management -managing the available warehouse stocks, deliveries and orders.

Integrating IoT into supply chains and other technologies such as AI and blockchains transforms supply chains, increasing efficiency and productivity. The supply chain bottlenecks experienced during and after the COVID-19 period demonstrate the need to increase the efficiency of supply chains even though they are getting more complex. The deployment of IoT and other modern technologies to automate some of the processes to increase efficiency and productivity is very important.

IoT-supported retail stores, used to automate some of the processes in supermarkets and small and medium-sized shops. It is driven by the shortage of workers to work in retail stores, the need to reduce costs, and to reduce waiting lines in retail stores. Using IoT technologies to automate some processes increases efficiency and productivity, especially in inventory management, supply chain management, and customer service. Some of the IoT use cases in retail stores include:

  • Automated checkout points where customers can serve themselves without needing customer service agents.
  • Surveillance monitoring of the entire supermarket or store.
  • Monitoring of the products in the supermarkets and control of the environmental conditions to prolong the shelf life of perishable products.
  • Smart shelves for tracking the stock on the shelves.
  • Robots to automate some of the tasks that can be executed repeatedly without human intervention.
  • IoT-based shopping assistant that monitors the stock of the consumers at home and then reminds them of what they need to buy (and could even order them online).

Supermarkets and shops are becoming smarter with the increased deployment of IoT technologies to automate some of their processes to increase efficiency and productivity and decrease cost. With the gradual decrease in the cost of IoT technologies, supermarkets and small and medium-sized stores will adopt IoT technologies to automate some of their processes.

IoT-based Intelligent Transport Systems (IoT-ITS), that integrate modern Information and Communication Systems and modern technologies into transportation systems to increase productivity and efficiency. It involves using IoT sensors to collect real-time data, which enables real-time monitoring and control to increase the productivity and efficiency of transportation systems and to satisfy some design goals (e.g., reduction of emissions and accidents, improvement of user experiences). Some of the benefits of intelligent transportation systems include:

  • Reduction of road traffic, which increases user experience, reduces energy consumption and lowers emissions.
  • Enable optimal use of critical resources in transportation systems and increase efficiency and productivity.
  • Reduces accidents and facilitates timely emergency response, increasing the safety and security of users.
  • Reduces emissions, enabling the transition into cleaner and sustainable transportation systems.
  • Increases productivity and efficiency in transportation systems, increasing returns on investments.
  • Increase user experience, e.g., reduce the time users spend waiting in traffic (efficient traffic management), reduce the waiting time of users of public transport systems (reduces delays).

In IoT-based Intelligent transport systems (IoT-ITS), IoT sensors are used to gather data sent to computing platforms at a control centre when the data is processed and analysed. The analysis results inform various stakeholders for quick decision-making and timely response. The results of the computations can be sent to manipulate actuators to control some systems within the intelligent transportation system. Some of the use cases of Intelligent Transport Systems are:

  • Optimal traffic routing based on real-time traffic monitoring.
  • Providing relevant information (weather reports, state of the roads, traffic) to road users to ensure their safety and security and to increase their user experience.
  • Assist drivers in searching for available parking places, including cheaper and free parking spaces in their vicinity.
  • Timely detection and response to traffic incidents (accidents).
  • Real-time traffic rerouting when necessary, especially when the condition of the roads is unsuitable or when there is an emergency.
  • Automatic control of speed limits.
  • Monitoring of structural properties of the public transport infrastructure to inform users to be aware, ensuring their safety.

Internet of Military Things (IoMT), also known as the Military Internet of Things (M-IoT) or Battlespace IoT (B-IoT), is the integration of IoT sensor and actuator devices into military weapons and battlefield infrastructure for information gathering and automation of some processes, increasing the efficiency of intelligence gathering and combat. Some battlefield assets such as ships, aircraft, battle tanks, weapons, munitions, drones, tucks, soldiers, and operating bases are connected to enable seamless interoperability and efficient cooperation between the various units and systems on the battlefield. The massive amount of data gathered by the sensors embedded within the different military systems provides the relevant stakeholders within the military chain of command a comprehensive situational awareness, improving the efficiency of the command and control and combat operations, especially in complex and diverse conflict zones.

Using sensor networks, actuators and robots on the battlefield to increase situational awareness, risk assessment, response time, and precision is not new. Still, the rapid evolution of IoT technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) will radically transform the future battlefields. The combination of IoT, robotics, and AI will automate some military operations, increasing flexibility and precision during combat and reducing the number of casualties in terms of the number of soldiers killed during combat operations. A significant challenge with M-IoT or B-IoT is cyber security. Incorporating IoT sensors and actuator networks within the military systems and infrastructure exposes them to cyber security risks. A cyber security breach could compromise or disrupt command, control, and combat operations.

Green and sustainable IoT is the application of IoT technologies to reduce pollution and the impact of climate change on the environment and livelihoods. It also involves the application of IoT for resource management and conversations. Sensors are deployed to collect data from the environment. The data collected is analysed for rapid and timely decision-making and control, reducing pollution and conserving critical resources required to sustain ecosystems and human progress. Some of the green and sustainable IoT applications include the following:

  • Smart agriculture: One use case example is IoT-based smart irrigation systems designed to reduce water usage in agricultural operations.
  • Smart energy: Applying IoT technologies to reduce energy consumption (reducing the carbon footprint) and improve electricity infrastructure efficiency.
  • Environmental monitoring: Using IoT to monitor and control the level of pollution in the environment and to detect environmental disasters and prepare for them before they occur.
  • Resource management: Application of IoT to conserve critical resources like water and wildlife.
  • Supply chains: Increasing the efficiency of supply chains to reduce their carbon emission and other forms of pollution.

The IoT applications discussed above are just a few of the IoT applications that are being developed and adopted in various industries. New IoT application use cases are being designed, and a detailed discussion of almost all IoT applications is out of the scope of this book. However, the IoT applications presented above are a broad category of IoT applications.

en/iot-open/introduction/application_domains_and_their_specifics.txt · Last modified: 2023/11/29 10:36 by ktokarz
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