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Everything you need to know about the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the practice of connecting everyday things to the internet. This could be anything from hairbrushes and refrigerators, to complex manufacturing equipment. All these items are connected together to form a network.

You may think that there is no need to connect everyday items like egg trays or wine bottles to the internet, but these devices are being used globally to improve the efficiency of everyday tasks and aid in major programmes for manufacturers, retailers, and other business ventures. Here we’re breaking down everything you need to know about the Internet of Things.

IoT in the Home

You may not even realise that your home is becoming an IoT hotspot. How many of us now have smart speakers and casting devices that help us around the home? Products like the Amazon Alexa or Google Chromecast are all Internet of Things devices. They all connect to the WiFi and together form a network.

Here are some examples of wacky and wonderful IoT products for the home:

HapiFork

The HapiFork is a quirky electronic device that monitors and tracks an individual’s eating habits, ultimately aiming to help someone maintain a healthy eating pattern.

Source: HapiFork

ClickStick

Does your deodorant connect to an app and feature LED lights? Maybe we’re missing a trick when it comes to ClickStick’s smart, eco-friendly deodorant stick. This product can link to your phone, enabling each user to set application preferences and order refills, it even has features to help avoid skin irritation and leakage!

Source: ClickStick

Smalt

Dine with ease with the Smalt (get it? smart salt) saltshaker. This sleek device allows you to monitor and dispense different amounts of salt and can be connected to a smart speaker so you don’t have to lift a finger… “Alexa, one pinch of salt please”.

Source: Smalt

IoT in Industry

While smart saltshakers and deodorants are more novelty items that may seem ridiculous, IoT can be used within industry to help improve efficiency and productivity.

IoT in industry incorporates machinery, analytics and devices, connecting industrial machinery with communications channels and programmes to create a network of systems that can monitor, control, analyse and communicate.

These IoT devices contain sensors that are connected to the internet and can gather and share data. This helps improve, and in some cases allow for, machine-to-machine communication, improving efficiency and speeding up processes.

Here are some examples of IIoT:

Siemens MindSphere

MindSphere is a cloud based IoT unit that collates data from different devices within a site using AI and advanced analytics. It then processes the data to deliver results and analytics, aiming to improve operations and production quality, and deploy new business models across a network.

Source: Siemens

Airbus Factory of the Future

Airbus’s Factory of the Future initiative aims to reduce the amount of manual work required to build aircrafts. This will give them the ability to keep up with future demand and keep developing new variants. In 2019, Airbus opened their Finkenwerder plant in Germany to bring these plans to life.
Read more here.

Source: aeroTelegraph

ABB’s Robotics

Swiss-Swedish company, ABB is using IoT technology to aid its work in robotics. Using low-cost, connected sensors, ABB is able to monitor the maintenance of its robots, allowing the teams to assess the progress of the robots as well as identify and initiate any repairs or maintenance work before an issue arises.

Source: ABB

However, due to their increased connectivity, manufacturing and industrial sites are becoming increasing targets for cyber-attacks. However, there are simple steps you take to improve your cyber security and helping to keep hackers at bay.

Internet of Things technologies are doing wonders to improve the efficiencies of day to day life as well as production and manufacturing processes. Whether you are still sceptical, or are embracing IoT in your life, you should definitely consider the idea of a connected network and think about how it could benefit your business.

For more information, get in touch with a member of our team here.

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