By Enrique Pavlioglou
The Internet of Things (IoT) has earned the public’s attention and is receiving plenty of buzz with all of its uses and how it is transforming legacy markets and conventional business models. But, as with all great changes, sceptics have rose up to tear down the endless possibilities that the IoT will bring. Today, I’m going to discuss major game changers in the field, particularly in Agriculture, Law Enforcement and Insurance.
Agriculture has, I think, received the biggest benefit. When summing up the facts that the world population is projected to grow to 9.3 billion people by 2050, 90% of water consumption is used by agriculture and the top threat of world prosperity is water scarcity, it is obvious something must be done. Without access to fresh water and arable land, as well as a hungry population that’s rapidly growing, the world is desperate for a solution to curb starvation and drought. Thankfully, the IoT is here to help us improve efficiency. Smart Watering Systems estimates that growers save an average of anywhere between 30 and 70% of water when using IoT irrigation systems. And it doesn’t stop with water consumption. The IoT also allows farmers to monitor weather conditions like temperature, wind and humidity, allowing their crops to thrive.
Car insurance has evolved over the past few years with the implementation of User Based Insurance (UBI). UBI allows for customers to be charged on their particular driving habits instead of being bunched together by speculation of age, address and sometimes the color of the car. With the use of UBI, customers are rewarded for their safe driving habits with lower rates. And, in a surprising turn of events, not only did UBI lower costs, but it has also made the roads safer. Customers are driving more cautiously since they want to save money but in doing so they have lowered their speed and bad driving habits, eliminating unnecessary risks and behaviors.
Law enforcement has received a boost in much needed transparency. Sensors in smart cities provide officers with more insight of their surroundings eliminating mistakes that can sometimes cost more than a fine. Police departments around the country have established applications that people can use to anonymously notify police of suspicious activity; this aids law enforcement to respond faster and provide better aid to those in need.
I believe the IoT is a sleeping giant that has barely started to wake. The IoT has unlimited opportunities and ways of making everyday lives easier and better, and the best part is that many of these changes will lead to other unexpected changes.