The Internet of Small Things: New Applications in Wearables and More
By Joe Braga
January 11, 2019
By Joe Braga
January 11, 2019
In the world of smart tech, smaller is better. We’ve seen the benefits of tiny components in PCs, home computers, cell phones, and wearable technology. Not only has miniaturization produced sleeker computers and phones that take up less space and produce less waste in the manufacturing and assembly processes, but smaller technology is more stylish.
Miniaturization in form factor chipsets and modules has contributed to cost-effective, faster-running, and more powerful computer components. In the world of Internet of Things (IoT), miniaturization is enabling new applications in the form of wearables, vehicles and transportation, disposable tracking tech for pharmaceuticals and produce, and more uses than we can count for smart city and smart home use.
As part of a low-power, wide-area wireless technology (LPWA), miniaturized IoT components are universally battery efficient, have a wide range of improved connectivity for multiple devices, and carry a low device unit cost. The number of IoT connected devices is expected to reach over 40 billion devices by 2022. While mobile phone/cellular device components continue to shrink down to match their IoT counterparts, the applications of IoT tags, modules, and chips installed in other everyday items will enable the market to grow in innovative ways.
According to MarketWatch, the global wearable devices market is expected to exceed $51 billion by 2022, with a projection of 1 billion connected wearable devices worldwide.
The increased applications for IoT extend from personal use with wristwear, footwear, eyewear, bodywear, and neckwear associated with personal use in training and fitness, as well as more practical applications, such as sports, infotainment, healthcare, defense, enterprise, and industry.
The industrial applications of wearable technology will see major benefits in the healthcare segment in which connected devices improve efficiency and reduce operational costs.
By creating more powerful devices with smaller footprints – particularly through the use of improved edge processing – providers and facilities will gain the ability to keep track of patients through real-time monitoring of vital signs and health stats. From wristbands to implants, data is transmitted through the cloud and analyzed to produce more accurate outcomes and treatment options.
In the military industry, wearable technology “can help soldiers in the field by tracking them more accurately, giving central command more precision in coordinating operations,” according to Emily Rector with MarketScale. Wireless, hands-free communications and more efficient battery life could contribute to timesaving and lifesaving operations.
The cost-efficient nature and ease of install use for IoT technology opens the floodgates for plenty of single-use applications — particularly in deliverables and tracking industries. Vivek Mohan with Network World states that, until recently, “radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips have been used to track individual items. They are embedded within items and can transmit identifying information. Now, users want extended capabilities that allow for real-time data and asset management without a dedicated infrastructure.”
IoT tags will allow long-range, low-power solutions with instant feedback and asset health reports for shipping and tracking solutions, cold chain operations, pharmaceuticals, produce, and food safety purposes. While networks of sensors have been used for these applications before, miniaturization offers the possibility of making specialized IoT deployments much more accessible.
By relying on tiny, single-use tags and sensors, more and more businesses will be able to create customized, flexible solutions without the prohibitive start-up costs that could otherwise accompany them. Food and drug integrity, temperature readouts, broken containers, and more will be wirelessly reported along the enterprise network and alert technicians to their status.
Helpful applications for miniaturized IoT modules don’t have to be complicated. Homes and cities of the future will be illuminated hassle-free with the convenience of smart lighting. Like all IoT-enabled devices, smart lighting will give homeowners, industrial and enterprise networks, and city utility administrators the ability to remotely view their power usage through apps, turn on and off lights while far away, and save money through efficient management.
Home consumers are already seeing a rise in voice-controlled home lighting, so it’s no stretch of the imagination for cities to install daytime/nighttime-sensitive lighting and temperature controls and gain instant feedback on streetlights that have been damaged or have lost output.
Telit helps you harness the power of the Internet of Things to optimize efficiency, improve productivity, and cut costs across your organization. With a wide range of industry applications, our integrated IoT solutions enable you to make more informed business decisions to achieve new levels of operation.
From transportation to healthcare, smart cities, utilities, security and more, our IoT solutions and applications are designed to make the world a safer, smarter place. Contact us today and find out how your industry can benefit from miniaturized IoT solutions.