Gopinath Polavarapu, Senior Director -Product Management
The Industrial Internet of Things, or IIoT, has become the next big technology trend that will help businesses automate processes and collect intelligence to inform calculated decisions. This radical transformation is also opening up new opportunities for economic growth and improvement in quality of life.
Is IIoT just a rich world technology? Far from it. Developed nations are using IoT Technologies to create smart cities and gather information that would help government authorities and citizens make smart decisions, reduce costs, improve performance and deliver better results. Developing nations may face many challenges, from poor national infrastructure to uneven population distribution and growth, but IIoT can contribute to solutions for them that are more effective and less costly than traditional approaches. Developing nations should develop a clear IIoT strategy to grow their economy and improve quality of life, as a country is prosperous only if the growth of its economy is coupled with quality of life.
For developing nations, disaster response is one of the areas that helps illustrate the potential benefits of IIoT technology for pre-industrialized economies. Firstly, most developing nations are reactive to natural disasters rather than proactive. Developed nations, on the other hand, have proactive monitoring systems to deal with natural disasters such as flooding and cyclones. They have deployed early warning mechanisms in places to alert the public of such disasters, which provide enough time and information to people and government officials to plan a recovery path and save lives. One cannot avoid natural disasters, but can save lives and reduce losses by deploying early warning systems.
Today’s IIoT solutions can provide early warning systems in a cost effective manner compared to traditional early warning systems. In the age of information sharing and a digital world, developing nations can look at deploying early warning systems more effectively to save lives and avert property destruction.
Secondly, developing nations can use IIoT technology to create smarter cities and villages. Some of the major solutions that are now being deployed in the market place are creating value for utility management, energy distribution and sanitation management. There are also beneficial applications for e-governance, public transportation, fleet management, public safety, telemedicine, and health care.
Water Management: Local water companies can deploy IIoT technology to check PH levels, reduce waste by detecting and fixing leaks quickly, and also bring transparency to avoid illegal or unauthorized use.
Power Utilities: Energy distribution companies can monitor the power supply and redistribute electricity based on consumption. Smart meters and smart grids would help companies build monitoring systems that can reduce power outages, unauthorized use & power theft.
Waste Management: With uneven distribution of population, its extremely hard to manage waste and keep cities & villages clean. IoT Technology enables garbage fill sensors to send alerts once garbage containers are full to trigger pickup and removal between scheduled intervals. Similarly, waste water and sewage can be monitored to avoid congestion & sewage overflows on roads.
Public Transportation: The IIoT is making transportation services more efficient. In one use case, an organization can offer the location of public transport (bus, train, tram) in public places and on mobile applications to help people plan trips better. IoT sensors could also provide information of open parking slots to commuters – this will help reduce carbon emission and traffic congestion. Intelligent traffic management systems are vital to control growing traffic and pollution.
Remote Connectivity: The Satellite IoT can also provide internet or broadband connectivity options to remote villages to implement e-governance to its citizens, offering them online services for bill payments, civil services and social benefits.
Telemedicine: Most villages have little to no medical help within patients’ reach. Telemedicine pods with vital information and basic medicines could help save lives and offer remote medical services.
Safety and Security: The IIoT provides connected cameras with a control center for cities, which is becoming critical to control and manage crime. Today, drones are deployed in developed nations to monitor highways and borders for safety.
Health Care: Wearables connected to the IIoT offer significant vital information of patients bodies, and these wearables are developed by major OEMs to perform self-diagnosis. There are smart medical accessories for smart phones that could perform sonography for pregnant women and/or other medical conditions.
Asset and Fleet Management:For organizations that offer government sponsored vehicles, its critical to track and manage these vehicles efficiently in order to provide immediate assistance to citizens in need, cut maintenance costs and offer fuel savings.
This smart technology could be used to improve the lives of existing towns and create greater situational awareness among the authorities who manage cities, towns and villages locally. The impact on governance and transparency can be just as profound. IoT technology will also help authorities monitor cities and villages in real time, generate reports based on each department’s progress and offer citizens the opportunity to participate.
Bringing the Industrial Internet of Things to developing economies takes vision. It requires decision-makers to think beyond traditional communications, beyond voice and text, beyond wired and cellular. It will take a mix of technologies including satellites high in orbit and inexpensive devices in human hands but most of all the courage to experiment with new ways to make life better for their citizens.
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