The Internet of Things (IoT) is not new, nor is it still in the development stage. There are devices in nearly every industry measuring, identifying, and pulling data for analysis. The IoT holds promise for significantly improving life with smart cities and other innovations like smarter home healthcare, but the next phase requires visionary leadership and determination.
There are three main components that constitute an IoT solution:
- Endpoints are the sensors or actuators that collect information or control functions on a device. Endpoints also interact with a back-office system to either display information or collect more data.
- Networks connect the endpoints with the back-office system.
- Back-office processing receives input from the endpoints and analyzes the data, often resulting in a report or command that instigates a new activity at the endpoint.
The IoT is not brand-new. The IoT seems like a catchy buzzword, but its advent goes back to the last century, when process control systems in factories monitored items like temperature and pressure and allowed remote engineers to make adjustments as needed. What is new is the advancement of technology allowing for wireless connections versus a fixed teletype circuit, along with more sophisticated controllers.
The IoT is here now. There is a misperception that the IoT is technology that’s just around the corner, but it is currently being used across the country, with estimates that there are tens of millions of IoT lines in use. Some of these systems are automobile-related, such as General Motors’ OnStar network and Progressive’s Snapshot monitoring system. The number of IoT lines goes up significantly if apps like Google Maps and other smartphone tools are included in the count. Telemedicine is also growing, fueling plans for further improving home-based care for an aging American population.
The next phase of IoT requires a lot more vision and determination. There’s another misperception about the IoT, and it’s that society is about five years from an explosion in interconnected technology that will revolutionize every aspect of life. The reality is that most IoT devices are designed to handle a narrow set of tasks and not to interact with other types of devices.
In order for the IoT to take off and make smart cities and remote healthcare a part of everyday life, there is a need for visionary leadership to develop the technology and a desire among business leaders to monetize concepts.
At ACR Solutions, we pride ourselves on helping our clients find the most efficient, cost-effective solutions. We work as your advocate, particularly in your relationship with your vendor, and walk with you through the selection and deployment process on through to management of the new system. Contact us today and we’ll find the best solution for your unique business needs.