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- UKTV at Home on Freeview - Arqiva Case Study
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- Smart Metering
How will the internet of things help me to save time?
The Internet of Things (IoT) stands poised to revolutionise the way that we go about our everyday lives...
... but one of the more commonly asked questions is: “How will the IoT be able to minimise wasted time?” The short answer is: there are many ways!
One pointer that’s worth noting here, before taking a look at specific examples, is that boosting efficiency is one of the most important ways to improve time management. Many of the situations below describe processes or devices that can make tasks more efficient, which will save consumers’ time.
Automation and simplification of everyday tasks
In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can be extremely difficult to keep track of the many different plates that you’re spinning on a daily basis. This is the most obvious way in which the Internet of Things can assist people, by taking care of small yet time-consuming everyday tasks.
At the simplest level, the IoT will make important devices extremely easy to find, should they go missing. Location-specific data can quickly and easily be transferred to the IoT, so it’s easy to track car keys, TV remotes, and medication via a smartphone or other convenient electronic device. No longer will you have to waste precious time searching for missing items! For businesses, this will help them keep track of all positions within the supply chain, to ensure everything is running as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Staying with tracking, the IoT also makes it easier to keep a close eye on the otherwise more vulnerable members of society, such as children, pets and the elderly. For young children, a number of devices are being produced that provide real-time updates on basic health statistics, allowing parents to be more confident while they’re asleep or playing in another room, while ensuring that there is an early warning system for illness
For the elderly or those in full-time care, devices connected to the IoT allow constant, remote monitoring, to ensure that daily routines are taking place as normal. If there is a break in the routine, which could be indicative of a fall or health concern, the system will indicate that something is amiss. It also stretches to medication, with connected devices sounding a warning if doses have been missed.
Similarly, with regard to pets, IoT-facilitated interaction between sensor devices and apps can quickly alert owners if their pet’s normal routine has changed, or if they’ve gone missing. This could be a massive weight of the mind of owners who work long hours, leaving them better aware of their pet’s condition and needs while they’re not at home.
Remotely monitor processes and systems
The Internet of Things isn’t just useful for the remote supervision of items and family members; it’s also a great means to save time through the optimisation of everyday processes and systems. One particular usage that has gained a lot of press in recent months is that of remotely controlled central heating; allowing for energy efficiency and comfort to be maintained on the move!
Lighting is another way that energy efficiency can be maintained through the IoT. Lights in hotels, offices or hospitals, for example, can be informed of a person’s presence in a room, the time of day, and which other devices are currently turned on. This maximises efficiency, bringing about a huge saving in both cost and energy. Some offices have already started using the IoT in this way, finding that lighting and air conditioning systems can be switched on half an hour later than usual each morning – thus saving a huge amount
Elsewhere, sensors on shelves and in stockrooms can communicate automatically through the IoT, ensuring that stock is replenished before it runs out completely. This way, time-consuming stock audits can be almost completely avoided!
Maintenance on devices is now exceptionally easy
Maintenance (and travel times between jobs) is one of the key ways in which time is wasted or lost. It’s also a key area in which the Internet of Things is able to optimise day-to-day life for the majority of consumers.
The IoT will make it considerably easier for businesses to keep track of the overall condition of their vehicles; receiving status updates on the go. This means drivers will no longer find themselves broken down with a seized engine or unresponsive brakes. Instead, the IoT keeps vehicle owners updated with the status of their vehicles, ensuring that no time is wasted with unnecessary breakdowns or repairs; minimising wasted time.
In the same way as with personal vehicles, better communication between components and devices via the IoT ensures that the public transport system is kept running smoothly, with maintenance crews being alerted before serious breakdowns are able to occur; minimising downtime for commuters.