Our daily lives will be increasingly transformed by the way various “things” — objects and devices — we use in our daily lives can sense, collect and communicate data through the internet. This “Internet of Things” (IoT) will also transform, if not revolutionize, cities, business sectors and potentially the whole world.
But what is IoT and how can it change the world as we know it?
Simply put, IoT is a network of objects and devices that sense and collect data and send it to the internet. It gives us the ability to remotely interact with and control those devices through the internet. It also enables you to manage a number of tasks, such as switching your electronic devices on and off through your smartphone.
Outside the home, IoT has been used to improve the quality of life in some cities. Recent studies revealed that maritime transport contributes 3.5–4% of the world’s air sulfur pollution. Poland used IoT to improve air quality around Gdansk Port. It used the “fPerception” IoT system to monitor air quality, including ammonia and hydrogen sulfide levels, and other factors, such as temperature, humidity, wind speed, and wind direction around the port. fPerception is connected to accurate air quality sensors that can measure pollution levels in real time. It also has the capability to identify the causes of pollution and alert relevant parties when levels exceed safe limits so people can avoid working in the area.
IoT can also be used to manage water quality. Swatchpaani, a water quality management system developed by the Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management – Kerala which is powered by IBM, is one example. It uses real-time sensors and control panels to continuously monitors the quality of water discharged from factories by measuring acidity levels and the presence of other substances in the water to ensure permitted levels are not exceeded.
There are numerous other ways IoT technology can help improve our lives and the environments in which we live. Los Angeles, in California, has some of the world’s worst traffic jams. LA ExpressPark uses IoT to help ease some of the stresses of driving in the city. It analyzes the availability of parking spaces and provides real-time estimates of parking fees. In Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, Nedap and Deutsche Telekom have launched Park and Joy, an application that helps drivers find parking spaces and reserve their parking spot for the exact number of minutes they need. Drivers can later change their parking duration time without having to return to their car. The app charges a fee of 0.19 euros (7 Baht) per transaction.
In Thailand, IoT been used most by the agricultural, transport and public health sectors. According to a survey conducted by Asia IoT Business Platform, companies in Thailand were ranked the highest adopters of IoT out of five Asean countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam). Businesses used IoT to improve efficiency and drive innovation.
IoT is still in its infancy in Thailand. Let’s stay tuned to see how the technology develops and starts to shape our lives and cities in the years to come.