IoT: definitions, importance, and top industrial IoT companies

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IoT: definitions, importance, and top industrial IoT companies

Nov 29, 2019

Technology for a while now has been the kind of intruder that you don’t actually mind its constant sneaky ways of offering help.

We keep complaining about its negative impact, but deep down we actually like it.

What’s interesting about this topic is that whether we admit it or not, luxury is now defined by technology.

Think about it, all our A-list celebrities, wanna-be influencers, even the rich girl in your class.

How do we assume they have money? iPhones, luxury cars with embedded systems that seem unnecessary at the time, but again if you had the money, you wouldn’t think twice about buying one.

All luxury brands are now hopping on new technologically-advanced trends to offer options you did not know you needed until they came to life.

Feeding on humans’ instinct of wanting more and consuming more and the compulsive buyers, shopping addicts, or just the ones who try to fit in, every other day a new integration of technology into a machine is launched.

The integration of technology into a machine is not the most technical term there is, it’s not gonna give you an internship at Microsoft if you ask me. A more professional term is “Internet of Things” (IoT).

What is IoT?

Well, according to Wikipedia, it’s

“a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction”

But according to Technopedia, it’s

“computing concept that describes the idea of everyday physical objects being connected to the internet and being able to identify themselves to other devices.”

I know it’s hard to believe that both these definitions mean the same thing but they do. Technopedia just decided to make our lives easier that’s all.

I also decided to make your lives even easier.

Not long ago, a tweet went viral of a girl tweeting from her “Smart fridge” after her mom confiscated all her electronics.

Now whether it was fake or true, the idea itself got people mad because they didn’t even know that this was something you could do, tweeting from my microwave? yes, please.

But the thing is it’s not that far from reality, I honestly do not know if you can tweet from your fridge, but I don’t think it’s impossible after we made everything around us “Smart“.

What’s the meaning of a machine being smart you ask? any machine created by mankind that is connected to the internet is considered smart.

Your mobile phones were just phones before a bunch of tech companies decided to add the ability to access the internet to our phones and called them smartphones. Genius I know.

The evolution of smartphones didn’t come at once, IBM tried to introduce the idea by making a touch screen phone with a calendar, notes, and email which was crazy back then but did not make a lot of money.

And then blackberry introduced its first smartphone with internet access but with one-hour battery life and LCD screen and thought they nailed it, spoiler alert: they didn’t.

The next one did everything right I suppose since Apple sold 1.4 million iPhones its first year on the market and continued dominating the market until this morning I’m guessing. Talk about powerful.

The concept of IoT implies that devices are connected to the internet or sometimes other connected devices. The connected devices can send/receive data or both.

That concept opens the door to a lot of ideas and creations to be introduced, Smart microwaves, Smart cars, smart homes, fitness devices.

“is about extending the power of the internet beyond computers and smartphones to a whole range of other things, processes and environments” according to IoT for all

Why IoT?

Some people like to think that IoT is one of the most important creations in the 21 century.

Which might be an exaggeration to us the common people that have not been yet introduced to its geniuses.

Most technological advances are made to make lives easier, or at least that’s how people in the tech world tell us so.

The IoT is no different, the concept promotes efficiency in performance as it introduces how in the near future our daily tasks will require the minimum human contact there is.

This is not an idea that everyone would be comfortable with, especially the older generations that are already frustrated by how our jobs are now way easier and require simple efforts.

But we learned better than to let our paranoia of human extinction and replacement by machines to make our decisions for us, right?

IoT when first introduced was like candy and companies were the kids in the candy store, simply because it offered them the opportunity to run their business very efficiently.

It allowed them to reduce costs remarkably by:

Promoting efficient resource utilization:

A lot of industries (especially the food industry) suffer a lot of losses due to the lack of awareness of resource usage which could be avoided by using data-gathering devices that monitor behavior patterns.

Humans do not have the ability to monitor things 24/7 while gathering data, analyzing it, and finally translating it into basic equations to provide solutions that point out what the production department can do to run the business more efficiently.

But fortunately, machines can. And that’s exactly what technology embedded machines offer to companies.

It minimizes human efforts in many life aspects:

IoT exists in your home appliances. Amazon, for example, has a smart alarm clock that can record videos on its screen and can be used as a nursery camera and can be easily connected to speakers.

Nest Smart Thermostat learns what temperature you prefer and adjust itself on it while sending you alerts when the temperatures are threatening to ruin your belongings and appliances.

Logitech Portable wifi video camera that helps you keep home safe and stay connected – all from your smartphone. It comes with AES encryption and free private 24-hour secure cloud storage.

Edyn Garden Sensor which keeps you connected to your garden. It tracks light, nutrition, moisture, humidity and temperature. It is Wi-Fi connected and it sends notifications to your phone.

PulseOn’s patented optical sensor detecting and measuring heart rate.

Keen Home Smart Vent System reduces energy costs and increases your comfort by regulating your home’s temperature in every room. Air purification.
Mr. Coffee 10-Cup Smart Optimal Brew Coffeemaker makes it easy to schedule, monitor, and modify your brew from anywhere.

Evolution of IoT (3 stages)

IoT went through 3 stages from the terms of sensors to networks and device thinking to ecosystems and task thinking. 

This evolution did not happen overnight, every stage that came to life took a lot of research and testing that eventually led to the other stage, and companies with the way the concept was a game-changer in a lot of industries felt the necessity to keep looking.

IoT 1 (Smart Technology)

The first stage had kind of a limited impact in comparison to the other stages, it could only, for example, offer home-based utilities such as heating, lighting, and security, but couldn’t change an entire ecosystem like managing the entire home and the tasks in it.

It managed non-complex tasks that still required human contact to monitor. Which explains why it had a limited market.

IoT 2 (Closed Ecosystem)

The second stage offers a (Parent Ecosystem) that controls the house for example and whenever a smart device is added, the parent system “adopts” it and connects to it through an M2M (machine-to-machine), M2H (machine-to-human), M2D (machine-to-data system) network.

The home ecosystem controls almost every task in the house not only by being in contact with other smart machines added but also by monitoring security measures that the homeowner either adds or removes from the closed system that is his home.

IoT 3 (Open Ecosystem)

The third stage does not just invest in “my home” ecosystem, it’s also applied in communities, states, nations, and international levels.

The aspect of where this ecosystem can be applied is huge, it can applied to your payment and purchase routine.

You can see an item that you like in a friend’s house for example and you can order it to buy it and it finds the nearest place and places the order so it can be delivered to your house.

On the security side, these systems are applied to law enforcement, it can detect if someone has unrecognizable belongings and alert the police department near them to investigate it.

Top IoT industrial companies

“The technology that powers an organization has become just as essential to success as the product or service a venture provides,” tech entrepreneur Leon Hounshell wrote in Forbes.

These are some of the companies that embraced IoT and shaped the market to hop on the new advances.

THETARAY

Located in New York, this company is using IoT to monitor their finances and help them to be cost-efficient by overseeing their production processes and revenues to avoid losses that occur due to human mistakes.

AUGURY

In their manufacturing department, they embedded IoT technology to the machines to monitor their own health and by doing that it alerts the online management system to fix the problem.

PLATAINE

They integrated IoT in their existing infrastructure to track raw materials and production processes by using algorithms to make quality products.

EMBUE

Located in Boston, being a real estate company they have embedded IoT in entire buildings that allow their residents to experience the quality of the concept of IoT by monitoring the indoor and outdoor environment.

CARTASITE

Cartaside provides IIoT sensing technology for safer and more efficient fleet and produced water management, worker safety, asset tracking and more.

Additionally, its digital mobile tools driveTIME and fieldTICKET eliminate the need for handwritten records, logs, work orders and other forms.

AXZON

 Axzon’s integrated circuits are used in radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and passive wireless sensors. As part of its edge-to-edge processing, the raw data that’s collected is transformed into actionable insights using proprietary algorithms on the company’s versatile IIoT platform.

LINX GLOBAL MANUFACTURING

Linx is a design, engineering and manufacturing enterprise that makes automation machinery and IIoT equipment for a wide variety of industries. Billing itself as a “one-stop-shop” Linx handles projects from concept to completion.

NORIBACHI

It makes smart LED lighting for high-output commercial and industrial applications as well as modular light engines that can integrate LED systems anywhere via retrofit or new installation.

VALARM

Valarm’s services include remote monitoring, telemetry, sensors, and IIoT devices. Its open platform, Tools.Valarm.net, can accommodate an array of different sensors.

The company’s devices have been used in many scenarios, including for water level and flood monitoring warning systems in the Chesapeake Bay area and water well management.

Summary

IoT introduced smart, a concept that we knew existed in human-beings but took a long time for us to realize that we shouldn’t be the only things that are smart.

If one person is smart it can create smart things that can be sold and make other persons smart.

Smart is always a good idea, if we forget for a second the “Black Mirror” Netflix Series we can actually enjoy what we’re being handed.

There’s no shame in doing your daily tasks with the least effort if it helps us to produce more.

Taking the big picture into consideration, we’re doing good for the economy. A technology-based ecosystem does more good than bad.

Embracing the change was not always our best trait as individuals but as scientists predict, embracing it will, not be an option in the near future.

The revolutionary changes that are happening and that will change the way we operate daily cannot be ignored as it slowly slides into our daily routine.

The concept that people fear what they do not understand is maybe why there is a lot of debating around whether or not IoT is doing good for our society.

But at the end of the day, if something can be done it can be undone, which is very reassuring since we’re the creators after all.

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