Do you know IoT? The Internet of Things is one of the fastest-growing areas in tech, with applications from consumer electronics, to interactive real estate, to smart cities. In this talk, Award Advisory Board member and Ready VP of Product Nikki Ahmadi will cover current trends in the Internet of Things. She covers connectivity & IoT, use-cases, and an overview of the winning products at the 2023 Product Awards.
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On analytics and data-driven decisions enabled by IoT
“Devices can collect a lot of data from many different sources through various sensors that they have. This gives them more information to work with. IoT expands and improves the data by connecting billions of devices, and enabling sharing analysis of large data sets. Product managers can use the data to see trends in the usage of the devices. Then, you can identify areas of improvement or opportunities for new features or enhancements quite easily. That is key to making the decision-making better and not simply collecting the data.
“You want to have a purpose behind the type of data that you’re collecting. Know what type of insights you’re looking for. With the growing importance of data-driven decision-making, IoT Analytics has become a crucial aspect of many organizations. Using IoT Analytics can help predict equipment failure before it happens by analyzing the data from the sensors. And this can help organizations reduce downtime, lower maintenance costs, and improve overall equipment efficiency.
“Another benefit is operational efficiency, where it can optimize operations by identifying inefficiencies in real-time. For example, by analyzing the data from sensors installed on manufacturing equipment, you can identify bottlenecks and adjust production processes accordingly. One of my favorite uses for analytics is product development. You can provide valuable insights into customer behavior and preference which can then help you build better products and services. This is where product makes itself better.”
On artificial intelligence and IoT
“The integration of AI and IoT has the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with technology. Ultimately, our goal has always been to make technology blend in with our everyday lives in a way, that’s not a hurdle, but rather a friend to you. It is helpful by design. And AI enables IoT devices to learn from the data they generate, and make intelligent decisions. Creating a very powerful combination, they can unlock a range of benefits across varying industries. We can go over some examples to make this a bit more tangible.
“We talk about data-driven decision-making. But how about real-time decision-making, where AI can be used to analyze this vast amount of data that’s generated by these IoT devices? So then you get to make those decisions in real-time or near real-time. Imagine a smart traffic management system that can optimize traffic flow based on real-time data from traffic sensors. We talked about predictive maintenance, but you can even make that better and automate it. Examples could be your H-vac system. It’s as simple as having batteries shipped to you automatically right before your device would need them.
“Most employers of AI-powered automation can be integrated with IoT devices to optimize workflows and increase productivity. Think of a smart factory that integrates AI and IoT to optimize production processes by automatically adjusting machines based on the real-time data that it receives.”
On edge computing and IoT
“We talked about how IoT devices generate a ton of data. This massive amount of data can overwhelm traditional cloud-based systems. This can lead to latency and connectivity issues. This is where edge computing comes as a solution by bringing data processing and analysis closer to the source of data generation.
“Edge computing includes the processing and analysis of the data, rather than sending it to a centralized cloud-based system. This reduces latency and bandwidth requirements and also brings in real-time data analysis, which is critical for many IoT use cases. Some of the benefits are real-time data analysis. As an example, we could talk about the smart traffic management system that can make real-time decisions based on traffic sensor data to optimize traffic flow without ever leaving the premise. Reducing bandwidth requirements is another major benefit of edge computing. This reduces the amount of data that needs to be sent to a centralized location. As a result, that also reduces your costs. This is especially important for IoT applications, and use cases that generate massive amounts of data.
“Some of the security concerns that we’ve been talking about can also be addressed. By processing sensitive data locally rather than having it be sent to a cloud-based system. This reduces the risk of data breaches and unauthorized access. Finally, improved reliability goes hand in hand with reducing the dependency on cloud-based systems. This ensures that the IoT applications continue to function, even if there is a disruption in connectivity to the cloud.”