Despite the economic downfall, there are ways people are headed toward positivity. How is IoT Trying to Win the Battle Against COVID-19?
COVID-19 has caused massive destruction on the social living and business market. In an environment where people are working from home and embracing technology more than ever, it is the right time to predict changes that will arrive in the tech world. We might be tiptoeing back and forth—moving back due to the fear of COVID-19, and also moving forward by using more and more hands-on remote devices and technology. Therefore, it is no wrong if I say technologies will get accelerated shortly due to large-scale adoptions.
Talking about the various aspects of technology, let us delve into the topic of IoT specifically.
How is COVID-19 impacting the Internet of Things(IoT) technology and its applications?
But before that, do you want a brief on what exactly is IoT? How is it dominating the world with its innovation and applications?
What is IoT (Internet of Things)?
The Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to those millions and zillions of physical devices around the world that are connected to the internet. The term IoT is mainly used to support the devices that are not expected to have an internet connection, and that can communicate with the network independently of human action. A smartwatch, a fitness band, or any other wearable device might be counted as an IoT device. However, a PC or laptop isn’t considered as an IoT device.
For instance, a light bulb that can be switched on using a smartphone is an IoT device. Also, an IoT device can be as fluffy as a child’s toy or a serious driverless truck. Moreover, several larger objects are filled with smaller IoT components such as a jet engine filled with thousands of sensors, which collect and transmit data again to ensure operational efficiency.
What is the impact of COVID-19 on enterprises?
Enterprises involved in the manufacturing and supplying of goods and services are locked down with no major business activity. Even those that are buying and selling goods, to some extent, have some challenges to overcome.
The challenges faced due to Coronavirus Pandemic are listed below:
1. With the reduction in demand and supply of products and services, it is essential to manage and cut down the costs, which will ultimately affect the income and related profits.
2. Unlike before, businesses, now, will need to automate their processes. Previously, it was seen as an enemy of our jobs when robots and autonomous technology spoke about the capability of replacing humans. However, it will now become essential to identify how automation can accelerate recovery?
3. Manufacturing companies will have to change their supply chain strategies as well. Counting on a single supplier can be risky during the uncertainties.
4. With the inability of businesses to visit the physical site, it is difficult to identify the well-being of goods in transit. Therefore, the firms that require visualization of data are making use of tools such as Tableau.
“Inevitably, COVID-19 will have a short-term impact on demand and will lead to supply-side disruptions, but it could also create longer-term opportunities for operators to explore.”
As it seems difficult for the businesses to combat the loss and downfall caused by the lockdown, IoT applications are supporting the cause to a high degree.
Let us explore how…
COVID-19 impacting the use of IoT applications
1. Reduction in demand for IoT devices
Owing to the lockdown and people spending a considerable amount of time at home, they cannot move out to buy personal IoT devices. Therefore, the app downloads of related IoT devices have gone down too. For example, Philips Hue smart lights’ ranking in the US dropped from #233 to #351 in just two months.
2. Mobility tech seems to be rising
The video conferencing tools such as Zoom, Skype, Hangouts are increasingly connecting people sitting in different states and countries. Similarly, cloud technologies are allowing people to store and share data taking care of organizational privacy concerns. There are IoT-based remote asset access tools or applications enabling people to perform remote diagnostics, remote support, as well as virtual inspections.
3. Delivering help from drones
For the past few days, drones have been of great help. The drone delivery system in Xinchang County has helped local hospitals with more than 300 flights, which were successful in delivering medical samples and medicines of COVID-19. Drones have also helped in monitoring and surveillance across public places.
4. IoT is healing along with health applications
There are several examples where health apps are making a difference during the pandemic. Telehealth allows a doctor to speak to the patients via video conference and dispense advice. It is also helping in making digital diagnostics. Kinsa, for example, a digital thermometer, saw a spike in the usage as the pandemic spread in the US. Moreover, there is extensive use of robots in China to disinfect places and hospitals and undertake medicine delivery.
5. Tracking of goods transportation
Since there hasn’t been a proper supply of goods during the last few months, there are ways to track anything that is expected to arrive from the supplier or shopkeeper’s end. With the help of www.Vesseltracker.com, it is becoming easy for people to identify and trace a vessel of supply coming through the global cruise ship. On the other hand, www.Geotab.com is providing regular updates on commercial road transportation across North America.
6. Rise in installation of IoT retrofit solutions
Retrofitting is like adding sensors to industrial pieces of equipment that help in data collection and real-time monitoring through the help of IoT. Bosch’s smart meter retrofit is also a good example that enables utilities to continue meter reading without much effort. Rocky Emmler, Business Owner Connected Energy at Bosch.IO, explains: “During this crisis, we are seeing increased inquiries for our IoT Meter Add-on device. We send the client a small device that they attach to their meter. The data then gets sent securely through Bosch IoT Suite to the utility company so that they do not need to dispatch a person to perform on-site meter reading.”
Not only has the pandemic affected the business world, but the way we live our lives too. Social distancing, hand-washing, and the way everyone is trying to cut down contact with strangers as a possibility to avoid the infection depict our fear of the disease.
“We are daily witnessing and exploring the technology that can eliminate the need for touching items. It is called the Internet of Things (IoT). It contributes toward prevention by eliminating the need for touch across homes, hotels, and offices.”
It is possible to make your home a smart home by implementing none other than the IoT. There are a plethora of IoT devices, including video door phones, smart lights, smart TVs, and air conditioners, which can add a lot of convenience for smart-home use cases. These devices are controlled by the use of voice assistants, namely, Google Home, Alexa, and Siri, or through the mobile phone. Add to it, there is a possibility to control lights, fans, ACs, and other home appliances without touching the remotes and switches.
If you are unable to imagine the IoT use cases in an office environment, beverage dispenser and smart water are a few names to understand. Add to it, the smart access controls, smart facility management, and smart dispensers, which can be controlled without leaving no room for physical contact. There are two major benefits of smart offices, which include a reduction in energy consumption and controlling lights through remotes.
Similarly, the concept of smart hotels is seen almost everywhere. With contactless check-ins, it will reduce the time spent by guests at the hotel’s lobby. Also, interaction with room service via voice assistants that are placed in every room is replacing the need for meeting in person.
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has not only brought an emotional setback to us, but it has also pulled us financially in several directions. It has affected businesses and trading to a wide extent. But the Internet of Things (IoT) is making a great difference to the goods transportation, health improvement, mobility, and more.
Thus, IoT seems to have played a major role in reducing human effort and saving time. Likewise, it has come up as a necessity more than a luxury when social distancing is being practiced to the apex. It helps up in avoiding multiple touchpoints while giving us an idea about the strength of voice control.