The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly becoming part of our everyday lives. From ovens controlled with a smartphone app to automated pet food dispensers, there seems to be no limit to the “things” that can connect to the internet to make our lives a bit easier.
As hardware gets cheaper and consumer demand increases, the fast pace of IoT doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. In fact, Gartner anticipates 25 billion devices will be connected by 2020. While we may be keenly aware of the well-known uses of IoT in things like smartwatches and kitchen appliances, the proliferation of IoT is also sparking some unusual, maybe even a little strange, uses of connected devices.
Here are just a few of the unexpected applications IoT has to offer:
Talking Trash Cans
It’s hard to imagine getting excited about a trash can, but embedded smart sensors are helping cities reap the efficiencies of the cleantech revolution. These smart devices alert city workers when the can is ready to be emptied, slashing fuel costs and eliminating unnecessary pickup stops. Additionally, sanitation teams can use the data to better plan collection routes, focusing on areas with higher levels of trash first and more often, reducing health risks and giving residents a cleaner, more enjoyable place to live.
You wouldn’t think that using a fork would require the internet, but the HAPIfork is a smart fork that provides users with data on eating habits. The sensors in the fork can tell you how fast you’re eating, signaling you to slow down if you’re gorging yourself too quickly. The mobile app also allows you to view your eating trends over time, making the daily task of eating more like a game for dietary improvement.
Big Data Bathrooms
Leave it to the students at Michigan Institute of Technology (MIT) to come up with a way to improve the most basic of tasks – going to the bathroom. A group of undergrads connected the entire bathroom system to the Internet, giving students the ability to see which stalls are vacant and which have recently been used (and for how long). By logging into an app, students can better plan their bio breaks and avoid waiting in line for a stall.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to IoT and connected devices. While these are examples of the odd things consumers connect to the internet, the reality is that enterprises also realize the business benefits of IoT. If your business is looking at IoT solutions and the broadband connectivity to support those solutions, LanYap Networks can help. Give us a call!