The Internet of Things (IoT) a broad term that describes a wide range of devices that can connect and process data via an Internet connection. This sector continues to expand and evolve as more industries realize the valuable use cases that IoT offers.
IoT devices can collect data about their surroundings and send it back to a central server for analysis or storage. Because these devices are connected via the Internet, they can be controlled remotely from anywhere in the world.
This means businesses have access to real-time information on production levels, weather conditions, customer behavior, energy consumption and much more. This makes IoT deployments incredibly valuable for organizations looking to improve efficiency across their operations.
Also see: Trends Shaping the Future of IoT
The Importance of IoT
Two main factors have paved the way for IoT growth. First, data is everywhere, and second—with an explosion of connected devices ranging from mobile phones, laptops, and many Web-enabled gadgets—there’s an ever-increasing need for seamless connectivity.
Consider just a few stats: By 2030, IoT Analytics predicts that 75% of all devices will be IoT enabled; IDC estimates that IoT spending will reach $1 trillion in 2022; and by 2030, Statista estimates there will be more than 29 billion IoT devices. The common thread? Data—and lots of it.
With millions upon millions of sensors tracking everything from traffic patterns to weather conditions to how often you hit snooze on your alarm clock, there’s no shortage of information generated each day. This ocean of data is then leveraged by businesses and organizations to drive efficiency, improve productivity, reduce costs, and much more.
As companies look for ways to gain a competitive edge over their peers, they’re turning to IoT as a compelling solution. Here are some top IoT use cases you can expect to see in 2022.
Top 7 IoT Use Cases in 2022
IoT in Healthcare
There are already several vital use cases for IoT in healthcare. Hospitals and doctors’ offices are increasingly using connected sensors to monitor patients remotely, allowing doctors to make quicker diagnoses from home or wherever they happen. Remote patient monitoring systems and real-time data on patients’ heart rates and blood sugar levels can also help prevent emergencies.
IoT is also being used to improve hospitals’ efficiency—for example, by helping hospitals manage energy consumption more effectively. According to research firm Statista, in 2021, the global smart hospital market was valued at 35.9 billion U.S. dollars, from which 10.6 billion was linked to remote medicine. By 2026, smart hospital value is expected to increase and reach nearly 24 billion U.S. dollars.
This will primarily be driven by rising medical tourism demand and greater adoption of telemedicine services. IoT solutions have also been deployed in other parts of healthcare facilities, such as operating rooms and pharmacies. For instance, an Internet-connected refrigerator system that alerts nurses when medications need to be restocked. And it’s not just pharmaceuticals: A connected pill dispenser monitors patients’ medication intake and alerts caregivers if someone forgets to take their pills.
Smart city technology is any IoT hardware or software system designed to make a city run better. A smart city initiative should improve a city’s operations, save money and enhance citizens’ quality of life.
For example, with IoT, connected traffic lights and cameras will be able to recognize when there are too many cars for an intersection and adjust signal timing automatically to improve flow. Emergency vehicles can communicate directly with connected traffic infrastructure, even from other cities. Imagine if you could report road hazards or accidents while you were stuck in traffic.
Cities would know of congestion before it happens or be able to alert drivers on alternate routes around incidents. Traffic lights might also have sensors that detect pedestrians and cyclists so that they can stay green longer. Data collected by these devices can also help identify areas where more infrastructure is needed—or perhaps streets that don’t need as much attention as they once did.
Also see: Using Digital Twins to Push IoT
Manufacturing and Industry
The Internet of Things is poised to transform manufacturing as we know it. Connected devices allow factory floors to operate more efficiently by increasing security, decreasing energy consumption and providing real-time data analysis for managers.
From smart lighting and connected IoT sensors that alert managers when equipment requires maintenance to machines that can update themselves with new software and protocols over the Internet, today’s connected world has entirely new ways of approaching manufacturing.
As a result, many companies are setting their sights on strategies geared toward improving production efficiency through enhanced connectivity. While IoT technology continues to evolve rapidly, there are already several IoT use cases available for manufacturers today. Take M2M (machine-to-machine) communications, which allow automated systems to send information directly from one device to another without human interaction—enabling better inventory management and quality control.
In addition to streamlining processes like inventory tracking and distribution management, IoT technologies also have enormous potential for automation. For example, sensors embedded into machinery can automatically detect signs of wear or damage before they become significant problems. This helps avoid costly repairs down the road and enables factories to run more efficiently while reducing waste and conserving resources such as water and electricity.
The transportation industry is an obvious entry point for connected vehicles. Self-driving cars and autonomous mass transit are quickly becoming a reality.
Connected vehicles are forecast to deliver a more efficient and safer transport system. Public transportation fleets such as buses, taxis, delivery vans, garbage trucks, freight trains and subways will soon be able to communicate with each other as well as traffic signals and infrastructure to avoid congestion, reduce accidents and save energy by regulating speed.
Also see: Containing Cyberattacks in IoT
Enterprises can use IoT to track asset inventory, location and condition. For example, a fleet management company needs to know where its trucks are at all times. The company could install GPS devices on each truck to report their locations in real time. This information would be sent to a central database that would provide real-time updates of each vehicle’s location. If one of these vehicles were involved in an accident, its location data could be used as evidence for insurance purposes.
Asset tracking is also helpful for monitoring equipment that requires regular maintenance or inspections. For example, if you own a large building with HVAC systems installed throughout it, you’ll need to have them inspected regularly by a professional.
Asset tracking makes it easy to keep tabs on when your HVAC system was last inspected and how much longer it has until its next inspection is due. With asset tracking, businesses can monitor everything from computers and office equipment to tools and machinery.
Real Estate – Smart Security
IoT is revolutionizing our entire infrastructure, including real estate. Just as smart homes have transformed consumer tech, they will also transform security.
Using cutting-edge wireless technology, a home can detect intruders and let its residents know if any windows or doors are open while they’re out. This will help reduce crime rates and ensure that people feel safe at home. It could also lead to new insurance policies for homeowners, who may be able to get discounts on their premiums by installing smart security systems.
Predictive maintenance helps firms keep tabs on their machinery, and it’s beneficial for big fleets that may be spread across multiple locations. With predictive maintenance, sensors on industrial equipment will alert workers to a breakdown before it happens—or even predict what could cause one. This service can extend an asset’s lifetime and save companies both time and money.