Skip to Content

Endowing “Things” With the Intelligence We Need

Sogeti Labs
July 30, 2013

In 2008, more objects became connected to the Internet than persons in the world. The number of connected things probably will surpass 50 billion by 2020, according to projections by Ericsson. It means that our homes, our industrial plants, our cities and natural environments all will be equipped with sensors that help us to improve our lifestyle, and with machines and systems that talk to each other, aka M2M communication. With such an Internet of Things building out, the virtual Internet we knew is becoming truely physical and sensorily. We will collect huge amounts of data from a vast range of disparate sources, including our environment, infrastructures, businesses, automobiles and ourselves. Among the ultimate goals: “With a trillion sensors embedded in the environment — all connected by computing systems, software, and services — it will be possible to hear the heartbeat of the Earth, impacting human interaction with the globe as profoundly as the Internet has revolutionized communication.” – Peter Hartwell, Senior Researcher, HP Labs Libelium, a company of Spanish origin which sells the award-winning Waspmote sensor board and Meshlium Linux router as an open-source electronics platform for the Internet of Things, has gathered a developer community of over 2,000 people around its modular plug-and-play products that allow entrepreneurs and programmers to focus on services and applications. In February 2013, Libelium published an inspirational guide with 57 concrete sensor applications that developers had created in the following 12 domains: Smart Cities, Smart Environment, Smart Water, Smart Metering, Security & Emergencies, Retail, Logistics, Industrial Control, Smart Agriculture, Smart Animal Farming, Domotic & Home Automation, and eHealth. Smart Cities (9) According to Pike Research, Smart City technology investment will total $108 billion by 2020. 1 Smart Parking: monitoring of parking spaces availability in the city. 2 Structural health: monitoring of vibrations and material conditions in buildings, bridges and historical monuments. 3 Noise Urban Maps: sound monitoring in bar areas and centric zones in real time. 4 Smartphone Detection: detect iPhone and Android devices and in general any device which works with WiFi or Bluetooth interfaces. 5 Eletromagnetic Field Levels: measurement of the energy radiated by cell stations and and WiFi routers. 6 Traffic Congestion: monitoring of vehicles and pedestrian levels to optimize driving and walking routes. 7 Smart Lighting: intelligent and weather adaptive lighting in street lights. 8 Waste Management: detection of rubbish levels in containers to optimize the trash collection routes. 9 Smart Roads: intelligent Highways with warning messages and diversions according to climate conditions and unexpected events like accidents or traffic jams. Smart Environment (5) More than 100,000 wildfires clear 4 million to 5 million acres (1.6 – 2 million hectares) of land only in the USA. 10 Forest Fire Detection: monitoring of combustion gases and preemptive fire conditions to define alert zones. 11 Air Pollution: control of CO2 emissions of factories, pollution emitted by cars and toxic gases generated in farms. 12 Snow Level Monitoring: snow level measurement to know in real time the quality of ski tracks and allow security corps avalanche prevention. 13 Landslide and Avalanche Prevention: monitoring of soil moisture, vibrations and earth density to detect dangerous patterns in land conditions. 14 Earthquake Early Detection: distributed control in specific places of tremors. Smart Water (3) The worldwide water consumption today is up 300% compared to 1950. 15 Water Quality: study of water suitability in rivers and the sea for fauna and eligibility for drinkable use. 16 Water Leakages: detection of liquid presence outside tanks and pressure variations along pipes. 17 River Floods: monitoring of water level variations in rivers, dams and reservoirs Smart Metering (5) European Union mandates that 100% of European households have smart metering capabilities by 2022. 18 Smart Grid: energy consumption monitoring and management. 19 Tank level: monitoring of water, oil and gas levels in storage tanks and cisterns. 20 Photovoltaic Installations: monitoring and optimization of performance in solar energy plants. 21 Water Flow: measurement of water pressure in water transportation systems. 22 Silos Stock Calculation: measurement of emptiness level and weight of the goods. Security & Emergencies (4) Nuclear energy covers 16% of the planet energy needs. 23 Perimeter Access Control: access control to restricted areas and detection of people in non-authorized areas. 24 Liquid Presence: liquid detection in data centers, warehouses and sensitive building grounds to prevent break downs and corrosion. 25 Radiation Levels: distributed measurement of radiation levels in nuclear power stations surroundings to generate leakage alerts. 26 Explosive and Hazardous Gases: detection of gas levels and leakages in industrial environments, surroundings of chemical factories and inside mines Retail (4) ECR Europe estimates that failure to restock supermarket shelves costs the European FMCG industry 4 billion euro each year. 27 Supply Chain Control: monitoring of storage conditions along the supply chain and product tracking for traceability purposes. 28 NFC Payment: payment processing based in location or activity duration for public transport, gyms, theme parks, etc. 29 Intelligent Shopping Applications: getting advices in the point of sale according to customer habits, preferences, presence of allergic components for them or expiring dates. 30 Smart Product Management: control of rotation of products in shelves and warehouses to automate restocking processes. Logistics (4) Each year, more than 100 million shipping containers travel around the globe. 31 Quality of Shipment Conditions: monitoring of vibrations, strokes, container openings or cold chain maintenance for insurance purposes. 32 Item Location: search of individual items in big surfaces like warehouses or harbours. 33 Storage Incompatibility Detection: warning emission on containers storing inflammable goods closed to others containing explosive material. 34 Fleet Tracking: control of routes followed for delicate goods like medical drugs, jewels or dangerous merchandises. Industrial Control (6) Pyramid Research expects the volume of cellular M2M subscriptions to increase fourfold between 2010 and 2016. 35 M2M Applications: machine auto-diagnosis and assets control. 36 Indoor Air Quality: monitoring of toxic gas and oxygen levels inside chemical plants to ensure workers and goods safety. 37 Temperature Monitoring: control of temperature inside industrial and medical fridges with sensitive merchandise. 38 Ozone Presence: monitoring of ozone levels during the drying meat process in food factories. 39 Indoor Location: asset indoor location by using active (ZigBee) and passive tags (RFID/NFC). 40 Vehicle Auto-diagnosis: information collection from CanBus to send real time alarms to emergencies or provide advice to drivers. Smart Agriculture (5) 60% of sweet water is needed in irrigation, and 20-30% is wasted due to evaporation and over-watering. 41 Wine Quality Enhancing: monitoring soil moisture and trunk diameter in vineyards to control the amount of sugar in grapes and grapevine health. 42 Green Houses: control micro-climate conditions to maximize the production of fruits and vegetables and its quality. 43 Golf Courses: selective irrigation in dry zones to reduce the water resources required in the green. 44 Meteorological Station Network: study of weather conditions in fields to forecast ice formation, rain, drought, snow or wind changes. 45 Compost: control of humidity and temperature levels in alfalfa, hay, straw, etc. to prevent fungus and other microbial contaminants. Smart Animal Farming (3) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency warns that CH4 emissions from animal farming in the U.S. have increased a 17% during the past decade. 46 Offspring Care: control of growing conditions of the offspring in animal farms to ensure its survival and health. 47 Animal Tracking: location and identification of animals grazing in open pastures or location in big stables. 48 Toxic Gas Levels: study of ventilation and air quality in farms and detection of harmful gases from excrements. Domotic & Home Automation (4) European Union homes should cut energy consumption by 20% by 2020 according to the Kyoto Protocol. 49 Energy and Water Use: energy and water supply consumption monitoring to obtain advice on how to save cost and resources. 50 Remote Control Appliances: switching on and off remotely appliances to avoid accidents and save energy. 51 Intrusion Detection Systems: detection of windows and doors openings and violations to prevent intruders. 52 Art and Goods Preservation: monitoring of conditions inside museums and art warehouses eHealth (5) 65+ people will go from 7% to 12% by 2030. 53 Fall Detection: assistance for elderly or disabled people living independent. 54 Medical Fridges: control of conditions inside freezers storing vaccines, medicines and organic elements. 55 Sportsmen Care: vital signs monitoring in high performance centers and fields. 56 Patients Surveillance: monitoring of conditions of patients inside hospitals and in old people’s home. 57 Ultraviolet Radiation: measurement of UV sun rays to warn people not to be exposed in certain hours.

About the author

SogetiLabs gathers distinguished technology leaders from around the Sogeti world. It is an initiative explaining not how IT works, but what IT means for business.


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *