It’s still early days for the IoT but everyday a little part of its burgeoning ecosystem becomes a factor in our lives, whether we know it or not. From industrial tools to farming to cities to grocery aisles and everything in between, the IoT is there. Here are 10 IoT case studies that show just where some of these technologies and applications are being applied.
1) Bytes and Bushels – Farming on an Industrial Scale
Farming and IoT seem to be the leading implementations on an industrial scale. I wrote on this last year, but the two New York Times pieces on Tom Farms, a multi-generation, family owned farm in North Indiana, is still one of the most comprehensive, and personal, IoT case studies I’ve seen to date. And it’s not just words, be sure to watch the multimedia video.
2) The Tesla IoT Car: Case Study
MITCNC, the MIT Club of Northern California, is the regional alumni club of Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Northern California. They have a blog at https://blogmitcnc.org/ where they post on emerging trends and discoveries in science and technology. Displaying their best Car & Driver reviewer, while keeping their propeller hats on to look at IoT, data, privacy and security, this is a unique look at the most talked about car this century.
3) GE’s Big Bet on Data and Analytics
Here’s a timely new case study from MIT Sloan Management Review that looks at how GE is seeking opportunities in the Internet of Things with industrial analytics. GE is leading the development of a new breed of operational technology (OT) that literally sits on top of industrial machinery. Long known as the technology that controls and monitors machines, OT now goes beyond these functions by connecting machines via the cloud and using data analytics to help predict breakdowns and assess the machines’ overall health. I’m really glad to see someone dive into this as I think GE’s big swing is still not yet fully appreciated. It soon will be.
4) Can a Cow be an IoT Platform
One of my favorite stories on the IoT is penned by Bill Vorhies, President & Chief Data Scientist at Data-Magnum. It’s been on IoT Central for a while now, but I thought it important to include in this collection. Bill’s report recaps Microsoft’s Joseph Sirosh for a surprising conversation about a farmer’s dilemma, a professor’s ingenuity and how cloud, data and devices came together to fundamentally re-imagine an age old way of doing business.
5) Global Smart Cities
In 2013, the UK government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills commissioned a study that looked at six global cities that are paving the way in smart city investment. It looked at how Chicago, Rio De Janeiro, Stockholm, Boston, Barcelona and Hong Kong tackled particular challenges when responding to the opportunities that a ‘smart city’ and private sector innovators might bring. Worth a read.
6) PTC Thingworx – All Traffic Solutions
Thingworx, a PTC company, has an IoT platform designed to build and run IoT applications, and enable customers to transform their products and services, innovate and unlock new business models. They have a plethora of case studies, but one that caught my eye was on All Traffic Solutions. The company has been at the forefront of the wireless market for over a decade but now sells its traffic safety products throughout the United States and 20 countries globally. That reach has provided a good deal of field-based insight that, over the last five years, All Traffic Solutions has channeled into developing innovative new web-based and IoT-connected signs that are incredibly smart, yet simple to use, adding significant value to the company’s hardware for its customers.
7) Stanley Black and Decker
Managing a complex manufacturing facility is a challenge and this case study from Cisco showcases how Stanley Black & Decker operates one of its largest tool manufacturing plants in Reynosa, Mexico, which serves the North American market. Opened in 2005, the Reynosa plant primarily manufactures dozens of products, such as jigsaws, planers, cordless drills, floodlights, and screwdrivers for the DeWALT brand and lawnmowers for the Black & Decker brand. With 40 multiproduct manufacturing lines and thousands of employees, the plant produces millions of power tools each year. This case study shows how IoT technologies help with production visibility and flexibility.
8) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Since its opening in 1962, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has been helping create the future. Six scientists have been awarded Nobel prizes for work done at SLAC, and more than 1,000 scientific papers are published each year based on research at the Palo Alto-based lab. The team is now working on a future plan to take data from all intelligent sensors that monitor the vast systems at SLAC and feed the data into the cloud where it can be processed, analyzed, and delivered back to control engineers.
9) The Supermarket of the Future: Designing for humans
It’s not just about technology, but applying technology to improve the human experience. This case study on Italy’s biggest grocery cooperative shows how it might be done…and I like it. Coop Italia’s “supermarket of the future,” designed by Carlo Ratti, has won rave reviews, thanks to a digital design that created a more human shopping experience using a range of off-the-shelf technology.
10) IoT for Electronic Medical Records
The need to cut cost, improve medical care, and adopt electronic medical records (EMR) is driving hospitals to implement information technology solutions that streamline procedures such as billing, medical imaging, and electronic medical records processing. In this case study from Intel, it shows how their partner NEXCOM developed a medical informatics solution based on technologies from the Internet of Things to help overcome communication barriers between medical devices and IT networks. The solution turns medical device data into electronic medical records and sends them to the hospital’s private cloud, where data analytics can be performed to better evaluate a patient’s condition.