Get to know 6 internet applications of things that are already making the world better
- Mar 19, 2019
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Whoever thinks that in the future, the internet of things will help solve humanity's pressing problems like urban overpopulation and global warming. In fact, this new technology is already being used in different areas, with impact results.
It is already possible to see practical applications of the internet of things in the organization of traffic, in the acceleration of medical treatments and also in the preservation of the environment, always conditioned to the human capacity to analyze the data that the connected devices generate.
According to Gartner, by 2020 there will be 25 billion objects connected to the Internet - an exponential growth over 4.8 billion in 2015. According to the consultancy, the trend is that the internet of things is increasingly present in the life of all - and hopefully, with positive results.
Recently, the World Economic Forum listed six areas in which IoT already makes all the difference. Check below.
1. Smarter Cities
Today, more than half the world's population already lives in urban environments. By 2050, the UN projection is for the proportion to rise to two-thirds. That is why it is vital to ensure that cities are sustainable and well-organized places that bear the brunt of climate change and the arrival of millions of people.
The internet of things has helped several cities to achieve this goal. In Barcelona, Spain, the use of water for irrigation in gardens and public fountains is already digitally controlled, avoiding waste. The same goes for the public lighting system, which has posts with presence sensors, used as routers for Wi-Fi connection.
Also in Barcelona, a system deployed on public roads warns drivers about places available to park their cars. Through sensors on the asphalt, signals are issued to an application, helping the driver to park quickly, which reduces traffic and emissions of vehicles.
2. Cleaning of air and water
Cities that suffer greatly from pollution have directed efforts to improve the quality of air and water. In London, where 9,000 people die each year from respiratory problems, Drayson Technologies is distributing to citizens small devices that measure the level of air pollution. They can be plugged into cars and bicycles, circulating along with vehicles throughout the city.
The sensors transmit the information to the company's application. The app, in turn, consolidates the information on a single server, allowing Londoners to check a digital map of air quality in every part of the city.
A similar idea was taken to Oakland, Calif., By startup Aclima in partnership with Google and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). In that case, the sensors have been distributed through Google Street View cars, and information will be available for experts to work on actions to reduce pollution in the air.
3. More efficient agriculture
The field also benefits from the internet of things. In California, after a historic drought hit local farmers earlier in the decade, drones that make aerial images and soil quality sensors helped farmers to identify the best locations to plant new harvests.
These resources are already present in Brazil. Startups such as Agrosmart install weather sensors alongside the plantations that identify indicators such as solar radiation, wind direction, barometric pressure and species pH. Airborne drone mapping is also used here, as well as technologies for sowing machines, which show real-time controllers whether the entire land extent is being used properly.
4. Less waste of food
While almost a billion people still suffer from hunger and malnutrition in the poorest countries, one-third of the food produced annually for human consumption is lost or damaged somewhere along the supply chain, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization issues.
There is how to reduce the dimension of the problem by using the internet of things, once again acting in the rural environment. One possibility is to monitor processes such as irrigation, pollination and soil fertilization, and provide reports to farmers. This is what makes the Israeli startup Prospera, which also has management software so that producers manage their sales and avoid losses in the transport of goods.
In Africa, where logistics are more precarious, similar companies such as Farmerline and ArgoCenta act to help small producers channel their products quickly to distributors.
In Africa, where logistics are more precarious, similar companies such as Farmerline and ArgoCenta act to help small producers channel their products quickly to distributors. In the apps, they find food manufacturers interested in various kinds of ingredients, plus up-to-the-minute market quotes to determine the right price.
5. Connecting patients and physicians
The connected sensors are also already used in medicine. In several countries, wearable devices that measure heart rate, pulse, and blood pressure of patients are already used in several countries, leaving their doctors informed at all times. This is not only in hospitals, but also in patients' own homes, for those at constant risk.
Similar technologies also help control epidemics such as Ebola, which broke out in 2015 in West Africa. At the time, the Scripps Research Institute has brought to the region devices that measure risk indicators in people with the virus. With the data transmitted via Bluetooth, the need for physical interaction of physicians with infected patients was reduced, helping to control the transmission of the disease.
6. Fighting breast cancer
With a forecast of 59,700 new cases among Brazilian women in the biennium 2018-2019, according to the National Cancer Institute José Alencar Gomes da Silva (Inca), breast cancer is already the target of several awareness campaigns in the October Rosa program . But combat can be enhanced by the internet of things.
Traditional mammography may fail to identify the disease in the early stages. To solve the problem, Cyrcadia Health developed the ITBra. The equipment consists of a top with microsensors that identify minimum temperature variations in the region of the sinuses. When transmitting information to the user's smartphone or to the physician, the devices help health care professionals identify patterns that could pose a danger to a woman's health.
Cyrcadia is testing the solution in Asia where cultural issues prevent wider awareness and make breast cancer even more lethal. It is expected that the company will soon take its product to other countries.