The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and a machine-to-machine (M2M) driven internet over the past few years has been rapid. Computers are no longer the only ‘online’ machines – from washing machines to vending machines, and thermostats to alarm clocks, more and more ‘things’ are connecting with one another and transmitting data. By 2020, we can expect over 20 million connected devices to be in play worldwide, according to Gartner.
As the scope for – and range of – smart devices expands, this trend, which has initially dominated the consumer market, is beginning to find its feet in the corporate sphere. Below are three examples of M2M solutions which are expected to have a significant impact on the workplace.
An ideal solution for those who need ultimate flexibility when in their place of work, M2M glasses enable an augmented reality and a hands-free experience. Staff working in non-deskbound sectors, who may struggle to handle even flexible laptops or tablets while working, are able to digest and utilise useful data on the move and while simultaneously undertaking more physical tasks. This can vastly improve the workflow, productivity and safety of workers on oil rigs or fixing power lines, for example.
The health and social care sector is perhaps the one which has benefited most from the IoT revolution to date. The transformation goes far beyond connectivity however, helping to transition organisations from the management of illness to the management of wellness. Health devices from brands such as Fitbit have proven hugely popular in the consumer space – and this can now can be taken to the next level in the private and government sectors, with such devices feeding back patient statistics to doctors for analysis in real-time. Such instantaneous access to data will prove vital to an individual’s medical care, allowing doctors to monitor health on an ongoing basis and potentially identify and diagnose problems at an early, more treatable stage.
Smart asset tracking/driving recorder
Today’s telematics-based auto insurance policies are increasingly popular among younger drivers in Europe and the US, who are happy to share driving habit and safety awareness data in order to benefit from lower premiums. Companies in the B2B sector are now more frequently employing similar tactics: a fleet of connected delivery trucks with embedded sensors, for example, could share an individual lorry’s location, state of repair and contents. Vehicle-mounted equipment can also deliver information on mileage and individual driver’s driving habits, thereby safeguarding both the driver and their employment of best practice.
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