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Tracking What Counts for Home and Work through the Internet of Things

The consumer trend toward keeping a home comfortable and one’s body in shape sheds light on behaviors and data related to the Internet of Things (IOT). Smart home devices and personal fitness trackers use low-cost sensors, but it isn’t about the technology.

Wants, behavior and motivation are compelling reasons why consumers connect to the IOT. Dig deeper and look for lessons you can apply to your company.

Smart Home Tech

The connected homeowner knows how to use a smartphone from work to heat up or cool down the home so it’s at just the right temperature after a commute. That’s only one of many devices that are available for the smart home.

Speak to a virtual assistant like Amazon’s Alexa and tell it to play 90s music or recite the day’s news while you’re busy cooking in the kitchen. 

Smart is “in.” The latest products and prices are included in a CNET review of Best smart home devices of 2017, including smart locks, smart bulbs, and smart tools for calming babies.

Data collection has become highly personal and individualized.

Fitness Trackers

The number of people eating organic food has grown steadily in the past decade, a sign that personal health means more than regular visits to the doctor. Exercise has its benefits and now with low-cost sensors personal health is being measured outside the gym when walking and sleeping.

Health-conscious individuals are strapping fitness trackers to their wrists to track steps, sleep, and heart rates. The results from one wearable to another can vary widely.

An article in Scientific American, Fitness Trackers are Everywhere but Do They Work, questions the accuracy of the devices. The conclusion is that the greatest benefit is keeping health front and center in the minds of users.

The Industrial Ecosystem

The gadget-oriented and early adopters of technology have plenty to talk about, whether they’re at home marveling at smart light bulbs that change colors or walking quickly in the park to achieve their daily step goal.

Each device offers a promise to either improve one’s environment or provide health-related data. Consumer level sensors still have miles to go to improve and operate on an acceptable standard.

Companies also pursue the promise that technology can deliver. A write-up by Deloitte University Press Running on data: Activity trackers and the Internet of Things advises firms to understand the Big Picture related to the Internet of Things, or the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), and that it is “a complex ecosystem of partnerships and collaborations.”

The article presents a pyramid with sensors and local control as a basic level and refers to “machine-to-machine communications are simply the lowest order of business.”

In the industrial world, “realizing the promise of the IIoT requires sensors that are compact, robust, easy to deploy, and also cheap,” as described in the article Industrial Sensors and the IIOT on the Motion Control and Motor Association website.

The promise may range from saving energy and machine health to vibration monitoring and temperature changes. But a key part of the data stream for companies and individuals is providing insights to improve up-time, whether for a machine or an individual.

Learn how to leverage technology to its fullest with the many resources available on A3automate.org.