Helping to build a bigger future with the IoT

Construction is one of the oldest professions we’ve got. Food, water, and shelter — our three base necessities. It’s been around a long time and it’s evolved over those years from sticks all the way to our modern apartments and skyscrapers. As with many things, building is ready to be made better by the Internet of Things (IoT).

Real-time data is a huge advantage in the industry. Constant activity on your site, however large, is made more easily manageable by sensors without needing to be present. An example of this comes from wood. Sealing wood work is best done in an environment with less humidity. Knowing that your site has high humidity today means you can schedule the work for tomorrow and get people working on other projects in the meantime.

Sensor data doesn’t have to be restricted to building, though. It can be used for detecting leaks or breaks in a system, preventing wood warping, and much more. Larger companies who have systems like these in place have actually saved millions of pounds with these small preventative measures.

Another benefit of larger companies, or any company with multiple people on a project, is that the data can be used for many different means all at once. Contractors, drivers, inspectors; given the resources, they can all see exactly what they need to efficiently do their jobs. Tracking a project, and all the information involved, can become such a mess without a good system. Files, folders, and countless amounts of old data leads to mistakes. With real-time updates, the data will be easy to find and easy to make decisions based on.

Networking all this together won’t be easy, though. Networks now need to become faster and more reliable on building sites where things constantly move and take shape. Right now, one solution to that is allowing real-time information to flow through the site using LTE. Flexibility is key in creating a workable solution and helping to make work sites more easily manageable.

As improvements are made to our technology and the Internet of Things, we’ll be able to start determining better start times, work flows, and resource allocation. Communication will end up being improved, along with the efficiency of workers and managers.

In 2020, it’s expected for the construction industry to grow to be nearly £8 trillion. The industry must also grow its returns, though. The IoT is one way to make that happen.

Transportation: Big Problem, Small Solutions

The Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to make impacts in industries everywhere. Flexibility is the key in its design. From baby monitors to city infrastructure, it can be found to fit just about anywhere. One place it’s expected to make one of the largest impacts in our world though, is transportation.

Cars, planes, and public transportation like subways are just a few examples where IoT integration is highly anticipated.

In the United States, traffic congestion is an annual cost of a whopping $160 billion. With ride-sharing, smart public transportation, and autonomous cars, this number could be cut heftily.

Autonomous cars is one solution

Of course, it also comes with a few benefits more than just money in our wallets. Autonomous cars, for instance, can help the disabled become more mobile than ever before. They can reduce that road congestion, using roads more efficiently, as well as increasing commuters’ free time which they could use to nap, catch up on work, or any number of things.

The great thing about this is that nearly everyone relies on some mode of transportation.  Whether you’re taking your own car to work, a bus to the store, or the subway home, it affects us all.  Less people stuck in traffic and shorter commutes means less CO2 being released into the air, too.  Better for us and the environment!

Improving our infrastructure is a must

Congestion won’t just disappear, though. In fact, the root cause of congestion is actually city infrastructure. As it turns out, this too can be much more efficient than the timer system most of us are stuck with. With interconnected smart lights working together with autonomous smart cars, the roads would start flowing more like a river than a barely trickling stream.

It’s a lot easier said than done, though.  In a lot of areas, our roads are simply falling apart.  If we can’t even get the government to fix potholes, there’s little hope they’ll spend the money on smart lights.  Integrating cars into the system as well… let’s just say we’re at least a decade away from this reality.

Ride-sharing is another option

We’ve already got dozens of apps from Uber to Lyft to help. yet less than 10% of workers carpool. Over 50% of people who use ride-sharing apps only use it in special circumstances (read: falling over drunk), while another 26% only use it about once a month.

So what’s the solution to making more people interested in ride-sharing? Many believe it to be public-private partnerships. In short, make them more official. As it stands, even I feel like those apps don’t hold their drivers to a high standard and so I try my best to avoid using them. Experts have even go so far as to claim that with public-private partnerships, they could achieve “100% shared mobility for entire populations”.

The IoT is more than ready to break the mold of our transportation expectations, a mold which is already cracking thanks to population increases and our less-than-stellar infrastructure. Autonomous cars are already being developed by countless companies, while Continental tries to solve our smart light situations. The future is on its way. Reduced costs, carbon emissions, and increased mobility for us all is on the horizon.