Have you ever googled IoT? Just choose the images filter. You’ll probably see graphics of interconnected devices, smart cities and, of course, the cloud. In fact, The Internet of Things seems to be one of the hottest topics when the conversation is about the evolution of technology. This month, XAM Consulting went to the Everything IoT Conference in Sydney, and a common point in all talks was how digital transformation is already changing the lifestyle in modern societies. Robotics, cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence… These things that years ago seemed a bit too “futuristic”, are playing a big role in the tech revolution happening around us today. The revolution that is changing the way we interact with information, revolutionising communications and simply making our lives easier. Think about the evolution of education, for example. 10 years ago, kids used paper books to handwrite notes from a school lesson.  Nowadays, modern schools use computers to enhance children’s learning experience.  How does the future of education look? Kids will be able to use Augmented/Virtual Reality gadgets to interact with whatever they are learning in the classroom. They don’t need to just learn about an event anymore, the class can put on their VR headsets and relive the whole experience. Check this video presented by Piers Hogarth-Scott, from KPMG.

As mentioned by Matt Furse, from Microsoft, “IoT isn’t a tech revolution only. It’s a business revolution enabled by technology”. Communication, data analysis and so many other work activities will be connected AI-empowered, serverless and connected through multiple devices. Let’s see a few examples:

  • Singapore is officially aiming to be the world’s first Smart City. Singapore’s government created a national program called Smart Nation, with several initiatives for health, living and mobility. Some of these initiatives include an app for booking self-driving shuttles and using robotics for assisting elderly people with mobility problems.
  • Smart agriculture, aka high tech farming, is another example of IoT applied to improve people’s day-to-day work. Farmers around the world are using drones to cover large areas where crops are grown. Drones send the information collected to the cloud, making it possible to document real-time everything that is happening on the field.
  • Several countries are already making use of road sensors on streets and smart traffic lights. In some cases, this equipment will communicate directly with car dashboards to inform drivers about unsafe conditions or the traffic jam on the roads.

IOT is also shaping the future of customer experience. Connected devices enable access to insights into product performance real-time, this allows businesses to adjust features or offer exactly what aligns with customer habits and behaviour. More examples? Connected devices also help marketers reaching specific audience groups. IoT brings higher speed, customized marketing, a richer user experience, more customer privacy… And not to forget, society will finally start relying less on hardware, which is by definition, more environment-friendly.

One of our partners here at XAM is KAS, Australia’s leader in electronic lock technology systems. Together with KAS, we are working on an innovative mobile app to enable unlocking doors with a smartphone. We used Bluetooth technology to make remote management of apartments a reality. This is one of the few examples of companies using connected devices to offer better quality products for their customers. Solutions like these are good for businesses, for customers and for the functioning of cities overall. As we can see,  it looks like smart cities are not so futuristic after all.