The Internet of Things (IoT) will transform the way many services are provided in the future. IoT is the technology behind Smart Cities, Smart Buildings and Smart Devices and is a fast-growing market, with expectations of over 26 billion things being connected by 2026.
Things are devices that automatically collect and send information using radio to a network connected Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) gateway for analysis. The analysis of information can transform business processes through automation and predictive results; reducing the need for manual intervention by staff, making services more efficient and reducing immediate and future costs. Use cases span from building management, asset tracking, health and social care and water safety to waste and environmental monitoring.
During early 2018 as part of a SWAN Innovation proof of concept IoT was used in Highland Council schools to monitor water temperature in the pipes and to send data to an online dashboard. This replaced the “man in a van” at up to £50 per visit per month by using IoT to provide regular 15 minute data captures provided remotely with installation taking half a day per site. Secondary uses of data will support future building design and implementation of more efficient water systems.
Assisting staff in being able to locate assets has been a challenge over recent years and IoT starts to finally make this efficient and cost-effective to deploy for use cases including healthcare and facilities management. By using the range LoRaWAN offers along with the scale and reach of SWAN, combined with the use of battery powered GPS locators, asset tracking solutions can be provided for a range of business issues.
In line with strategies to reduce health and social care costs, the use of IoT and smart wearables can transform the lives of groups at risk, such as the elderly living on their own. By using devices such as motion sensors, environmental monitors, smart scales and lights in a smart home setting, data can be captured to understand what “normal” looks like. Through analysis of the data when a deviation is detected in the person’s lifestyle, early intervention can be provided so limiting the number of potential doctor and emergency care episodes.
The innovation that IoT enables creates tremendous opportunity for cost saving and efficiency to ensure our public services are able to provide the type of world-leading services that they aspire to.Tony Gribben, Scotland Country Manager, Cisco