Once you have identified a local issue
and thought through the process of integrating an Internet of Things (IoT) strategy as a solution, it’s easier to implement a similar chain of ideas to bigger and wider-ranging issues.
Public transportation is something many people have issues with, and an easy example of a field where IoT can be put to use in solving common use issues. The Washington Metro Area Transit Authority (WMATA) in Washington, DC has opened up their tracking data for free to encourage people to use it in order to develop new applications and solutions for the web and mobile devices.
Buses and trains have schedules to follow, but in practice, these times are rarely exact, and commuters are frustrated when they don’t know what time their bus or train will be arriving. Using system data, such as the transit information from the WMATA, a developer can create an app that lets commuters track when the next ride will actually arrive and time their commute accordingly.
In fact, there are apps that are doing this in many major metropolitan areas, such as Seattle’s OneBusAway, that provide live transit updates for commuters, helping to reduce or eliminate frustration related to not knowing when to expect the next bus.
What about national concerns, such as school busses? Similar to tracking the public transportation systems, students and parents can benefit from being able to track when their school bus is coming. Apps developed to take advantage of IoT tech can allow buses to be tracked using an on-board cell phone to transmit the bus’ GPS location and send updates to the students, families, and the school.
If you widen your view far enough, you’ll find ways IoT can change entire industries or solve universal issues, allowing your business to tap into a new market where there is money yet to be made.
IoT has the potential to improve simple things, like bunching up of teams on a golf course, as well as more wide-ranging and critical issues yet to be defined and solved.
The key is to find a real issue, something you can solve and that people would benefit from. Once that is identified, the devices used for these applications do not necessarily need to be complicated, and in many cases, can simply take advantage of existing devices or minimal modifications.
As IoT devices and sensors become more sophisticated and affordable, there will be less of a need for companies to develop their own devices, leaving time and resources to focus on the rest of the implementation.