The Internet of Things (IoT) is not like the climate, you can’t pretend it isn’t impacting the world around you. In fact, the nomenclature ‘Internet of Things’ doesn’t accurately encapsulate how rapidly connected devices are changing the way we interact with data and technology. It should be called the Internet of Every Thing.
There are 1.9 billion connected devices worldwide, which according to experts is chump change. The total number of connected devices is expected to leap to 9 billion in just four years, and reach a potential pinnacle of 75 billion by 2020!
That’s radical growth, and what’s exciting is the potential of connected devises has hardly been realized. As Amy Adler of Business Insider writes, “The Internet of Things represents a major departure in the history of the Internet, as connections move beyond computing devices, and begin to power billions of everyday devices,” which span much further that Fitbits and smartphones.
Here are three ingenious, unlikely places the IoT is making an impact:
1. In the NFL: The NFL pre-season is currently at the half-way point, which means roster cuts are in the imminent future. Despite the tireless efforts of the coaching staff and front office, evaluating and eventually trimming a squad of 90 players down to a 53 man roster is no easy or envious task. To help with the process, several organizations have placed radio-frequency tracking devices inside the shoulder pads of players in order to track every rep and movement. Coaches can now objectively measure players’ effort, speed, and even the impact certain movements have on a player’s joints, which they hope will help them predict the potential s career longevity.
2. In the Fish Tank: Audiences all across the web are captivated by two goldfish, Aquarius and Robert the Bruce, who are unwittingly battling to the death in Street Fighter II Turbo. Video game company Twitch has jerry-rigged a fish tank with sensors, and based on each fish’s location and movement, certain button commands are fed to their corresponding Street Fighter character. For instance, swimming up to the surface of the water prompts a jump, while a sudden change in direction might prompt a spin kick. I’m still waiting for one of them to use a Gohadoken!
3. In the Garbage Can: The city of Cincinnati has equipped public garbage cans with solar power and GPS-driven communication. The cans recognize when they are full to automatically compress the contents to increase room and signal trucks when it is time for pick up. As a result, the city has drastically cut down on fuel costs and air pollution associated with their garbage trucks. In residential garbage cans, sensors measure the amount of municipal solid waste and the owners are charged based on their garbage volume. The ‘Pay as You Throw’ system has helped the city decrease the volume of waste by 17% and increase recycling volume by 49%.
Looking ahead to the future, it’s becoming more and more apparent that anything that can be connected will be connected. How does this trend apply to enterprise software? In this interconnected age, many companies are surprisingly still using siloed steps to manage critical business processes. As a result, valuable information is lost or delayed, limiting the ability for companies to adapt to changing market conditions in real-time.
IoT capabilities are becoming crucial for enterprise level companies. Solutions like Quote-to-Cash Intelligence, allow companies to leverage the integration of CPQ, contract management and revenue management to deliver actionable data to any device. There are numerous other examples, but the key to success in the era of the Internet of Things is to make sure your most valuable business assets are connected, whether it is a trash can or a complex business system.