Making objects able to sense
A chair that detects you’re sitting incorrectly, a coffee maker with predictable maintenance or a bike that sends emergency messages when crashed. In fact, objects that are able to detect changes in the environment. It is possible thanks to sensors, because the IoT isn’t much about smart devices, but about sensors.
What is an IoT sensor?
According to WhatIs.com definition, a sensor is
“…a device that detects and responds to some type of input from the physical environment. The specific input could be light, heat, motion, moisture, pressure, or any one of a great number of other environmental phenomena. The output is generally a signal that is converted to human-readable display at the sensor location or transmitted electronically over a network for reading or further processing”.
Basically, this small detectors make devices able to sense, as if they were a bit more human when installed IoT sensors. When somebody touches a burning metal, for example, the sense of touch sends the stimulus to the brain, so that we can create a conscious impression of the physical world.
The same happens with IoT devices: sensors collect data from the environment and send it to the cloud to transform the information get in the real life into digital. Sensors act as the nervous system collecting data to be processed, and the cloud (software) acts as the brain.
Types of IoT sensors
Sensors are used in almost all the IoT applications. The only requirement is to analyze what kind of valuable information you need or want to collect and choose the right sensor to be installed. These are some of the most used:
- Pressure sensor
- Humidity sensor
- Proximity sensor
- IR Sensor (Infrared Sensor)
- Light Sensor
- Ultrasonic Sensor
- Smoke, Gas and Alcohol Sensor
How IoT can change your business
By adding sensors to existing products, so transforming common objects into smart ones, a company can reinvent itself. The most important thing once you’ve decided to pull for IoT in your business is to know what relevant information you need to collect, to draw conclusions that will help you making decisions that improve and optimize processes.
There are three main reason to invest on IoT in a company: reduce costs, provide better services or products, and differentiate from the competitors.
Smart sensors and, consequently, the IoT are transforming businesses in different ways. We’ll highlight two:
- Adding value to a product
When giving connectivity to an existing object, you’re providing it of life so giving an extra value. This intelligence will give us interesting information that will help us enhance our business, the customer experience or whatever we want.
Imagine a supermarket where all the fridges where provided with temperature sensors and sent an alert every time the temperature is out of range. It helps to prevent incidents and waste food, for example, just by adding a temperature sensor to a fridge.
- Reinventing a business
Another advantage of implementing IoT in your company is the possibility of reinventing a business.
If you’re dedicated to selling or renting coffee makers to other businesses, thanks to sensors you’ll be able to make a predictive maintenance and open a new business line offering this new service to your customers.
Start your IoT project right now!
Are you ready to implement the Internet of Things (IoT) in your business? We can help you do it! Accent Systems is an engineering company that turn your ideas into connected devices. Just contact us and explain us all your needs.