What Does Location Intelligence Look Like for Consumer IoT?
In the not-so-distant past, the only time we could view our electricity usage was upon opening the bill. Tracking our miles for a run was calculated on Google Maps. And when a pet didn’t come back from its daily walk, we hoped they would be picked up by a kind stranger or kennel that would inform us of its whereabouts. Now, thanks to advancements in reliable IoT technology, gaps in visibility of what’s most important to us even in our personal lives can almost entirely be eliminated with consumer IoT.
The consumer IoT industry has skyrocketed in recent years, driven by a trend toward safer living and efficient money saving. With a market worth estimated to reach over 100 billion dollars by 2023, one can only wonder, what is powering this development? One major innovation catalysing this insane growth and underlining the value of IoT for everyday life is “location intelligence,” or the geospatial insights that can be produced by real-time, connected asset tracking.
Here’s how location intelligence is propelling the transformation of consumer IoT.
What is Location Intelligence?
Location intelligence, in the IoT sense, is being able to extract actionable location information from a mountain of IoT sensor data to find the “where.” Using articifical intelligence and cloud-based networking technology, connected IoT devices and appliances are able to communicate with each other and continually feed new data to the cloud. Consumer IoT end users are thus able to be updated on the latest developments about their environment via smartphone or web application.
When location intelligence is integrated into the smart home, new and exciting applications become available to provide reliability, efficiency, and cost-reducing capabilities. From voice-enabled assistants like Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri to smart wearables on pets and people, the possibilities are truly endless.
The Power of Location in Consumer IoT: Use Cases
Losing a pet is one of an owner’s worst fears. With an average of 14% of owners losing their dog in the last five years, it’s a prevalent enough issue. Many owners turn to microchipping to protect their pet. Microchips are pea-sized RFID chips that are implanted between the animal’s shoulder blades and hold a unique ID number which can only be accessed by certified shelters or vets. Even though these chips can last up to 25 years, they’re only useful in the event the animal is taken either to a shelter or vet who has an RFID reader. Otherwise, rescue is difficult.
One answer to this issue is pet location tracking. Pet location tracking can incorporate cellular IoT-enabled collars or attachments, to monitor the status and location of pets. Cloud-based cellular location specifically allows a seamless transition of connectivity from indoors to outdoors without sacrificing accuracy, and will only become more clear of a winner with the advent of 5G. By using a tracking collar, pet owners are able to check the whereabouts of their animals in real-time when in the care of dog-walkers, to measure their pet’s physical activity throughout the day, or to locate their pet if it high-tailed it out of a backyard.
Keep Alzheimer’s Patients Safe
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common forms of dementia, with 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 65 living with it. Due to its token progressive memory loss, one of the biggest dangers to someone suffering from Alzheimer’s disease is disorientation and wandering. This brings major risks of a loved one getting lost in the neighborhood or being exposed to bad weather and oncoming traffic.
IoT devices can help track the patient’s location in the case of them wandering off. Wearable devices such as a tag, bracelet, or an insert into the heel of a patient’s shoes can send accurate location updates every few minutes and pinpointing them on a virtual map. Designated geofences can be set up in a supplemental mapping interface – if the patient exits the zone, an alarm is issued to a device with the last reported location.
Tony Stark-ify your Home
IoT has allowed us to obtain levels of seamless automation previously reserved only for science fiction. The voice-activated smart home of Tony Stark is now, finally, at our fingertips. Through the aid of location intelligence and IoT technology, products like Amazon Eco, Apple Home Kit, and Google Assistant give us total control over our home’s connected ecosystem. With a simple actionable sentence uttered by the user, home assistants can perform specific tasks and acquire all forms of information relevant to the user, from adding items to the week’s shopping list to scaring away burglars. Smart assistants communicate with other IoT devices, giving you control over all your smart home appliances instantaneously. In the future, you might have a smart home device that talks to location sensors on your trash can, letting you know when (and which one) is full, or when a Roomba starts exploring somewhere it shouldn’t.
Consumer IoT: Tiny Sensors, Big Future
Consumer IoT will expand in the form of tags, fobs and likely in the near future, stickers. Super thin smart stickers or labels, enabled by disruptive, power-saving technology like cloud-based cellular location can be placed on almost anything, making locating keys, garden tools, farm equipment and other valuable items very easy to find and keep safe. For consumers, knowing where something is not only helps make mundane daily tasks easier or more fun, but provides peace of mind against theft or loss.
Location intelligence enhances our usage of and receipt of insights from the physical things that make up our lives, further transforming the way we interact with the world around us.
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