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If you have ever owned some assets or wish to know the condition of other assets, you might ask usual questions like the ones below. How many of us have been asking these issues either daily or at least a couple of times in a month? Questions such as:
- Where are my online orders? How much longer will they arrive?
- I need to maintain the quality of my goods. Are they in excellent condition?
- Am I considered healthy? Am I reaching my health goals?
- Is my house fully locked? Who is the intruder?
- When is my next bus and when will it arrive?
- Can I reduce my electricity bill? Which electrical equipment is consuming a lot of electricity?
- Where can I find the nearest car park? Where did I park my car?
I considered these questions as the “pain points” of the consumers or businesses. Unless there is a way for us to track and manage these assets, we will never get an accurate and timely answer.
Now imagine that all of these assets or “things” have ways to communicate and send their data to the cloud. Can we turn these data into something useful? With individual sensors and device IDs, we might be able to convert the data into some level of “information” such as the answers to the “who”, “what”, “where” and “when” questions. However, turning the “information” into “knowledge” will be more beneficial - the answer to the “how” questions.
In the example of a smart city with smart parking, we will have answers to questions such as:
- How to reduce the motorist frustrations due to the traffic jam?
- How to see real-time and reliable parking information?
- How to locate cars that overstayed their limits?
- How to provide efficient routes?
- How do we optimise our parking space?
And probably the ultimate value to the data that being extracted and analyzed from the sensors will be to answer the question “Why”.
The answers to all these issues will be made possible through Internet of Things (IoT). An IOT service provider plays a critical role to get all these assets connected to the Internet and stored in the IoT cloud. Application developers will be able to use this data to create many innovative applications. Visualisation applications and dashboards will be every useful for end-consumers and businesses to monitor their assets.
Thus, the value of sensor data will only fully uncover when we turn them into “knowledge” and “understanding”. Of course, machines and computers have yet to reach the limit of “wisdom”. Probably that will be the era of “Terminator”. :-)
Please share your thoughts about this article. Thanks!