Internet of Things (IoT)
The IoT is everywhere and it’s connecting everything! From individual devices to smart city infrastructures; could IoT revolutionise your business as you know it?
From “smart tractors” – John Deere tractors now help farmers optimise when, where and how they plough their fields for reduced costs and increased yields – to traffic lights that adjust their waiting times based on congestion levels; the disruptive nature of IoT could help companies steal a march on their competitors.
What is the IoT?
Although not new, the Internet of Things, or the Internet of Everything (IoE) as it’s more recently been called, has been gaining momentum over the last 5 years.
Put simply, the IoT is about connecting devices over the internet (or other frequencies such as Wi-Fi) and letting them “talk” to applications, each other and to us. It’s a similar concept to software and hardware integration.
It’s enabling individuals and even cities to become smarter and more efficient – and potentially it could do the same for your business.
How can IoT help my business?
With The International Data Corporation (IDC) estimating that, by 2020, devices connected to the Internet will generate nearly $9 trillion in annual sales, it’s clear that IoT presents businesses with huge potential. But the way in which connected devices are used by companies will vary massively depending on industry.
According to a 2015 study by Tata Consultancy Services, the industries that spent the most on IoT device development in 2015 were:
- travel and hospitality
- industrial manufacturing
- banking and financial services
But what are the business benefits that companies are hoping to reap through IoT technology? According to a 2014 Forrester study, they are:
- 49% – better customer experience
- 46% – supply chain optimisation
- 45% – supply chain visibility
- 45% – loss prevention
- 44% – cost efficiencies
If you’re still wondering whether the IoT has breakthrough potential in your industry, Deloitte suggests that the power of IoT lies in uncovering the additional, and potentially disruptive, value that is enabled by having real-time, context-aware data feeds from multiple sources over time.
How we can help you
If you know what you need from IoT – and even if you don’t – we can help you. As well as knowing the ins and outs of technology and the best ways to use it to help power your business, we pride ourselves on our ability to converse in plain language, our creativity and the ideas we bring to the table even if you think you’ve already got the ideal solution.
We can create mobile, tablet, web or desktop-based software applications with either a cloud based or local database that “talk” via either short-range frequencies such as NFC, Wi-fi, Bluetooth or infrared, or long-range frequencies like the internet and radio-frequency identification (RFID).
Because you’ll have a lot of data from your IoT device, it’s important that the front-end is completely user-friendly. We’ll create a front-end that includes elements such as:
- a completely customisable user interface (UI) dashboard that makes it easy for you and other users to visualise and understand your data
- quick and simple reporting that can be emailed or printed
- the ability to securely store large amounts of data indefinitely
I wanted a company that I could treat as a partner, rather than getting a product off of them. They proved to be just that. I chose them as someone that could work with me in developing and enhancing the [IoT] product further. We’re very impressed with the level of craftsmanship executed by DCSL. Read more.
Examples of IoT
As awareness of the Internet of Things spreads, so too does the ability of businesses to understand what this could mean for them in terms of business development. Here are just a few examples of IoT:
- Rolls Royce aircraft engines now contain sensors that supply information about how the engine is functioning, enabling malfunctions to be detected before they become catastrophic.
- In the world of healthcare, companies like Sonamba are embracing IoT via wearable devices as a way to measure the vitals of ill people and watch for dangerous anomalies.
Here at DCSL, we’re also seeing customers warming to the possibilities of IoT. We’ve worked with Intelligent Health – a provider of health and wellness programs – to produce an IoT device that enables 40,000 participants to take part in a tracked outside exercise game that lets users check distances walked, points accrued and where they stand in the overall competition. Take a look at the full case study for more information.
How we use Raspberry Pi
Raspberry Pi is a miniature computer, often used for hobby programming and education. However, thanks to its credit card size format, the Raspberry Pi is also becoming incredibly useful in commercial IoT applications.
Rather than using embedded code, which is complex and expensive, we can deploy regular code directly onto this small unit – and connect it to other devices via a Wi-Fi network or wired connection. One of our most recent applications involves using a Pi board inside a cash machine, where it can communicate directly with the ATM as well as a central database in the cloud.
Key benefits of choosing Raspberry Pi:
- Small and inexpensive devices
- Low power consumption (5-7 watts)
- No hard drive; no moving parts
- Expandable into clusters of devices
Pi devices are constantly getting faster and more feature-rich, which makes them suitable for a growing range of IoT applications. Speak to us to find out more!
Technology and Process
We’re a Microsoft Gold Partner, so our technology of choice is ASP.Net MVC5 with HTML5 and C# programming, WPF for desktop/tablet components and RESTful WebApi web services to link systems together.
For the database, we utilise Microsoft SQL Server, including extensive use of the core Database Engine, Integration, Analysis and Reporting services. We can also work with MySQL systems (open source) or Oracle, if preferred.
For more information on all the things that we offer as part of our service – including hosting and ongoing maintenance and support – take a look at our Working With Us page.
If we can create an IoT device to turn your information into action, give our team a call on 020 3096 6199.