I’ve written how IoT has been helping people with a variety of different "issues" in their lives. The word "issues" is in quotes since many of the actual solutions are solving problems that might not have actually been there (such as some of the more frivolous ones that I pointed out in this previous blog).
However, this post points out some solutions where M2M truly makes a difference in some environmental areas and how it can be used to solve many pressing, genuine issues going forward.
Environmental monitoring is definitely not new....we have been collecting samples manually for many years now. As well, using sensors is not all that new. However, the latest technology allows for many improvements in the methodology:
• Frequency Taking solutions manually meant that it is like it sounds....someone had to go out on site, take samples and then bring the back. This either limited the frequency of sampling or made it cost prohibitive for many applications.
• Data sharing Various M2M platforms have made it easier than ever to have various governmental agencies share data among themselves. This means there is a reduced cost (as there is a reduction in duplication of data collecting) and better ability to provide warnings among agencies. So, information about contaminated water can instantly be shared with a wildlife group, those looking after a municipality’s water supply and various other industries in ways that were never possible before.
• Better analytics Getting this data is great, but what do you do with all of it? If you are monitoring thousands of sensors at a frequency of a few times per minute, it may be impossible to have spotted trends quickly even a few years ago. However, some great advancements in data mining and integration into key ERP systems have made this possible.
• Earlier warnings for disasters When you use a combination of more frequent data, the data being better shared and with a better ability to detect trends, it is quite likely we will see better predictions for potential disasters such as floods, hurricanes and tornados.
M2M solutions can't solve all of our future environmental concerns. However, it is never a bad thing to have more information and M2M excels at this. As technology continues to develop (and the inevitable cost reductions happen), we will also start to see these technologies be deployed in less wealthy parts of the world ... places where they may be the most needed. It will also allow us to have increased warning / prevention of key natural disasters.