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March 09, 2023

5 Examples of Internet of Things devices in everyday life

The Internet of Things is one of the key concepts of the new digital revolution. Objects that surround us at home, in the street or in the office that have an internet connection. Once connected to the network, they can do tasks that until now have taken up a lot of our time. Statista forecasts that, for 2025, there will be 75.44 billion connected devices.

What developments are taking place? We present you with some business examples to show you how IoT is changing our world:

IoT devices: in the home

From light bulbs to feeders. If there is one thing the IoT stands out for, it is its application in the so-called smart home. Thermostats that regulate the temperature according to when we are at home or dimmable light bulbs are the most popular connected devices, but there are also smart locks, smoke detectors and even animal feeders that dispense pet food if we give the order from our smartphone. Penet devices, for example, send us alerts when your pet has finished eating and indicate the amount it has eaten.

Households are where we find most examples of IoT, as many brands are already well established. Nest thermostats or Roomba vacuum robots are two of the best-selling products thanks to, among other reasons, the ease with which they can be controlled using an app. Not even the bathroom is spared: there we find Kolibree toothbrushes, which have an application that gamifies toothbrushing for children to help them learn the habit well. But it is also useful for adults, as they send information on cleaning to the tablet.

Although many of the devices in the Internet of Things are connected and controlled via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth networks, more traditional SMS or calls can also serve the same purpose. There are power adapters to which a SIM card can be inserted and which allow users to switch the boiler or air conditioner on or off remotely.

IoT: wearables

Yes, that bracelet that counts your steps and that smartwatch that tells you the time while monitoring your heartbeat are both part of the Internet of things. The popularity of these devices, which send data to an app for monitoring, has led to more models and more people using them to monitor their exercise and health. Popular services include Apple Watch, Fitbit and Google Fit.

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IoT: smart city

We have already seen how the internet of things is taking hold in people's daily lives, in their homes and also in their bodies. But IoT is more than that; it reaches more sectors and can also be used in modern city management. Noise maps, more effective lighting, traffic light management... This is the smart city concept linked to the Internet of Things.

According to the Cities in Motion index of the IESE Business School, Spanish cities as diverse as Valladolid, Seville, Murcia and Palma de Mallorca are among the "smartest" cities in the world. There is even a Smart Cities Network in Spain that encompasses 83 localities throughout the country. It is divided into five working groups: social innovation; energy (energy efficiency in particular); environment, infrastructures and urban habitability (home automation, air quality measurement, etc.); urban mobility, government, economy and business.

One of the most prominent urban IoT projects is found in Chicago, where a network of sensors distributes real-time information on air quality or weather. In Oslo, they came up with street lights that turn on and off whenever there are pedestrians on the streets. And in Barcelona, smart bins warn when they are full to activate collection. This enables bin lorries to work more effectively.

IoT: In medicine (IoMT)

Another field that is being driven by IoT is medicine. Its importance is such that the ecosystem of connectivity-enabled medical devices has a name of its own: Internet of Medical Things.

The most relevant devices include digital audiometers. They retrieve data from different health management systems in real time, and they allow for teleaudiometry, where the patient and the medical professional do not need to be in the same place. A breakthrough in improving hearing problems.

People with diabetes can control their blood sugar levels with continuous glucose monitors (MCG). In addition to real-time reporting of the patient's condition, they can detect patterns or trends. An important difference with regard to traditional glucose meters that only provide instantaneous reading data.

Finally, it should be noted that there are studies that suggest that smart inhalers could change the way we manage asthma. Such devices could allow patients to monitor their asthma via their smartphones.

IoT applications in everyday life: water bottles and parking spaces

There are applications that attract a lot of attention and show us how far the Internet of Things has come. Hydrate Spark, for example, is a visually appealing water bottle in metallic colours that reminds you to drink water and keeps track of how much you've drunk (you set the goal). Each drink is collected by a sensor that transfers the data to the user's mobile phone via Bluetooth. It also integrates with Fitbit, Google Fit or Apple Watch. If you want, you can even challenge other people to compete.

But IoT does lots more. Zaragoza-based Spanish company Libelium has installed its Internet of Things sensors in car parks in the French city of Montpellier. Specifically, they are installed on the ground and, when a spot opens, an app notifies drivers and guides them to the open spot.

It is not the company's only example of surprising IoT — they have also placed sensors around Nicaragua's Masaya Volcano. The goal is to prepare for possible eruptions and study the volcano's toxic gases and how they affect people who live nearby.

Conclusion: IoT products are the present

There are innumerable examples of IoT products, and all demonstrate how companies are exploiting new possibilities. It's not that the future will be more connected to the Network: it's that the present already is. And we don't even need to buy these objects — we can build them as well.