Going beyond the obvious with The Internet of Things

Article

The world of the Internet of Things (IoT) is growing, since the launch of melita.io, we’ve met many businesses, organisations and individuals involved in IoT. At the moment, the IoT ecosystem is made up of a large number of start-ups and new projects, but with so many benefits to offer, IoT has the potential of becoming an enormous industry.

I’ve noticed that when it comes to the most successful IoT projects and ideas, they all have one common quality – they go beyond the obvious. This is not something many businesses consider and even fewer manage to implement successfully, because very often, IoT projects are only considered as part of a wider cost-saving exercise or as a means to meet some regulatory requirement. 

Still, the secret to really benefit from the full potential of IoT – and to significantly boost ROI – is to use the data collected by IoT sensors to reinvent business processes or create a new revenue stream altogether. 

Here are a few examples of how this has been done successfully in different parts of the world.

Usage-based insurance

In this example from the insurance industry, IoT technology and the data derived by it, made it possible for insurance companies to reward good road behaviour with cheaper insurance policies. The basis of this solution lies in fleet-tracking technology that has existed for many years. Being so mature the technology is now very advanced and precise, able to sense geo-locations, car malfunctions, driver behaviour, and road conditions. By using this same technology but taking it beyond the obvious, the insurance industry is now using this data to inform motor insurance companies of a driver’s road behaviour. Drivers who subscribe to this type of monitoring are rewarded for good driving habits via better pricing on their policies. In the long run, this leads to fewer insurance claims for the insurer, lower premiums for the insured, and safer roads for society at large. An example of usage-based insurance is Aktuaris, developed by HandsOn Systems – a fleet-tracking company in Malta. 

Beer keg tracking

Let’s face it, for many there’s nothing like enjoying an ice-cold beer with friends at a bar, and now that Covid-19 is hopefully behind us, we should be enjoying this simple pleasure once again. Every type of beer out there, whether commercially mass-produced or specialist craft beer, are generally distributed to catering establishments in metal containers called kegs. Whilst these metal containers are meant solely to store beer in restaurants and pubs, sometimes they mysteriously make their way to private residences where they are used as garden tables or low stools and sometimes, they even find their way to scrap yards. In fact, traditionally, beer producers expected to lose 5% to 10% of their kegs annually. Naturally, this ads to their costs and eats into their profits. In recent years, an IoT solution had significantly reduced this loss rate by placing sensors inside the kegs to detect their exact location at any point in time. However, more recently Binarybeer.io, an Australian company, took this solution beyond the obvious by installing the kegs with sensors that not only detect their geo-location but also their contents, which is usually worth much more than the keg itself. This innovative solution ensures not only that the kegs do not become a DIY Bar-b-q in someone’s yard, but perhaps more importantly, that the beer inside the keg is delivered and served in ideal conditions. The keg’s IoT sensor measures temperature and other variables and alerts the brewery in real-time should any parameter be out of range. The solution implemented by Binary.io also triggers an alert whenever a keg is empty or almost empty. The data automatically prompts a pick-up alert for the empty kegs to be replaced, thus increasing turnover, customer satisfaction and product quality.

Cattle birth control

Not many of us have a reason to discuss calf birth, but if you eat beef maximising calving processes could mean cheaper and better steaks. Moocall, a company based in Ireland has embraced IoT to improve herd management processes on beef and dairy farms.

Cattle sensors have been around for quite a while, but they were traditionally only used to detect the location of livestock. Moocall, has now taken this technology beyond the obvious and is using it to tackle inefficiencies in the calving process. One such inefficiency is the need to continuously monitor a cow’s fertility cycle to determine when it is most likely to get pregnant. Another inefficiency is having to constantly monitor a cow’s gestation process to determine when it is likely to give birth. Moocall’s solution involves the attachment of sensors to a cow’s tail that collects data about its vitals. The sensors collect data that can warn a farmer about any of these events, sometimes pre-empting emergencies before they occur. All this increases a farm’s cost and time efficiencies and reduces mortality rates in cows.

Helping your business go beyond the obvious

Let’s explore how IoT can take your business solution beyond the obvious. We’re happy to share our experience and successful case studies from all over the world to help your business grow.

To learn more about how melita.io can help your business take advantage of the power of the Internet of Things, contact us.

Malcolm Briffa

Director of Business Services

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