Internet of Things – new buzzword or real trend?

Internet of Things (IoT), along with Big Data, is the next hot topic that conquers the world by storm and is on the lips of not only the ICT industry, but also many other businesses. What is IoT, does it really deserve to be so popular, where is it going? Today we would like to take a closer look at IoT and try to answer these questions.

What is Internet of Things?

The IoT term describes physical objects, that are equipped with data collecting sensors, and communicate among themselves and the Internet. These objects fall into the following categories:

  • Wearable sensors (‘wearables’) – sensors built into pieces of wardrobe, smartphones, smart watches
  • Medical parameter sensors for monitoring the state of one’s health
  • Sources of geoinformation, which can determine the location of objects or individuals
  • Sensors of environmental parameters such as temperature, atmospheric pressure, sunlight intensity, pollutions, etc.
  • Sensors monitoring the work of technical appliances, for instance measuring energy use, operating efficiency, including specialized sensor networks in industrial installations

The future of IoT

There will be 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020 (Cisco, The Internet of Things How the Next Evolution of the Internet Is Changing Everything). Internet of Things is becoming one of the most important trends in the history of the software industry:

Another factors which make IoT so popular are the versality of its application (e.g. smart buildings and cities, health services, retail, sports) as well as the benefits gained thanks to the implementation of IoT solutions, e.g. supply chain visibility, improved delivery process, loss prevention, cost efficiencies, improved customer experience. Therefore, we can expect an explosion of IoT solutions in various sectors. Gartner estimates that IoT product and service suppliers will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion in 2020.

With these enormous possibilities, new challenges occur, like creation of an unprecedented amount of data. According to Oracle by 2020 there will be 40 trilion GB worth of data across IoT.

IoT is not everything

The explosion of data doesn’t mean much if companies will not be able to capture, integrate and analyze data in order to uncover new insights about their customers, products, markets, and operations. As Gartner says: “the value is in the answers, not the data.”. Cisco estimates, that the total potential value from combining analytics with IoT may exceed $5 trillion in these two areas alone. VisionMobile adds (2014, VisionMobile, IOT: Breaking free from IoT) that valuable data can come not only from devices, but from many other sources and only through combining them, one receives endless opportunities to generate new knowledge and drive meaningful action.

Huge amounts of data generated by them open a wide field of applications for algorithms which extract knowledge contained in data.

IoT in telecommunications – Polkomtel case study

One of the applications of predictive analytics in the area of IoT is the analysis of the quality of telecommunications services. Together with our customers – Polkomtel (one of the leading mobile operators in Poland) – we carried out a project for predicting the quality of telecommunications services in a given time and area. In this project we used, among others, the sensor data generated by the network. The analytical models, that were built in the project, enabled the customer to achieve greater dynamism in the management of service quality and constantly support the decision making process related to the expansion and network optimization. During the project we used the AdvancedMiner system.

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