Many people feel that IoT and green don’t belong in the same sentence. Of course, the idea of connecting millions of devices (as part of an IoT revolution) could mean excessive power consumption. But there are always two sides to a story. One of the main threats to the planet is the lack of awareness on crucial concepts like environment, IoT and how they can help each other.
Listed here are the top concepts that many of us are not fully aware of:
- Global warming, and how excessive use of gadgets and appliances is worsening it?
- Energy conservation, its importance and the possibility of using alternate energy sources
- Carbon footprint, and what an increased level could mean?
- Deforestation, and in how many ways does a drop in agriculture affect us?
While IoT may not be the one-stop solution, it could very well elicit a cascading effect that helps mankind move towards a greener planet. When the sensors, actuators, monitors, and meters involved in the IoT come together as one, the following changes can take place:
- Alerting the people when the parameter exceed thresholds and by monitoring the usage of the resources like water, power and gas using smart meters and smart grids
- Intelligently handling devices for better energy conservation through smart buildings, smart homes
- Soil monitoring systems guide farmers towards ‘smart’ agriculture.
- Smart parking, smart lighting, connected vehicles, and cell tower monitoring help reduce carbon footprint.
- Green cities with intelligent traffic system, better waste management and hazardous radiation control do not seem distant.
- Proactive disaster alert systems provide early flood warning, help prevent forest fire, and minimize damage during a catastrophe.
- Animal health tracking systems help conserve and protect endangered species while also helping to maintain a healthy ecological balance.
While knowledge and awareness are essential elements, they do no good unless there is an effort for continual improvement. In other words, dreaming of a greener planet must not stop with just being aware of negative factors. An approach combining human as well as artificial intelligence holds the key.
We turn to IoT, big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to gain a technological edge over the threats discussed earlier. Historic data accumulated over the years can be used for analytics, predictive algorithms and machine learning, so we can come up with proactive planning. Connecting a million devices will be a low-power affair soon, thanks to the advancements in LPWAN technology.
With innovation in machine learning algorithms, technology, and functional components, it is fair to assume that “IoT is our ray of hope for a greener planet.”
Avaiarasi S, Director – IoT, AI/ML