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15 IoT Examples for Business Applications

The IoT, or Internet of Things, is all around us, from consumer IoT applications such as connected cars and wearables to robotic lawn movers. But what about industrial or smart city IoT examples, that might not get much hype, but provide real benefits?

Carsten Fich, Head of Private Network and IoT Solutions
April 27, 2022

Here you can find 15 Internet of Things use cases and several case studies. Before diving into these examples, you might also want to have a look into our “What is IoT”-guide, which covers IoT terms and terminology.

Smart Cities IoT Examples

Smart cities are quickly expanding and there is a growing need for connected solutions that support the management of urban infrastructure, parking and traffic, electric vehicle charging, waste handling, information sharing and security services. Smart city technologies and IoT smart city solutions present a compelling solution to the problems caused by urbanisation.

1. Smart Pest Removal - How to Save Working Hours with Digital Rat Traps

Rats and mice are a major problem to citizens and businesses, and it is very costly in man-hours to get rid of the pests in an efficient way.

Digital rat traps can reduce a large part of the working time by manually checking if traps are filled. With the help of small sensors and automatic status messages the trap gives notification when a rat has walked in or has been near the trap.

IoT-powered traps digitize the manual work with small sensors and instant messages. This gives a full overview of the traps and improves the ability to take early action against the pests.

How does it work?

1. Rat traps are equipped with IoT devices
2. Sensors monitor whether there are rats in or around the traps
3. Devices send data, e.g. via an NB-IoT connection
4. Service personnel monitors the traps remotely
5. Service personnel visits only the traps that require emptying

What are the benefits?

The digital traps eliminate wasted time for manually overhauling empty traps, and they help to speed up maintenance of traps.

2. Smart Meters Pave the Way for Greater Efficiency and Accuracy

Challenge

Collecting meter data is expensive, and it is difficult to get 100% correct data for production and billing.

Solution

IoT-sensors in electricity/water/gas/heat meters send the precise data to the supplier’s back office who can track consumption in real time.

Value

Insight into consumption and distribution paves the way for great savings and efficiencies. At the same time, leaks are detected more quickly.

3. Smart Road Signs Increase Safety - Eliminate Wasted Time with Sensors in Road Signs

It is dangerous when signs overturn on highways and elsewhere in traffic, and it is very expensive to manually check that all signs are in place.

Internet-connected road signs that, for instance, are placed at roadworks or other places, can save a big part of the time spent manually checking if the signs stand upright as they should. Using smart tilt sensors and a digital monitoring platform, service personnel just drive out to the signs that actually require service.

With NB-IoT trackers, signs can automatically notify if they are overturned or in any way relocated.

How does it work?

1. Road signs are equipped with IoT device
2. Sensors monitor, whether the sign stands upright as it should
3. Devices send data, e.g. via an NB-IoT connection
4. Service personnel gets notified when a sign is overturned
5. Service personnel only moves out to overturned signs

What are the benefits?

Digital monitoring of signs provides increased security and massive savings, avoiding manual inspection of the signs.

4. Better Safety with IoT Smoke Detectors

Challenge

The consequences are fatal when smoke detectors do not function effectively in the event of a fire – either because the battery is flat or because no one hears them.

Solution

IoT-powered smoke detectors communicate digitally so that all relevant people are notified quickly in the event of a fire. The smart sensors detect smoke, temperature and battery levels.

Value

Digital smoke detectors can save human lives, minimize damages and help protect business-critical assets for companies.

5. A More Intelligent Way to a Better Indoor Climate

Challenge

Poor indoor climate translates into bad business. A strained indoor climate results in inefficient meetings, poor concentration and more sick days.

Solution

Small IoT devices can monitor the indoor climate and automatically notify if airing is bad or the heat should be lowered in the room.

Value

A good indoor climate is key to optimize the well-being and productivity of employees, students, healthcare professionals, etc.

6. Monitoring Traffic and Environment

Challenge

Noise, smog and traffic jam are all harmful to public health and an economic burden to society.

Solution

Intelligent sensors that detect everything from air pollution and noise levels to the number of cars on the roads provide valuable insights that can be used for better infrastructure planning.

Value

There are great benefits from improving the environment and space on the roads in cities – both economically and in terms of creating a more clean and healthy city.

7. Avoid Water Overflow with Digital Sewers

Challenge

Heavy rainfall and clogged sewers typically cause overflow and spillage of sewage into the natural streams.

Solution

Level sensors under well covers can monitor sewers and alert if a too high-water level is detected.

Value

With real-time digital monitoring service providers can act in time and do proactive clean-ups at blocked sewers.

IoT Examples in Healthcare

IoT in healthcare use cases is growing rapidly. According to a report by Grand View Research the global IoT in healthcare market size is projected to reach USD 534.3 billion by 2025. IoT devices can for instance help medical device manufacturers identify operational problems and save lives during emergencies, they can remotely monitor the status of patients or provide cold chain monitoring of pharmaceuticals.

8. Better Care for Dementia Patients

Challenge

The Danish society spend billions every year on dementia and the decease creates great insecurity for patients and relatives.

Solution

With smart trackers in watches and bracelets, healthcare professionals and caregivers can easily locate any missing dementia patient.

Value

Tracking solutions save society resources and minimize the risk of dementia patients are putting themselves and others at risk.

Industrial IoT Devices – Examples from Real Life

Explore a couple of B2B use cases that highlight how IoT is being used by enterprises to lower costs by reducing working hours, minimizing down-time in production and machines, and avoiding waste of expensive equipment.

Lower Costs by Reducing Working Hours

What

Every day, companies use many hours on manual workflows. It can be service checks of products at the customer, supervision of equipment and machines in production, or similar tasks. Much of that time can be reduced with IoT.

Why

Manual workflows are often critical for companies to deliver quality service to their customers. However, manual working hours sometimes result in high costs, including labor costs.

How

By equipping your products and equipment with IoT devices that are connected to the internet, they can be monitored digitally, for instance directly via a mobile application.

Here are some examples of IoT applications that help to lower costs by reducing working hours.

9. Reduce Downtime on the Production Site

Challenge

Downtime on the production site can be very expensive, e.g. if the assembly line needs service or if components are to be replaced.

Solution

By installing trackers on critical production machines, you can collect important usage data and get the machines to notify you well in advance before they need service.

Value

IoT trackers and predictive maintenance can cut downtime and deliver serious savings by better maintenance planning.

10. Save Time and Money with Fill-level Sensors

Challenge

Manual fill-level monitoring in tanks and silos is costly, time consuming and can be expensive if supplies run out.

Solution

Small sensors in tanks and silos can read the fill-level in real time and proactively send alarms when it’s time to fill up the tanks.

Value

The remote fill-level monitoring saves man-hours, transport costs and avoids expensive emergency fillings.

Save Costs and Avoid Waste of Expensive Equipment

What

Every day, companies lose expensive equipment when transporting goods to and from customers or when carrying equipment to perform work outside the company. It can be anything from roller cages and pallets to machinery and tools. IoT offers new opportunities to digitally track equipment so that it automatically sends notifications when it disappears.

Why

There are big gains to reap for companies that track their equipment through IoT. They save time and money on the purchase of new equipment, they avoid wasted time on manual tracing, and better utilization of existing equipment.

How

By installing small IoT devices on the equipment, they can easily and quickly be tracked digitally. The devices can be configured, so that they automatically send messages, when they move, stand still at places where they should not be, or disappear.

11. Reduce Waste with Digital Tracking of Roller Cages

Companies often waste resources on handling their assets, for example pallets and roller cages, when they are left unused in a warehouse or disappear during transport. Many companies use a large number of roller cages to move goods between customers and suppliers. It is often difficult to know where the assets are located and how many the company has available.

How does it work?

By installing small battery-powered trackers directly on the assets you can track their location and status at any time.

1. Roller cages are equipped with IoT devices
2. GPS tracker monitors the roller cage location
3. Devices send data, e.g. via an LTE-M connection
4. Employees get message when a roller cage disappears from the route
5. Roller cages can effectively be retrieved as needed

What are the benefits?

Insights like these deliver great savings, for instance by reducing lost assets, improving the inventory management or reducing ‘bottlenecks’.

12. Efficient Logistics with Smart Containers

Challenge

It is expensive and inefficient for suppliers if they are driving around in half-empty trucks or if they cannot deliver due to low inventory.

Solution

With IoT suppliers can equip their containers with smart sensors so that they can always be tracked throughout the value chain and automatically report on fill level data.

Value

Digitization of containers, e.g. for chemicals or water, gives the supplier opportunity to provide new services and to streamline their logistics and inventory management.

13. Tracking Machinery and Equipment on the Construction Site - Protect Tools with Digital Tracking

Downtime is expensive on the construction site, e.g. when excavators needs maintenance or when tools disappear from the site.

There is a huge shrinkage of tools on construction sites. It costs the contractor dearly in the purchase of new tools and lost working hours when their employees are looking for the tools. By installing IoT devices in everything from screwdrivers to angle grinders, tools can automatically send notifications when it disappears.

With IoT trackers, tools and equipment can always be tracked and localized. Additionally, sensors provide usage data that can be used for optimizing maintenance plans.

How does it work?

1. IoT devices are installed in the tool, e.g. in a screwdriver
2. Sensors monitor the location of the tool
3. Devices send data, e.g. via an NB-IoT connection
4. Company is notified if tools disappear from the construction site
5. Tools can easily and effectively be tracked down and retrieved

What are the benefits?

There are big savings to be made – partly by avoiding downtime, and partly by tracking expensive machines and equipment that are stolen or lost.

Asset Tracking IoT Examples

Asset tracking IoT systems enable companies to track assets in a smart way. With connected devices expected to rise from hundreds of millions to billions over the next few years, smart tracking with cloud service, analytics and alarms functionalities is becoming a clear expectation for asset owners and companies transporting high-value goods.

Minimize Transportation Costs

What

Many companies make a living from transporting goods, equipment and services to customers and business partners. With IoT, businesses can deliver their service with fewer miles spent on the road – and most often with a higher quality for the customer as a result.

Why

Transportation costs are one of the major records in many companies’ budgets. In addition, there are increasing pressure – both politically and from customers – for businesses to reduce their CO2 emissions. Therefore, IoT solutions that reduce transportation time, are increasingly in demand by companies across industries and sectors.

How

Remote data reading with IoT technology typically works by installing small IoT devices in the places where one wish to obtain data from, and monitoring can take place remotely.

14. Better Waste Management with Smart Bins 

Today, waste is collected inefficiently. This is expensive to citizens, the government and not least the climate due to CO2 emissions.

Garbage trucks drive out every day to empty and half-filled garbage cans, although they do not require emptying. It is expensive in transport and working hours, creates traffic jams and discharges unnecessarily a lot of CO2. IoT can eliminate wasted time on the road.

By installing IoT sensors in the bins, the garbage collectors can measure the fill level in each container remotely and use data for better route planning. By mounting fill level- sensors in the containers the garbage collectors get insight into which bins require emptying and which they can disregard on their route. Data from all the bins are analysed and translates into an optimized route plan.

How does it work?

1. Garbage cans are equipped with IoT devices
2. Sensors monitor the fill level in the bins
3. Devices send data, e.g. via an NB-IoT connection
4. Data is analyzed and translates into daily routes
5. Garbage trucks only drive out to the places where buckets are full (dynamic emptying)

What are the benefits?

Better route planning can deliver significant savings by lowering transportation costs, CO2 emissions and by cutting inefficient man hours on the road.

15. Smarter Damage Services with Digital Moisture Meters

Water damage is one of the most frequent damage to both companies and consumers. Damage service companies are helping customers dehumidify their buildings. After installing dehumidification equipment at the site of damage; damage service companies use a lot of their time with transport from customer to customer, in order to measure the moisture values. It takes various readings until they know when the place is dry, and the customer can come again back to everyday life. A lot of this transportation time can be saved with IoT.

How does it work?

By installing small IoT devices in floors and walls, service employees can remotely read the moisture values, without having to visit the customer.

1. IoT devices with moisture sensors are installed in walls and floors
2. Sensors monitor the moisture values in the room
3. Devices transmits data, e.g. via an NB-IoT connection
4. Service Officer is notified when the place is dehumidified
5. Service Officer visits damage site and uninstalls dehumidification equipment

What are the benefits?

Conclusion

IoT devices are all around us. Innovative enterprises and consumers are finding creative ways to leverage on the power of IoT and disrupt industries and traditional business models. From our daily work providing IoT Connectivity and IoT Cloud services, we have selected 15 real-life IoT examples together with concrete customer cases for you to get inspired.

Many of these use cases were published for the first time in a white paper by Telenor Denmark (Note: The white paper is in Danish).