Imagine if the equipment you use in the workplace could:
- show you what you need to know about how they operate
- tell you how to use them correctly and efficiently
- help you be safer working with or around them
- offer you details to complete and submit regulatory forms and checklists
- show you how to fix them if they are broken
- provide you with the schematics and diagrams you need
- help you contact a mentor or emergency assistance
- and more, lots more.
What if all of this information was delivered automatically whenever you were within a short distance of the machine? Imagine if it was instantly and securely viewable from any nearby internet-connected device.
Think of the enormous impact that could have: eliminating errors, boosting employee productivity. It could dramatically reduce errors and injuries and associated workman’s comp and insurance costs — all of which would obviously have a positive effect on the bottom line.
We’ve all heard and read about how The Internet of Things in the home will utterly transform the ways in which we live. We’ve heard for years how your refrigerator is going to send a shopping list to your grocery store, your car will make an appointment for an oil change, and the blinds on your windows will automatically close as dusk falls.
What about the Internet of Things in the workplace? It seems to me that far more people need the machines they work with on the job to supply them with specific information.
While I can appreciate that having a dishwasher that will automatically turn itself on when its full might be nice, having a piece of machinery that can provide me with safety warnings or with a checklist before I operate it could prevent me from being seriously injured.
That’s a whole new category that I call “The Internet of Smart Things.”
I recently saw a demo of an app that can make everything I’ve just described above a reality. The app won the Best in Show Award at mLearnCon 2014 DemoFest in San Diego, and it went up against some big names in the Edtech industry.
The app is driven by iBeacon technology connected to any cross-platform internet connected device that can pull information from the cloud. The beacon goes on any machine or piece of equipment and sends out a specific signal when you get close. The app ‘hears’ the signal and calls the cloud for the information on that machine or piece of equipment. You get a tailored menu of information choices that could include safety checklists, operating instructions, functional specs, diagrams, and safety warnings. Whatever you need. Whenever that information is really needed.
You have now crossed over into the Internet of Smart Things.
The opportunities are vast and diverse, across industries ranging from mining, logging oil exploration and refining, to manufacturing, pharmaceutical and medical, construction and engineering, food production and agriculture.
According to a recent Gartner study the size of the market for the Internet of Things (IoT) by 2020 is estimated to be $1.9 Trillion.
And here’s a breakdown by Industry according to another Gartner study:
Here’s the link to the 9-minute demo of the app I saw. It’s technical and explains how it works:
I invite you to take a look and tell me what you think. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.