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How Does Artificial Intelligence (AI) Power the Internet of Things (IoT)?

July 25, 2019

Like many other high tech advancements, IoT is at the forefront of innovation.

Everyone wants a part of the IoT sphere, and many people don’t even realize the smart devices they’re using fall under the category. IoT, or the Internet of Things, is comprised of hardware that functions thanks to the existence of the internet.

Where some high technology is strictly software-based, IoT is hardware-based devices and objects that use the internet, electricity, and components of computer science technologies like artificial intelligence, sensor networks, and machine learning to function.

The impact of AI-powered IoT

The average person uses IoT multiple times a day without even knowing it. Think of this scenario:

You wake up in the morning and greet your voice speaker. You use your smartphone to adjust the temperature on your thermostat. You make sure your security system is up and running before leaving the house. While at work, you check on your pets via a camera-equipped portion control feeder.

The list goes on and on. 

The concept of IoT has existed since the mid-1980s, but like most high technology, it didn’t become vital to everyday life until the 2010s. And now, with 2020 on the horizon, IoT devices are taking the place of standard home appliances and larger-scale business tools. In 2018, money spent on IoT technologies reached 164 billion dollars globally; within five years, that number is expected to grow 10 times greater to 1.6 trillion.

This growth is thanks to consumers’ rapid acceptance of the new technology. Where the concept of artificial intelligence is too broad and vague for the non-tech-savvy to comprehend, it’s easy for people to understand the value of AI technologies when applied to everyday appliances.

Essentially everybody owns a refrigerator, uses a smartphone, and has at least one internet-connected device they use on a regular basis. Without having to unpack much about why and how their devices work, the general concept of my electronic device works because it’s connected to the internet makes sense to the average consumer.

Real-life use cases of AI-powered IoT technology

With the above in mind, it’s good to see how real-life people and companies are actually using IoT tech. The following three examples highlight use cases of IoT in the agriculture industry, which is a specific case of IoT used in a large-scale, consumer-facing sector; a security management image recognition tool that recognizes human movement by separating it from non-human object motion; and a standard office space, which is highly applicable to the average consumer’s work lifestyle. 

  1. IoT condition sensors to evaluate the freshness of produce
  2. Video security that can identify human movement over object movement
  3. Room monitoring tools to improve in-office efficiency

1. IoT condition sensors to evaluate the freshness of produce

The agtech (agriculture technology) industry has continuously embraced applications of artificial intelligence to help automate processes once done by hand. Knowing this, implementing IoT tools that are powered by AI helps small and large-scale agriculture companies keep a sharper eye on the output and quality of their produce.

“We use IoT condition sensors coupled with cloud-based AI software to monitor and manage the fresh food supply chain. IoT sensors are placed in pallets of fresh produce (such as strawberries, lettuce or grapes) to collect time and temperature data. That data is then processed and evaluated using cloud-based analytics to identify processing issues, provide real-time alerts and dynamically calculate the actual remaining freshness (or shelf-life) of fresh produce. 

Machine learning from the collected data provides the ability to improve the accuracy of algorithms over time. By knowing the actual remaining freshness of each pallet of produce, we can implement intelligent pallet-routing to reduce waste due to premature spoilage and improve profit margins and customer satisfaction.”

- Kevin Payne, VP of Marketing at Zest Labs

2. Video security that can identify human movement over object movement

Home and business security is a huge component of AI-powered IoT tools. People want to feel safe and be able to monitor their safety in real time. IoT security cameras, systems, and tools that are connected to the internet allow people to track and monitor safety from afar. With a smartphone-connected application, people can view what’s going on as it happens and take action in the moment rather than waiting hours to get home or get back to the office and find it in disarray thanks to a break-in or catastrophic event.

“We develop AI-powered video security for businesses. Our Light AI recognizes human behavior, which allows it to filter out false positive alerts by 95% as compared to traditional motion detection. This reduction in false alerts in a huge boon to security teams, who are often overwhelmed by alerts caused by animals, trees, or changing weather conditions. This AI is also able to work with any IP video security camera, turning it essentially into an AI-powered IoT product.

Businesses using this product appreciate the AI’s ability to make their current camera systems “smart” without needing to swap out new hardware. When they get an alert, they know it was triggered by a real person. In numerous incidents, businesses have caught thieves breaking in and attempting to steal equipment and copper wire. This is possible because the cameras can be monitored for humans in a way they never before could have been – thanks to AI.”

- Jessica Chen, Marketer at Umbo Computer Vision

TIP: To keep your home and company secure, discover the best image recognition software for your needs. 

See the best Image Recognition Software on the market →

3. Room monitoring tools to improve in-office efficiency

In the same way regular consumers have grown accustomed to using smart devices as a part of their daily routines, office spaces act as a second home for most people. So logically, it makes sense that an office would implement IoT tech to improve the efficiency of things like scheduling meetings, task management, room temperature regulation, and website monitoring.

While yes, all of these things can be done by an individual, using smart tools to expedite and streamline processes to improve efficiency is key in any fast-moving industry (e.g. a web and mobile app development company). 

“At our organization, we use the Amazon Echo Smart Speakers in the office to get information related to the location free for the meeting. Some of the employees use the Echo on their desk for personal tasks such as making calls and sending messages, while Alexa Smart Scheduling Assistant helps keep track of to-do list.

We also use the Nest smart thermostat that creates an optimal room temperature. The sensor automatically turns the temperature down when nobody is in the office to save energy.

Additionally, we use Vigil Website Monitoring (Alexa for Business). Our Vigil account is linked to Alexa help us to get a status report of websites. The report consists of information related to the site, e.g. whether the site is currently down or ensuring that everything is up, thus making sure we get the issue resolved.”

- Hima Pujara, Engineer at Signity Solutions

Looking to the future of AI-powered IoT devices

From your living room to the conference room, IoT devices are everywhere. They keep us on task, keep us secure, and keep us living our lives in the most efficient way possible. Don’t fear a technological takeover – that only happens in the movies.

Keep learning about the Internet of Things before browsing the highest-rated IoT analytics software on the market today!  

Find the best IoT Analytics Software on the market →

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