IoT: Making the World Safer

June 21, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

We are living in exciting times. With the development of the IoT making it possible to connect devices and make smart homes, smart businesses, smart cars and smart cities, our world is evolving into an interconnected network designed to make life easier. In previous posts, we’ve explored the IoT and antennas, the Industrial IoT (IIoT) and how the IIoT is changing manufacturing. Aside from the business aspect of the IoT, is there a greater benefit to society? Here, we’ll look at how the IoT, and all of its things, can also be used to make the world safer.

 

Today, body cameras are offering a previously unseen view into the world of policing and social media allows for crimes to be publicly documented by anyone with a smartphone. Plus, cameras and surveillance systems are already being implemented in many cities to keep a watchful eye when law enforcement isn’t physically present. Take that a step further and there are technologies being introduced that are truly transformative. Intelligent roadway systems are being utilized to direct traffic flow and manage digital signs that provide information to drivers, all to help avoid accidents and make the roads safer. This same type of technology, along with GPS, can also allow first responders to better navigate through traffic and improve response times.

 

Furthermore, with the IoT, there is a huge amount of data being collected. All of this information can be used to analyze behavior and patterns and create algorithms to identify potential crimes before they occur. Everything from past criminal activity, behavior patterns, weather patterns, social media activity and gunshot sensors can be used to inform law enforcement and help prevent crimes from taking place, or lessen the effect of the event. In fact, some cities already have technology in place that uses sensors to detect a gunshot, determine the location of shots fired and deliver that information to law enforcement within one minute. Much like a fire alarm alerts of potential danger, this system alerts of a potential active shooter situation, notifies the police and provides real-time data on where shots were fired and the layout of the location.

 

Other technology making the world safer includes self-driving cars, which remove some element of human error and could eliminate the risk that goes along with high-speed chases. Also, drones can be used to provide aerial surveillance, assess and access areas that might be too dangerous for officers or first responders to enter blindly. GPS can be used to track where someone is in a building, making it easier to find people in the event of a fire, natural disaster or other emergency situation. Plus, health monitoring devices can provide information to first responders if a victim is unresponsive. These devices might even be able to detect a health issue before it occurs.

 

There are many ways that the IoT is changing the world for the better, including safety. By using IoT technology and connecting devices to allow people to navigate this world more safely, we all win.

 

Next Generation Positioning: A look at what’s around the corner

March 10, 2016 at 8:00 AM

 

Most of us use GPS apps and positioning technology every day to get directions, find nearby restaurants and for a variety of other applications. Positioning technology has fully infiltrated our lives and usage is expected to continue to grow by up to 50% over the next two years.

 

Pinpointing the pulse of the market, the IEEE is working to develop the next generation positioning standard, 802.11az. 802.11az will enhance and enable indoor positioning systems by focusing on several key concepts. 

 

802.11az:

  • ·       Next-generation amendment to 802.11
  • ·       Designed for new positioning applications to run on wireless local area networks (WLAN)
  • ·       Focused on better positioning and location finding to enhance GPS for indoor locations
  • ·       Enables wireless connectivity for fixed, portable and moving stations within a local area
  • ·       Allows access to one or more frequency bands for local area communication

 

 Improved Accuracy:

  • ·       Increasing accuracy range from <1m to <0.1m
  • ·       As technology usage increases, so does the demand for performance
  • ·       Micro-locations offer a new category of usage models

  

Direction Finding:

· Guiding people through stores to find a specific product on a high  shelf

· Directing museum visitors through the exhibitions

· Providing product location information to customers as they enter a store

 

 

Improved Scalability and Efficiency:

  • ·       Bringing location technology into crowded venues to ease traffic flow
  • ·       Guiding people to their seats in stadiums
  • ·       Showing people to their gate in airports
  • ·       Directing passengers to their platform in metro stations and train stations

 

With such a great need for accurate indoor positioning, the IEEE is working to fulfill market demand by developing a robust, accurate and scalable wireless positioning standard. In the coming years, 802.11az will greatly enhance our personal and professional lives.

 

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