Until this morning, I was convinced that all IoT projects were still in the proof of concept phase. In my last blog from the IoT World Forum 2017 in London, I noted that everyone was saying it is about time for customers to start using the IoT, but we also heard that 90% of all projects are still POCs.
Then Bosch took the stage and proved me wrong. Real-life use IoT cases from oyster farming to scooter rentals piqued my curiosity. I said in my last blog that I wanted use cases, so I did some digging.
Tasmanian oyster farming start-up The Yield, in which Bosch is also an investor, wanted to use the IoT to monitor water quality. Because oysters are “filter animals,” they can absorb contaminants from their environment. If the water is polluted by runoff from a heavy storm, for example, the oysters can absorb germs or bacteria that will make people sick when they eat them.
Sebastian Wahle, digital strategist at Bosch Software Innovations, calls this “The Internet of Oysters.” Data is collected by sensors in the immediate vicinity of the oyster banks. Then algorithms record and analyze the data, making it available to the farmers to check on a smartphone to find out the ideal time to harvest.
Bosch is clearly steaming ahead with IoT; its AMRA (asset monitoring for railway applications) system is in use at Swiss rail freight company SBB Cargo. AMRA monitors connected rail car and freight locations to help smooth logistics issues; it also checks for vibration and temperature to see if there is any damage along the way.
Another use case involved e-scooters. Coup, another Bosch investment, was started to help solve a problem - Berlin’s public transit system. A fleet of electric scooters was made available to help people move around the city more quickly; a smart app manages the fleet. Locating, booking and paying for the scooter can all be done on your smart phone.
These are just a few of Bosch’s use cases. As you can see, the company threw its financial weight behind some of the projects and companies by investing in them. Wahle said there is a “major shift” towards working a part of an ecosystem to get the job done. This may be the quickest way initially to get real-life use cases that can help to convince other potential users of the benefits of IoT.
Another great use case was Armored Things, which is using the IoT to help keep large venues such as auditoriums and sports stadiums safe in the event of a terror attack or disaster. It automates incident response by engaging sensored devices that are already in place, like lights, cameras and locks.
ABB’s mining division is looking at using IoT to help prevent fires in the mines and in its control room. It is already using the IoT and virtual reality to help support its hoists remotely. Madeleine Martinsen, head of R&D Service Hoist and Underground Mining at ABB, advised the audience to “get a partner” to help speed them into the IoT.
At the end of Day Two I have found some good use cases, so I’m happy. But I’ll be keeping an eye on this industry to see just how many organizations get serious about IoT in the near future.