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Every day we see headlines about new smartphones, voice assistants and other gadgets. These items take entertainment to the next level and help us be more productive. Devices are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to unlocking the potential of the IoT. Conserve natural resources using connected devices.
Consumers and businesses need to start thinking more about how they use the latest technologies to reduce their environmental impact. Connected devices conserve natural resources for the benefit of everyone.
Four essential conservation and environmental IoT is helping to solve air pollution, water waste, noise pollution, and wildfires.
The estimated economic cost of air pollution is $1.72 trillion, according to the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development). Pollution is linked to a wide variety of medical issues in people and animals, causing severe harm to plants. Over the last century, countries around the world have made significant policy changes to curb air pollution.
Tracking air quality is fundamental to understanding how pollution spreads and the impact of it on communities. Businesses and governments with the correct data can make informed decisions about how to mitigate air quality issues.
The emergence of low cost, low maintenance sensors, and gateways have enabled cities and businesses to deploy air pollution monitoring solutions. Within a city’s massive scale, there can be an unprecedented insight into air quality. These insights can be seen by deploying sensors around roads, schools, industrial buildings, parks, and other areas.
This IoT provides real-time measurements of air quality to map patterns. Issues are more easily identified, and cities can make more strategic business and policy decisions.
Amid a variety of recent state-wide droughts, public service announcements have worked hard to educate the public. We are all learning the importance of conserving water and reducing water waste. However, even the most conscientious person might not be aware of water leaks in their home. How is that leak contributing to their water bill?
Damage from a ruptured pipe or other leaks cause the city and public works high costs when problems are left unchecked. Connected sensors are an easy way that consumers and businesses can keep tabs on water usage. Businesses and consumers need to better understand their water footprint and reduce water consumption. Sensors can monitor water usage, in addition to tracking a building’s levels of humidity and temperature. Real-time analytics revealing anomalies are quickly be resolved.
Costco Wholesale is committed to slashing prices; it’s also make incredible strides in cutting down its water usage. When Costco tested out the Apana water management system, the company saw a 20 percent reduction in water use. The lowered usage resulted in a 22 percent reduction in their water bills. Costco has since rolled out this water management system across the rest of its North America locations.
Municipal noise ordinances aim to reduce noise pollution with assessments of noise. But the monitoring is performed inconsistently, and primarily it’s only complaint-driven. Low-cost acoustic sensors enable continuous monitoring of noise in densely populated and trafficked areas. Cities now have access to valuable data to establish more effective noise regulations in places that need them the most.
The city of Calgary, Canada, has undertaken several smart city initiatives, including deploying sensors in certain areas to autonomously detect noise. Calgary has partnered with The Urban Alliance and the University of Calgary to use machine learning to distinguish between different types of noise.
They will track the noise against the time and location where the noise event occurred. These sensors are helping the city to detect when noise thresholds have been hit to better respond to noise issues and improve residents’ quality of life.
Fires in the U.S. cause roughly $10 billion in property damage and injure or kill thousands of people every year. Historically, it’s been challenging to monitor wildfires as they occur over vast swaths of land and move very quickly. Cellular reception is often limited in those areas for wildfire danger.
Wildfires have become more prominent and more commonplace in recent years, particularly in California. Firefighters are relying more heavily on technology that helps them detect fires sooner. When a fire is detected quickly, it changes the whole management dynamic. Early warnings are allowing firefighters an enhanced ability to keep people safe.
In fire-prone areas, fire management agencies are turning to sensors equipped with AI to measure environmental metrics. Temperature, carbon dioxide levels, and wind direction provide vast amounts of information that combine to detect the fire and predict where it will head.
Advanced monitoring systems in place reveal fires started deep within a forest. The detection times emerge quickly so firefighters can put it out, minimizing the environmental impact and damage. Most importantly, this tech is saving people’s lives.
The choices businesses and consumers make every day have a significant impact on the health of the public and the environment. IoT devices will continue to play a pivotal role in identifying environmental issues and enabling us all to make changes to further our sustainability efforts.
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