According to the International Water Association, more than 400 billion liters of potable water are lost through leakage each year, largely due to ageing and crumbling infrastructure. Furthermore, while a one-day water mains break will lose roughly 75 thousand liters of water, an unreported service connection break can lose more than 4.5 million liters of water during the six months that, on average, it takes to be discovered. From reservoirs to water mains to indoor plumbing, leaks can spring up anywhere along water’s piped journey, costing time, money, and resources, and it’s never been more critical to conserve water. The UN estimates 2.3 billion people already live in water-stressed countries and globally, water use is growing at more than twice the rate of population increase.  

This is not great news for municipalities and other concerned parties, who are dealing with the double whammy of increasing urban populations and the resulting water stress. So, what can be done to address the challenges around this increasingly scarce resource? This is where IoT can make all the difference.

There are any number of benefits in using IoT to better manage water systems. Here are just six of the top takeaways:

  • Better transparency
  • Fewer incidents
  • Enhanced control
  • Data-based decision making
  • Cost control
  • Improved sustainability

Utility companies are of course already widely using IoT for digital metering solutions, but IoT water leak detection technology can play an invaluable role for facility owners and operators in developing a comprehensive plan for mitigating leakage. Advancements in IoT technologies such as LPWA (low-power, wide area) allow for the efficient management and maintenance of ageing water supply infrastructure through remote monitoring.

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Through the use of IoT, water utilities can plan for and mitigate possible challenges or even prevent them from happening, predicting behaviors in advance or even as they occur, in real time, including pinpointing location.

Advanced IoT sensors allow detailed, accurate, and real-time analysis of water systems, including potable water, wastewater, and waterways. Additionally, IoT technology enables utility companies to monitor various parameters remotely, including:

  • Water quality & pressure
  • Temperature
  • Turbidity & suspended solids
  • Water levels

The reduced visibility of water mains and pipes means monitoring can be challenging. The introduction of small IoT sensors and devices makes leak detection simpler and faster. These sensors and devices, often using LPWA technology, can be used to measure vibrations, pressure, flow rates, and in some cases even sound waves. They monitor water flow patterns and immediately detect when this flow deviates from normal patterns bases on data from the sensors. Early detection of leaks and even the level of damage can be very beneficial in terms of sustainability, time savings, cost estimates, understand the scope of repairs, and thus better use of manpower.

IoT sensors and the data produced can also contribute to decision making by predicting potential leakage. Predictive maintenance allows you to take precautionary measures, as well as direct your resources more precisely, addressing challenges when they are still manageable. In other words, instead of having to deal with a major water main break, which can interrupt service and potentially create gridlock on the roads, you can find and fix a smaller leak with minimal disruption. By deploying IoT technology for predictive purposes, you reduce schedules or time-based checks. Instead, data will tell you where you have a challenge, allowing you to make informed decisions so you can protect your assets by addressing challenges quickly and efficiently and minimizing potential further damage.

Taking a closer look at the cost cutting benefits, while IoT sensors can save time, alleviate stress, and save money by preventing or minimizing challenges, they can also help when estimating damage. Sensors can often detect how much damage has been caused by a water leak and can potentially stop a leak as soon as it starts by sending an alert, which triggers a shutoff valve to close the main supply line. This quick response saves you money in myriad ways and the data will help you understand the scope of the problem and what it’s going to take to fix it.

Ultimately, water is a finite resource and of all the water on earth, only 3% is fresh water. With growing populations combined with water stress, it is critical that the growing gap between supply and demand is addressed. Streamlined water processes and minimizing wastage are key elements to ensuring this. Real time monitoring alerts and maintenance alerts can be key factors in doing this when addressing water leakage. Additionally, an integrated approach can include monitoring reservoir levels and monitoring ground water levels, creating a framework for smart cities, while promoting improved coordination and management of water resources and processes.

If you would like to learn more about how IoT can help you better manage your business and operations, please get in touch.

IoT is one of the driving technologies behind the smart city concept and is poised to be a key component in facilitating sustainable urban development. More than half of the world population lives in urban areas today and cities account for more than 70 percent of global carbon emissions and 60-80% of energy consumption. As urban populations have increased, services have overall deteriorated in terms of both quantity and quality, with rapid urbanization giving rise to increased challenges around things like traffic congestion, water contamination, and most importantly, social inequality.

Municipalities are leveraging IoT technology to connect devices, infrastructure, and people. It is being used to address challenges that range from waste management and water conservation to traffic, air pollution, and power grids. By leveraging IoT technologies, cities are able to successfully manage their growing populations by improving quality of life and the efficiency of urban operations and services, while also increasing competitiveness and addressing economic, social, environmental, and cultural needs.

Let’s take a closer look at a few areas where cities are leveraging IoT technology to address challenges, and how things could play out as solutions evolve:

Transportation & traffic

Among the key goals of any public transport system are greater efficiency and reliability – and smart technology is the key to enablement. There are a number of areas where IoT is particularly helpful:

• Toll & ticketing

More people in our cities means more vehicles on our roads – and an increase of vehicles means queues at toll booths. While automated tolls, using an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tag, have already improved the flow of traffic, further improvements are possible through the use of IoT technology. Many of today’s vehicles come equipped with IoT connectivity, which allows a car or truck to be detected up to a kilometer away from a tolling station. What this means in practice is that the car or truck can be identified long before it approaches a toll booth – so when the vehicle finally gets there the barrier automatically raised for the vehicle to pass through. For older vehicles, a registered smart phone could serve the same purpose, taking automatic payment from the phone’s digital wallet.

• Connected vehicles

As mentioned, many vehicles today are already connected and are equipped with sensors and devices that monitor everything from brakes and the engine to tire pressure and exhaust. Going forward, connected vehicles will use in-vehicle networks, radar, and cameras to help detect and communicate with one another, prevent collisions, and promote smooth traffic flow. Vehicle tracking systems are already being used within the freight and rental segments, monitoring driver behavior and collecting data on things like idling time and fuel consumption.

• Public transport management

IoT technologies are already widely used in public transport, including for integrated ticketing and automated fare collection, passenger information, and display systems. IoT can also be used for real-time vehicle tracking, which allows public transport agencies to communicate better with customers about things like arrival and departure times. Datal analysis and real-time management allows transit agencies to monitor progress in real-time and make adjustments for unpredicted incidents, such as accidents, roadworks, station closures, etc.

Smart lighting

The majority of city dwellers spend more time indoors than outdoors, which can have a significant impact on energy consumption. The use of electricity for lighting can be significantly optimized with the use of intelligent systems. Natural light cycles can be mimicked by incorporating light and temperature sensors, while light sensor-based applications can be used to manage the orientation of solar panels for optimal usage of natural resources.

If we look at street lighting, the savings and benefits are clear:

• Dynamic dimming

Intelligent streetlights adjust light levels based on specific times and events. When paired with motion sensors, light levels can be further refined. Dynamic dimming based on time, event, or human presence can result in a more than 60% reduction in energy consumption, while the use of motion sensors means when no human presence is detected, streetlights illuminate at a low, predefined level, reducing energy usage, CO2 emissions, and light pollution.

• Maintenance optimization

Intelligent streetlights mean near real-time information on each light, allowing almost instant notification of faults or errors, which allows city managers to take informed actions, while at the same time reducing the need for manual checks. This can reduce maintenance costs significantly.

• Increased public safety

Smart motion sensors trigger streetlights only when humans are detected, for example when a pedestrian or cyclist passes by, encircling them in a ‘circle of light’.  This increases overall public safety, as statistically speaking criminals avoid committing crimes in well-lit areas.

Additionally, smart streetlights offer an ideal point from which a diverse range of smart city applications can be launched, collecting a wide array of data on everything from air quality to street security to traffic patterns. Streetlight poles have an uninterrupted power supply, making it easy to power IoT devices and sensors. They are also generally spread uniformly across cities and are consistent in height, making them idea for hosting all kinds of IoT sensors and systems, removing the need to set up ad hoc infrastructures.

Healthcare

Combine a global pandemic with ongoing populations growth, inefficient patient flow, swindling staff, and a host of other challenges in healthcare and it’s clear that healthcare can use all the help it can get. Through the use of IoT, authorities can collect data to gain valuable insights, which in turn can be used for better public healthcare planning.

For patients, devices such as smart insulin pens, connected inhalers, asthma monitors, blood pressure monitors, etc. allow them to better manage and address their own health needs, as well as provide more accurate data to their healthcare providers – and also quickly access help if there is trouble. Additionally, data collection allows observation and treatment to take place, something that was previously only possible in an institutional setting. Smart devices and other connected sensors can also help with early detection.

Here are several of the ways IoT can enable better healthcare:

• Remote monitoring

Customized software and devices gathers data from remote devices in real time, allowing for a better analysis of patient’s health – and thus improved outcomes.

• Enhanced supervision & reporting

Remote supervision through connected devices can collect essential health data and transfer it to a health professionals in real time, allowing a quick response to medical emergencies such as heart failure or asthma attacks.

• Reduced costs

Connected devices and other IoT devices such as tele care allow patients to connect with their health professionals from how, reducing the need for visits to the doctor’s office for tests and checkups.

• Medication Management

There are a number of IoT solutions already helping patients better track their medication schedule, including smart pill bottles and in-home medication dispensers that also alert both healthcare professionals and concerned friends and family if there is a problem.

• Data Analysis

Data-driven insights not only speed up the decision-making process of healthcare professionals, they also allow for better public health decisions overall, whether that is where to allocate money or where to build a new hospital.

Essentially, IoT can play a pivotal role in the future of healthcare, with many solutions already available today.  It is a vast area, though, so please download our IoT & Healthcare White Paper to learn more.

Retrofitting existing building stock

Every year, nearly 5 billion square meters of buildings are retrofitted. Retrofitting existing building stock is an effective approach when dealing with limited budgets, aging structures, and energy accountability, as it helps reduce energy costs, improves equipment performance, and extends the lifetime of the building.

If we look closer at energy, in the EU, buildings are responsible for 40% of total energy consumption and 36% of greenhouse gas emissions. Retrofitting ageing building stock presents a major opportunity to not just reduce carbon emissions, but to also reduce operating costs and provide more comfortable and healthier buildings for citizens. Retrofitting also has significant job generation potential.

Before IoT, tracking and collecting building performance data was a manual job – and it was tedious, inaccurate, and a slow process. Now, with IoT sensors and the data generated, it is possible to monitor and track a building’s performance in near real-time, giving crucial insights on the go, which leads to better outcomes.

When IoT sensors and smart technology are introduced into the picture, you can monitor and control the use and operation of building equipment, such as HVAC systems, lighting, and plug loads, you also get real-time data, all of which leads to detection and diagnoses of faulty equipment, energy efficiency, and even enhanced profitability.

These are just a few of the ways IoT is enabling smart, sustainable urban development. To learn more, download the Tele2 IoT Smart City White Paper, which covers this topic in depth. You are also welcome to contact us to learn more about how IoT can help your community address your challenges.

Industrial IoT (IIoT) leverages connectivity to optimize manufacturing and industrial processes through the use of smart sensors and devices. IIoT enables end-to-end visibility of the production process, and the network of connected devices, smart machines, and real-time analytics produces a slew of data – both real-time and historical – that brings new levels of productivity, efficiency, and cost savings.

Here are just some of the benefits Industrial IoT brings:

Remote Monitoring

Remote monitoring allows you to visualize, track, and control both your facility and your assets without having to be onsite. Through the use of IoT technology, you gain greater visibility into things like asset performance, resource consumption, and equipment lifecycles and functionality.

Predictive Maintenance

More than 75% of equipment and system failures occur without notice. Through the use of sensors, IIoT does away with scheduled – often unnecessary – maintenance; instead, you are able to identify anomalies or problems with your equipment in real-time, allowing you to address challenges swiftly and minimizing downtime. This improves productivity and helps you to avoid costly repairs, while making better use of your maintenance staff.

Improved Workflows & Processes

Monitoring the entire production line helps identify bottlenecks, process gaps, and other challenges that can delay production, while also enabling more efficient planning and optimization of any line’s accuracy, speed, and production volume.

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With IoT sensors monitoring your entire line, planning becomes more accurate, and workflows and processes improve.

Reduce Human Error

Real people will continue to be essential for many tasks, but IIoT will bring digitalization to every step of your operation, leading to a reduction in manual processes and interventions. Smart sensors deployed across your factory floor will provide constant feedback. So, for example, if there is an accident, the entire facility can be alerted to potential hazards, while machines will automatically halt, and maintenance staff dispatched. Wearables can also be employed, such as smart wristbands that feature sound pressure level sensors that warn staff of loud areas where hearing can be damaged. Smart hardhats can track not just the wearer’s location, they can also monitor heartrate, temperature, and humidity – and even warn wearers of dangers such as heatstroke long before any symptoms arise.

Sustainability & Energy Savings

Industrial accounts for 54% of global delivered electricity, which means it’s not great for sustainability and it’s not great for your bottom line. Continuous monitoring of your setup via sensors and devices can expose wastefulness due to inefficiencies.  IIoT also allows you to predict energy demands and optimize future energy consumption – and this includes not just managing your equipment, but your overall operation, such as managing building temperature, water usage, humidity, and lighting. Additionally, as IoT technology evolves, sensors are using less energy, another bonus for your bottom line.

IoT continues to drive the digitalization and datafication of both businesses and society in general. Connected healthcare, autonomous robots, smart farming… everything around us is being connected and as IoT technologies continue to mature, further benefits will be found, particularly with 5G and LTE-M as drivers.

So, as we move into massive IoT, what are some of the biggest trends we can expect to emerge or mature during 2022?

Healthcare

IoT has been enabling healthcare for a number of years already, and with the global pandemic still a reality, further innovations will emerge.  Connected healthcare is a broad use case, of course, encompassing everything from fitness trackers and remote monitoring to connected medical centers and telemedicine. The advances in connected healthcare have led to improved outcomes and better quality of life for patients.

One continued trend within healthcare will be the use of IoT devices to collect data on patient conditions. Using IoT devices means avoiding bringing large numbers of potentially infectious people together in close quarters, something that is critical during a pandemic. IoT devices and telecare will also allow doctors to continue to provide medical attention to a greater number of patients without the risk of infection via in-person visits Additionally, IoT devices will make healthcare available in more remote areas where there is less access to doctors or medical facilities. And speaking of medical facilities, IoT technology will be further integrated into everything from wheelchairs and defibrillators to oxygen pumps and even soap dispensers to ensure smoother operations at facilities.

And even connected drones are getting into the healthcare picture: Swedish company Everdrone, which delivers defibrillators via drone, recently delivered an emergency defibrillator in just three minutes. The connected drone was carrying a lightweight and easy to use defibrillator that arrived on the scene faster than first responders, something that surely saved the 71-year-old man’s life. These kinds of connected technologies will continue to expand within healthcare, leading to more successful outcomes, particularly in emergency situations.

5G growth

5G and IoT go together like peanut butter goes with jelly – and with 5G expansion will continue to accelerate IoT adoption in 2022. Why? Because successful IoT solutions increasingly require low latency and hyper connectivity, two things that 5G technology brings to the IoT table. As 5G coverage expands and 5G roaming agreements are hammered out, businesses will be able to offer services that would previously have been too costly or logistically difficult. Faster data transfers, increased coverage, and energy efficiency will become prime drivers of IoT growth and development.  That said, security concerns will continue to need attention, which means enhanced security will be another trend during 2022.

Security

Security has always needed to be top of mind when it comes to IoT and the expansion of 5G is only going to increase the need for enhanced security, in part due to the resultant increased number of IoT devices and thus attack surfaces.  The first half of 2021 saw 1.5 billion attacks against IoT devices, and this trend will not subside if security doesn’t become job one. Given that roughly 15% of businesses deploying IoT have not updated their security protocols and that there are very few government standards requiring businesses to stay on top of cybersecurity, it is imperative that IoT providers take up the slack and ensure their customers’ IoT solutions are not vulnerable.

The good news is that everyone from connectivity providers to hardware manufacturers are taking security much more seriously, and they are making sure that customers do as well. Additional layers of security are being added and the data collected from connected devices can actually be used to predict and prevent cyberattacks. There will be even more focus on cybersecurity tools in 2022 and businesses will increasingly understand that addressing cybersecurity is an essential part of their IoT solutions.

Sustainability

Sustainability will continue to be an important technology trend, with IoT in particular being used to facilitate any number of use cases. Everything from optimized fuel consumption in transportation to controlling, measuring and managing renewable energy sources such as solar panels will benefit from IoT solutions. Taking regular temperature and soil humidity measures in forests to prevent potential forest fire, utilizing water level sensors to enhance flood warning systems, using sensors on streetlights to measure and collect data about air quality – the possibilities will continue to grow during 2022.

Manufacturing

The manufacturing industry has always been a bit slow in adopting new technologies and IoT is no different – but 2022 will see that change. Manufacturers are now clear as to how IoT can benefit their setup and save them money. From preventive maintenance that reduces or eliminates production delays to enhanced operational efficiencies and improved safety – IoT brings a lot of benefits to not just the factory floor but also to the C-suite. You can learn more about the Internet of Industrial Things (IIoT) in the Tele2 White Paper.

IoT plays a crucial role in enhancing smart city applications through real-time monitoring and management of city processes. But with almost two-thirds of the world’s population predicted to be living in urban areas by 2030, one of the biggest challenges cities will face is waste disposal. The world produces 2.01 billion tons of solid waste annually, with the amount of garbage produced by urban dwellers on track to reach 3.40 billion tons by 2050. Waste disposal expenses are on the rise as well, with the World Bank predicting global garbage collection costs to top $375 billion in the next five years. Fortunately, smart city initiatives are driving innovation in the waste management sector. Valued at just under $1.5 billion in 2018, the smart management market is projected to top $5 billion by 2025.

Smart waste management has become an essential part of the smart city ecosystem, with IoT-enabled smart waste sensors enabling cities to optimize waste collection, reduce the number of overflowing bins, and manage resources. The use of IoT in waste management has the potential to reduce unnecessary expenses that are the result of operational inefficiencies in trash collection processes.  The number of smart bins is expected to reach 2.4 million by 2025, and according to Berg Insight, the rapid adoption of smart waste sensors will result in 29.8% growth through 2025.

Smart waste bins rely primarily on cellular networks, which accounted for about three quarters of connected waste collection points in 2020. While existing units can be retrofitted, wireless sensors are increasingly being pre-integrated into waste bins. And it’s not the conventional cellular technologies – 2G/3G/4G – that are driving growth. Instead, it’s LPWA (low-power, wide area) technologies (LTE-M and NB-IoT) that are leading the way. These technologies offer cost and power-efficiency options that leverage existing networks while also having strong built-in security, making them ideal for smart city applications.

There are three critical areas where IoT enables waste management processes.

Route optimization

Traditionally, waste management systems have used a pre-defined route based on historical patterns to schedule garbage collection and recycling point receptacle emptying, whether they were full or not. IoT devices turn this model on its head by using smart trash bins to detect location, temperature, and fill level in real time, and this data is then used to plan optimal collection routes, resulting in an efficient pickup process that saves fuel as well as manpower. Additionally, datahelps with long-term planning, such as where more bins are needed or where the number can be reduced.

The data gathered from smart bins also reduces the number of pissed pickups or the incidence of overflowing trash bins. If a sensor detects that a bin is full, an automatic alert will be sent to waste managers, who can schedule an extra pickup.

Smart recycling

According to a report from the UN, 50 million tons of e-waste is generated every year. And as the number of electronic devices ending up in landfills is increasing all the time, e-waste has been identified as a key aspect in solid waste management. Discarded electronic devices often contain harmful chemicals, such a lithium from a smartphone battery, which can leach into groundwater. At the same time, these devices present an opportunity to reclaim precious and base metals, such as gold and copper, in an efficient way. IoT management systems allow for a digital record to be made of devices and batteries and once the battery dies, the location of phones, IoT sensors and other electronic devices can be activated, with manufacturers or waste managers scheduling a pickup – and even bringing a replacement, long before they ever end up in a landfill.

The ability to embed IoT technologies into receptacles also allows for the use of machine learning, AI, and computer vision that can process the type of material in the container, leading to better sorting and reduced human error, as well as an easier job downstream at recycling centers. Additionally, emerging smart bins are able to identify and sort waste into categories like glass, paper, plastic, and metal, compress it and notify sanitation workers of fill levels of each waste category, enabling a more sustainable society.

Data analysis

Connected devices record the speed at which bins fill up, while also monitoring how often they are emptied, and what they contain. IoT management systems are where all of this comes together and shines. Data unlocks endless possibilities, such as planning better distribution of bins, eliminating incorrect disposal practices, and even reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.  Data analytics can help assess trends to better plan waste management processes, leading to a better allocation of resources and a happier populace. And speaking of that happier populace, a smart city app can give citizens the ability to input on-the-ground information, which can be used both in real time, such as when someone reports a smashed bin or similar, as well as adding that data to data collected from other sources, which can further optimize processes.

If you would like to learn more about how IoT can enable your smart city or business, please get in touch..

Even before Covid-19, charities were struggling to embrace digital technology. The global pandemic, though, has made it abundantly clear that digital technology will be crucial to the sector’s efforts going forward. The impact of Covid on the charity sector has been two-fold: there has been a sharp increase in demand for charitable services such as food banks, support services, and animal charities, while at the same time there has been a notable drop in donations. Covid-19 restrictions have limited face-to-face fundraising or canceled them altogether, while countertop fundraising in shops has also taken a significant hit, due to both Covid restrictions and people being encouraged to pay with card.

The good news is that while the ongoing challenges facing society in the wake of Covid will continue to impact charities, many are seeing the opportunity to take advantage of advances in technology. IoT has made its way into nearly every industry and for the non-profit sector, IoT is enabling charities to offer better services while also changing how they fundraise.  Here’s how:

Cashless donations

A lot of people don’t carry cash anymore, with some countries such as Sweden teetering on the edge of becoming a truly cashless society. While some charities have already adopted wireless card donation terminals, cash-only boxes continue to outnumber those able to take card payments. This is changing, though, with an increasing number of charities, clubs, houses of worship, and others in the non-profit sector adopting wireless donation points.

An IoT-enabled donation box can be either static or mobile – or both – and opens up new and connected ways of fundraising. In fact, in the Netherlands, when WhyDonate introduced connected donation boxes, the charity saw a 200% increase in the average amount of donations in the first months of testing. And with more and more people using mobile wallets, a donor can simply tap their phone or watch against a smart tag or scan a QR code to make a donation. Charities who engage in street corner donations can collect funds from pedestrians simply by having them tap their card or their phone. The data collected from these devices allows charities to build digital profiles of the typical donor, which can assist them in pinpointing their efforts in the future.

Fitness trackers

A lot of charities raise money through organized events, such as sponsored runs or walks. In the old days, if you needed sponsors, you may have solicited friends, family, co-workers, and others. In the wake of Covid, a number of solutions have emerged that allow people to take part in charity runs or walks without congregating in large groups. Apps track a person’s chosen location and money is raised as they make their way along a ‘virtual racetrack’. Because sponsors can follow the progress being made, everyone stays motivated and invested in the outcome. Some solutions include features that allow organizations to create customized milestones and most work as well on a smart phone as they do on a fitness tracker.

Transparency

Nearly three out of four Millennials donate to charity annually and more than half of Gen Z are actively considering a career in non-profits. For the younger generations, it’s no longer good enough to throw a charity ball and watch the money roll in, though. Instead, younger donors want to know where their money is going, and they want to see the results.

IoT allows charities to track results through connected sensors and other smart devices, and with the data that is generated non-profits are able to capture and communicate the impact their work is having with concrete results. If a charity is providing clean water to children in developing nations, sensors in a water well could, for example, collect data indicating everything from maintenance to water usage, showing donors exactly what their donation is supporting.

Virtual giving

After months and months of virtual work meetings, virtual conferences, and virtual life, it’s no surprise that you can now give virtually – and connected devices are making it as easy as asking Alexa what time the next train leaves. According to a survey from National Public Radio (NPR) in the US, 57% of individuals who own a smart assistant have used it to order something, so it’s not a big leap to go from paying for a product to supporting your favorite charity.

Non-profits can also take advantage of smart assistant technology by encouraging behavior that aligns with their mission. If the mission is to reduce food waste, smart assistants can give tips on how to achieve this. Smart assistants can also connect non-profits with both individual donors and companies. The British Heart Foundation already uses smart speakers to take donations using voice recognition through a devices’ IoT-connected microphones.

Digital screens continue to grow in public spaces, giving charities a new way of sharing their message with potential supporters and hopefully soliciting donations.

Virtual reality

Many non-profit organizations have relied on expensive, long-distance trips to show investors where their donations are going. Virtual reality (VR) allows investors to experience projects in far-flung locations without ever leaving home. This not only allows more potential donors to see the work of the charity, it also allows money that would formerly have been used to pay travel expenses to go directly towards serving people.

VR technologies don’t come cheap (yet) but by carefully matching technology with use case, organizations will likely gain stronger support and therefore offset initial costs with long-term relationships with donors.

There are myriad other ways IoT is enabling charity, including connected cameras at rescue stations and using the real-time footage at fundraising events to show people exactly how their money is used.  Brooklyn-based HabitatMap launched AirBean a few years ago – the low-cost, compact sensor measures hyperlocal concentrations of harmful microscopic particles in the air, as well as humidity and temperature. The data is then used to create a global map of air quality, which in turn enhances efforts to reduce pollution. This is just one more example of how the charity sector is evolving with the help of IoT.

If you would like to learn more about how IoT can enable your organization, please get in touch.

If Covid-19 has taught us anything, it’s that modern society would have had a much tougher time coping during a global pandemic if it weren’t for technology. In the US alone, individual broadband use has increased 3 gigabytes since the start of the pandemic, and without the internet many of us wouldn’t have been able to buy groceries, work, educate our children, get healthcare, or access entertainment. The health and safety of us all relies on the dependability of the network, and the demand for fast, reliable communication has made it clear that the adoption of 5G and IoT technologies will be critical going forward – but what impact will they have on the environment?

As 5G networks are rolled out, the benefits will be enormous across any number of sectors. An article from Atlantic Magazine – Can 5G save the planet? – describes how international standards for 5G call for reduced energy use, when compared to 4G networks. The goal is to ‘use less power to transmit more data, decreasing the wattage required for each bit of internet traffic’ – something that could be a gamechanger when it comes to environmental impact. That said, there are potentially both positive and negative factors when it comes to 5G and carbon emissions, but because the technology is so complex, there are no simple answers.

There are, of course, any number of steps that that can be taken to offset any negative impact 5G might have on the environment, including decarbonization, biodegradable sensors, more efficient cooling, recycling toxic materials, and network sharing. And there are signs that 5G will support efficiencies across many industries that will lead to the reduction of fossil fuel usage and the resulting carbon emissions. When it comes to IoT technology, we already know it enables things like smart lighting, and has a significant impact on water usage, with sensors monitoring the entire water cycle, from sourcing to treatment to delivery to consumption.

Now, if we marry 5G technology with IoT, there are any number of opportunities to protect the environment, including increased energy efficiency, reduction of greenhouse gases, and the enablement of great use of renewable energy. Furthermore, 5G and IoT will give all infrastructure-related systems, from garbage collection and electrical grids to water and heating systems, an unprecedented level of data access and transparency, which in turn will help reduce air and water pollution, minimize water and food waste, and protect wildlife, while also giving us a greater understanding of weather, agriculture, pests, industry, waste reduction. And all of this will mean overall efficiency and better and faster decision-making.

Reduced energy consumption & emissions

Through the use of 5G-enabled IoT sensors, transportation networks, buildings, factories, streetlights, homes, and a whole lot more will be able to monitor and analyze energy needs and consumption in real time, resulting in optimized energy usage. Devices will be able to power up and shut down automatically, cutting energy usage. Already, smart meters installed in New York City’s Empire State Building have been able to cut energy costs by roughly 38%, while General Electric has been recognized by the Guinness Book of Records for having the world’s most efficient combined-cycle power plant, based on an achieved efficiency rate of more than 62%. And saving energy means you are also cutting greenhouse gas emissions; a study by Ericsson projects that IoT could cut carbon emissions by 2030.

And as we either continue to work remotely or move to a hybrid model, energy is saved, and emissions are reduced due to less commuting and business travel. If travel is necessary, time, fuel, and emissions can be cut by reducing traffic congestion through the use of 5G-enabled sensors and cameras, which monitor in real-time and change traffic lights or perform other actions.

Reduced water & food waste

Water is a limited resource – just 3% of the world’s water is fresh, and only two-thirds of that is accessible, so without improved water management strategies, people around the world could be facing shortages of clean, safe water as early as 2025.

Many of the applications and improvements that 5G will bring will be related to any any device that can be connected to a sensor and thus provide data. 5G technology will mean the ability to connect thousands of devices with robust and reliable connections, and IoT-specific technology such as LTE-M will mean reduced battery consumption. If we look at this from a water conservation perspective, thousands of smart water sensors will be able to detect leaks, water pollution, and contamination, as well as rising water levels in sewage systems and natural bodies of water. This is great news, because in the US alone households waste more than 3 trillion liters of water annually due to leaks alone. Additionally, sensors are already being used to monitor temperatures in lakes, rivers, oceans and other bodies of water, which means quicker action can be taken when rising levels are shown. In other words, when water temperatures rise, marine species and ecosystems can be under threat – and early intervention can make all the difference.

In agriculture, where a variety of factors already negatively impact the industry, the mass deployment of sensors can not only optimize water usage, sensors can also be utilized to monitor and better understand the health of soil, weather patterns, crop conditions, pests, nutrients, and a host of other factors in order to not just improve yield and use of resources, but to also cut back on the use of dangerous chemicals. And with the UN estimating that about one-third of food produced globally going to waste, sensors being used to detect both freshness and spoilage is a big step towards bringing that number down. Sensors can also be used to track the entire food chain, as well as monitor conditions in factories to assess quality and regulatory compliance. All of this reduces food waste, saves on resources, maximizes safety, and allows a faster and more agile response along the entire supply chain.

Network efficiency

The migration from 3G and 4G to 5G will lead to greater efficiency of transmissions. One study, from the University of Zurich and Empa, analyzed the impact of 5G on the emissions of greenhouse gases. They concluded that by 2030, the 5G network should cause around 85% fewer emissions per unit of data transported than today’s mobile networks. Additionally, indirect savings from new uses will come from things like smart grids or targeted use of fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture. And the faster, more reliable, and much larger data transmissions combined with the efficiency of the 5G network will support flexible working and virtual collaboration, thus reducing traffic on our roads and business travel.

There are myriad other ways 5G and IoT will support a more sustainable society, and because 5G is so new, the possibilities are not all known. And while there are concerns about negative impacts, Tele2 has committed to being a leader in sustainability and is the first climate neutral telco in the Nordics and Baltics.

If you would like to learn more about how 5G and IoT can enable your business, please get in touch.

For many building owners or facility managers, the Building Automation Systems they already have in place is functional and well-established and the building is generally operating the way it should. And for a long time, many in the industry were hesitant to use IoT to create smart buildings – they thought it would introduce unwanted costs and unnecessary complexity.  Times have changed, though, and today IoT is having a transformative effect on smart building automation and control, offering both cost savings and optimization opportunities, as well as increased sustainability 

The majority of Building Automation Systems (BMS) we see today serve the same purpose they did when first introduced in the late 1800s: simplified management of core building functions, particularly when it comes to HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) equipment. While some things have evolved, such as the shift from pneumatic systems to computer-based control systems, most buildings remain energy inefficient and difficult to maintain, and often don’t fully serve the needs of occupants.  

By disrupting long-established BMS models with IoT, there are significant opportunities to improve building efficiency in a variety of ways, which in turn will lead to cost-savings and the development of innovative services. Additionally, the way buildings are being planned and constructed is also changing, with IoT technology being used from the word go to reduce power consumption, increase energy savings, and create more sustainable buildings.  

Here are five areas where building automation can have a big impact:  

  • Energy efficiency
  • Security & safety
  • Water management
  • Maintenance
  • Occupant comfort

Traditionally, these systems have often been disconnected from one another and from the central BMS. In a smart building, though, these systems feed into a central network and operate in sync with one another, leading to improved operational efficiencies. 

Energy efficiency 

Energy efficiency has long been at the core of BMS implementation, yet buildings still account for roughly 40% of global Greenhouse Gasses (GHG) – with 30% of building energy being wasted. Despite efforts to reduce their footprint, most buildings remain largely inefficient. HVAC equipment has traditionally been regulated in a uniform, predefined way, leading to overheating or underheating across the facility.  

Smart energy can be created by using IoT technology to identify key areas where energy is wasted and where energy costs can be minimized. Data generated by sensors at the building level can be used to optimize and regulate HVAC equipment. For example, your building’s HVAC system is set to operate until 8 PM, but your building rarely has anyone in it after, just say 6 pm.  Systems can be connected to automate HVAC operations, turning off lights when someone leaves a room or controlling room temperatures based on occupancy. By making relevant adjustments you can save on both energy and costs. Additionally, wireless submeters deliver consumption data on individual assets or building areas, and these insights allow you to swiftly identity and locate where improvements can be made.  

Building automations systems are already being widely introduced into new builds, but they can also be retrofitted to existing buildings, giving you the energy saving benefits of a smart building.  

Security & safety 

Access control is a fundamental aspect of security for every building and organization where restricted access is a necessary, including for schools, hospitals, offices, and even hotels. The primary driver of access control is to safeguard people and to protect physical and intellectual property. Most of us probably already use key cards, but with IoT another layer is added to the mix.  With key cards and connected ‘checkpoints’, remote access control is possible, with doors that can be locked remotely, and the ability to track and program door access at any time. You can customize who has access to which room, and you can make changes as needed – and you can do it immediately.  

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Data collected by smart access systems can in turn be used as part of a more cohesive smart building strategy, helping you understand usage patterns and traffic flow. That data, of course, needs to be protected.

Someone gaining access to your smart building data can leave your building inoperable or with long periods of operational downtime. Critical and/or sensitive data can also be breached, and there can even be a threat to physical safety. As a result, it’s important to secure not just things like hardware and software, but also to address rights management and how information is stored. You can learn more about IoT and Security here 

Water management 

The average person spends about 90% of their time indoors, and the average family uses around 300 liters of water each day, while the average office worker uses up to 30 liters per day while at work. At the same time, water resources are becoming increasingly scarce, so monitoring water consumption and taking appropriate measures to reduce it is imperative – but keeping track of it manually is pretty much impossible.  

Embedding IoT-enabled sensors in water supply channels that go to toilets, bathrooms, kitchens, water tanks, and other water consuming things gives you the data you need to understand where excess consumption is happening. Sensors can also alert facility managers to other issues, such as water leakage or other problems with remote pipes. This can have a two-fold impact: water leakages can have knock-on effects, causing damage to a building’s infrastructure or promoting the growth of mold. And a mere 3.2 mm crack in a pipe can cause up to 1000 liters of water leakage a day.  

Understanding and being aware of problems before they spiral out of control saves money and limits disruption.

Maintenance 

In the IoT world we talk a lot about maintenance – and more specifically, predictive maintenance – because we know that the longer a potential maintenance problem goes unchecked, the more likely it will be bigger and more challenging to fix. And having equipment out of commission or in disrepair can mean potential health and/or safety concerns. 

In a smart building, IoT sensors and other hardware devices monitor the state of your building and all the equipment in it. This lets you know when maintenance needs to be performed before there is a problem, doing away with scheduled and often unnecessary maintenance rounds, which means better use of manpower and cost savings.   

Additionally, unexpected issues are bound to arise, and they are often not visible to the naked eye. Sensors can detect potential problems long before anyone in the office or home becomes aware and will send alerts and information to building managers so that they can act immediately, staving off what could be a costly breakdown of a system or piece of equipment. This also reduces tenant disruption and saves money in the long run.  

Occupant comfort 

And finally, the whole idea of keeping a building or facility running smoothly is to keep the people who work or live inside it comfortableFacility owners and managers know and understand the importance of good tenant relationships, and smart buildings are designed to support that.  

Many of the above areas contribute to occupant comfort, with indoor temperatures, air quality, lighting, and humidity all playing into occupants’ well-being and productivity. IoT sensors monitor all of these and allow you to fine-tune as you go, helping you to maintain an optimal and healthy indoor environment.  Data from sensors can also help you accurately assess traffic and usage in different parts of the building in order to prioritize things like cleaning activities, ensuring good sanitation and well-maintained amenities.  

At the end of the day, IoT can help you understand how your building or facility is operating on many different levels, while also ensuring safety, security, and comfort.

If you would like to learn more about how Tele2 IoT can help you improve your building management, please get in touch. 

Summer is here and IoT is everywhere, enhancing your warm weather experiences.  While we may be living a bit differently these days, our enjoyment of summertime activities is heightened with the help of IoT. Here are six ways it happens. 

1. Connected ice cream trucks 

“I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!” Many a child (and maybe more than a few grownups) still get excited when they hear the bell of the local ice cream truck as it makes its way through the neighborhood. Today, connected ice cream trucks let you know when the truck is on its way via apps – and in scome cases you can even request one come to your area. Additionally, you don’t have to scramble to find some spare cash anymore – mobile payment technologies mean you can pay by card.  

2. Controlled Air Conditioning 

Sensors allow remote control of air conditioning systems and units, something that is particularly helpful when we’re less likely to be at home or in the office. The ability to monitor and adjust your A/C while on vacation or spending the day at the beach means better control over utility bills and also better usage of resources. 

3. Smart Bicycle Helmets 

Like joggers and hikersplenty of cyclists like to listen to music or a podcast while enjoying the great outdoors. But wearing earphones when cycling can be dangerous – it reduces your ability to concentrate on your surroundings. Luckily, there are smart biking helmets already on the market which connect to your smartphone by linking audio points in the straps. Additionally, if you get into a collision, a built-in sensor alerts emergency contacts via your phone. 

4.  Up Your Game 

Which sports do you like to play – and would you like to improve your game? IoT can help you do just that. Connected footballs analyze your kicks, providing instant feedback on the power and trajectory of your kicks. If basketball is your jam, sensor-based wearables track your shots, from attempts, misses, and those that whoosh through the net. Smart socks measure how fast you run and how far you go, as well as foot impact, which can help minimize stress injuries.  

5. Fire up the Barbecue 

While we all have a ‘grill master’ among family or friends, delivering the perfect steak or burger to the plates of loved ones can take more than intuition and skill. Here’s where connected grills take the guess work out of your BBQ. Sensors collect data on smoke velocity, and humidity, and monitor the temperature of both your meat and the inside of the grill. Say goodbye chicken legs burnt on the outside while still quivering with life on the inside! 

6. Surfing to Save Our Oceans 

Surfers hail their sport as the ultimate freedom, so IoT enabled surfboards might seem to go against the core ethos of surfing. But surfers are also indelibly connected to the ocean and having IoT sensors embedded into surfboard fins allows them to contribute to the collection of important data on climate change, ocean acidification, algae blooms, coral ecosystem health, and changes in coastal ecosystems.  

If you’d like to learn more about how IoT can enable your businessplease get in touch.

Energy consumption is growing every year, with the IEA (International Energy Agency) predicting global energy demand will increase by more than 35% over the next two decades. But while energy companies are already rushing to meet both current demand and the predicted increase, IoT is increasingly being implemented to make more efficient use of energy resources.

There are a number of ways IoT is helping energy companies best utilize their resources. Smart meters connected to a smart energy grid allow companies to more effectively manage energy in buildings. Cities, which will continue to face the challenges of rapid urbanization, are developing unified platforms that incorporate smart electricity, water, and gas meters. Specifically, IoT will enable cities and the utilities industries to make consumption more efficient, while in more rural areas IoT can be used to tackle one of the biggest problems: agriculture water waste.

Everything from electricity to water to sewage falls under the utility umbrella.

The Benefits

• Energy efficiency
Due to improved control over energy consumption, utility companies can significantly reduce waste, resulting in both cost savings and a positive impact on the environment

• Cost savings
Speaking of cost savings, IoT solutions lead to reduced maintenance and operating expenses, as well as better utilization of human resources.

• Reliability
In the US alone, outages cost energy companies around $150 billion annually, with roughly 25% of outages caused by equipment failures. Through the use of predictive maintanence and real-time monitoring, connected systems are far more stable and reliable.

• The power of data
The data from connected energy systems offers real-time insights, as well as the possibility to find patterns and implement longer term strategies

Smart grids

Thanks to the rise of solar and other sustainable technologies, the energy is become more distributed. Solar capacity in residential areas has experienced rapid growth in recent years and, according to some reports, could triple by 2025. The result is that both homeowners and businesses can now generate their own electricity through rooftop panels. Some are even using small wind turbines on their property. These and other developments represent a major shift for energy companies because in addition to their own facilities, they need to manage the growing number of energy resources spread across the grid.

IoT technology is instrumental in enabling the distributed energy transformation through detection of changes in electricity supply and demand. IoT sensors and the data produced gives operators the knowledge and insights they need into order to react to changes quickly and manage demand more precisely. Sensors places at substations and distributions lines can provide real-time power consumption data that can be used to make decisions about network configuration and load switching. They can also send alerts about outages, which in turn means operators can quickly turn off the power to damaged lines, preventing numerous hazards, such as electrocution and fire. Predictive maintenance also leads to reduced costs and better and safer usage of human resources.

Additionally, IoT technology provides more and better information to customers about their energy usage. Smart meters collect data on usage, sending it to both the utilities companies and the customers. Smart devices in homes and/or commercial buildings can measure power consumption when it comes to individual appliances, identifying waste and promoting more thoughtful use of resources.

Water Management

We all know to not let the water flow while brushing our teeth or run the dishwasher if it’s only half-full, yet waste of resources such as water continues at a staggering rate.  While less than 1% of the world’s water supply is fresh water that is safe and available for us to drink, the United Nationals Development Program says that water scarcity is mainly caused by poor management. It is predicted that more than half of the global population will face water scarcity by 2025, but IoT can be a key player in reversing this trend.

Conservation is a key area when it comes to water management, particularly when we’re talking about urban areas, where tracking water consumption can be challenging. IoT technology brings transparency and greater control to the entire water supply chain, allowing the optimization of water treatment, production, distribution, and consumption.

Sensors can measure the quality of raw catchment water, as well as the chemical composition in the water after treatment and wastewater. They can track changing quantities in the storage reservoir, pipe pressure in the distribution pipeline, leakages, and wear and tear on equipment that processes and distributes water to end-users. The data generated by the sensors reveal key insights into the changing conditions of water resources and equipment, allowing data-driven corrective measures on demand. Sensors can also track usage patterns. All of these factors lead to saving money, resources, manpower, and overall smarter water management.

Agriculture and wasteful irrigation systems account for up to 70% of global water usage and according to the World Water Forum, much of that comes from wasteful use. This is due to the process of irrigation following an automatic schedule, irrespective of weather conditions or moisture present in soil. Through the use of data collected by IoT sensors out in the field, which will give insights into weather conditions, soil moisture, and other factors, irrigation can be streamlined, with only the right amount of water at the right time being used.

If you would like to learn more about how Tele2 IoT can enable your business, please get in touch.

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