IoT

IoT stands for the Internet of Things. We are all aware of computers, phones and video streaming services. But there is a growing number of things that are also connected to the internet. Made possible by low-cost microcomputers we are now able to control or monitor just about anything, anywhere at any-time.

IoT is becoming an everyday part of our lives whether we want it or not. It will be in our homes, workplaces, public spaces, streets, skies and waterways.

So, what are these IoT devices?

At Work

  • That sensor in the Library
  • Monitor rubbish bins in off-street hard to access places
  • Asset Tracking
  • Irrigation systems
  • Lighting
  • Parking
  • Traffic and pedestrian flow
  • Monitoring waterways, storm-water, PH and pollutants
  • Air-quality and microclimates
  • Energy, waste and water metering
  • Feral animal movements and pest control
  • Science, nesting activity and movement of possums, bats, penguins, fish, turtles and birds.

At Home

  • Home automation – lighting, cooling, irrigation and security
  • Health, personal and fitness devices, like a fit bit.
  • White goods, washing machines, fridges, ovens.
  • Homecare monitoring for people at risk
  • They can also monitor air quality, energy, water and waste

Agriculture

  • More precise crop monitoring
  • Feed, fertiliser and water usage
  • Water storage, soil moisture and turning on and off pumps
  • Livestock movements and paddock usage
  • Weather and pasture conditions

Energy

Energy Utilities can better deploy smart grids and manage energy on a smaller scale for load balancing. Improving the distribution of home renewable and battery storage systems.

Combine all this with AI systems, the possibilities are immense.

Issues to consider

With all this data being transmitted and shared all over the internet, so too does the risk of losing our privacy.

Meaning we all need to be more aware of making strong passwords, managing your network, using VPNs, encryption and firewalls.

Also using reliable manufactures of IoT devices is an equally important consideration. Is the manufacture actively working to protect you from potential risks? Do they have customer support and do you or your IT department understand how to manage these devices and prevent against the possible risks?

When accessing these devices over the internet how is this done? Is the data encrypted? If it uses an internet service, is it secure? Who else is the data being shared with?

I’m sure we were all shocked when we learned that Facebook was selling personal data for dubious political activities. However, I feel our greatest risk is the community being left behind. Only 10 years ago video rental was commonplace, now it’s Netflix or something similar.

Consequently, it is important we understanding what this technology is and be better informed, so we can make better decisions. Personally, professionally and politically.

There are new opportunities to improve our cities and lifestyles. There are new ways to improve business, operations and to serve our communities. Meaning new business opportunities, new products and services, and this will translate directly into new employment for those who have the know-how.

IoT Work Shops
We will be running some hands-on workshops and information sessions on IoT soon at the Library.

If you would like to get directly involved in workshops as a volunteer or you are a community group with a special interest in deploying sensors or engaging with the community please contact:

Robert Hart, STEM Learning & Programs Officer
T: 08 8405 6051 (ext. 6051)
E: robert.hart@cityofpae.sa.gov.au

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