What is IoT in the DX era? Explain the benefits of introduction and use cases

IoT (Internet of Thing), as the name suggests, is a technology for the Internet of things. Until now, communication between people and things and people and people has mostly been done on the Internet, but in the IoT era, communication between things will become possible.

The background to the spread of IoT in recent years is the improvement in network line speed. Our lives are surrounded by many electronic devices such as computers, smartphones, televisions, washing machines, refrigerators, and air conditioners. Because you will need it. In particular, it is believed that IoT will spread explosively as the penetration of 5G (5th generation mobile communication system), which is finally gaining momentum, advances.


Table of Contents

What is IoT? Differences from ICT

ICT is often confused with IoT because of its similarity in meaning. It is an abbreviation of “Information and Communication Technology”, which translates directly into “information and communication technology”. It is used with almost the same meaning as “IT”, but the big difference is that it focuses on communication (transmission and sharing of information) rather than IT.

The difference between IoT and ICT lies in the target of communication. As mentioned above, while IoT is a technology that realizes “communication between things”, ICT is a technology that facilitates communication between “people and people” and “people and things”.

IoT realizes DX, not just IT

IoT realizes DX, not just IT

IoT has become a common word in various business situations, but there are surprisingly few people who understand what will happen when the technology is used. In general, the introduction of IoT tends to be seen as part of digitization (digitalization), such as streamlining and streamlining the business flow, convenience of remote control, and utilization of big data. There is no mistake in the recognition itself, but IoT can be connected to the creation of new business models by thinking in the context of DX (Digital Transformation), which has a larger scale, and the possibilities of IoT will be further expanded. .

The creation of such new business models has made our lives even more convenient. IoT-compatible devices such as IoT home appliances and smart speakers, which are also sold at home appliance mass retailers, are generally widespread. Home appliances that can be connected to smartphones are particularly popular, such as network cameras that can be remotely controlled for crime prevention and watching over pets, smart locks that can be easily locked automatically at home, and smart devices that can connect various IoT products with voice recognition. Speakers are a prime example.

As IoT products become more popular, more customer data will be collected, which will help manufacturers develop new products and improve after-sales support, and we can expect further improvements in service content. The data and knowledge obtained from this process will further strengthen the business foundation of the company and enable sustainable growth. The relationship between customers and manufacturers, which has been one-way until now, will change to a more interactive one that benefits both parties through the use of data.

Major functions of IoT and merits of introduction

What are the main functions of IoT?  What are the benefits of introducing

Introducing individual functions and benefits that can be realized in business by introducing IoT technology. With IoT, things that were previously offline can be controlled and data can be obtained by connecting them to the Internet. In other words, it connects analog and digital through communication and information. This gives you the following conveniences:

1: Know the location of things

An IoT device equipped with a GPS function that receives signals from a satellite positioning system can check the position of objects in real time with a high degree of accuracy. For example, by putting it in a valuable item such as a bag, wallet, or suitcase while traveling, the location can be determined from the smartphone app even if it is lost or stolen. In addition, by putting it in the backpack of a child who goes to school, parents can grasp the location information at any time and use it for crime prevention.

2: Know the state of things and people

It is an IoT technology that remotely monitors things and people and grasps them as data without being there. The state of things, such as power supply status, indoor temperature and humidity, key opening and closing, and vehicle speed, can be recorded in real time with sensors and can be grasped remotely. In addition, it is possible to measure objects that are difficult to accurately know the detailed state even if you are on the spot. A prime example of this is human health. By wearing a wearable IoT device, it is possible to record and monitor heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, sleep time, and even posture. It is now being actively used not only in the medical field but also in exercise scenes, and it seems that it is also being used in the healthcare field by measuring not only the number of steps taken during running but also the heart rate and calories burned.

3: Manipulate things

Sensors attached to the device can be used to grasp the “location” and “state of the object”, and by connecting the control system to the Internet, remote control of the object becomes possible. In addition to home appliances such as air conditioners, smart keys, and lighting, it is also being put to practical use in the remote control of manufacturing production lines, robots, and equipment used in the construction industry. In particular, IoT in the manufacturing and construction industries has a large business impact, such as security management, production volume management, and labor cost reduction, and is a field that is attracting attention.

4: Detect object movement

It is an IoT technology in which the sensor of the device detects movement and operates instead of being operated directly. Network cameras for home use that detect the presence of people and send notifications are also on sale.

In stores and commercial facilities, it has also been put to practical use to detect customer behavior from images captured by cameras installed and analyze purchasing and non-purchasing behavior. Such data will not only be used for marketing, but it will also be possible to deliver advertisements tailored to customers by connecting with in-store signage.

5: Communicate between things

An IoT technology that enables data to be sent and received between remote objects via a network. The concept of machines exchanging information with each other without human intervention is called M2M (Machine-to-Machine), and is actually not new.

So what is the difference between IoT and M2M? M2M is characterized by the exchange of information between machines within a closed system. Examples include automatic driving and elevator management in building systems, and high security is our strength. On the other hand, in IoT, data exchanged between things can be shared via the cloud, which can be useful for subsequent business growth.

6 Industrial Use Cases of IoT

Here are some practical examples of new business models that utilize IoT technology in each industry.

Case in Manufacturing: Caddy Co., Ltd.

This is the first service in Japan that uses technology to connect the orderer of custom-made processed products with processing factories nationwide. We analyze the drawing data of the manufacturer and provide an estimate instantly. We automatically identify the optimum factory and stably supply high-quality processed products at low prices.

Example in Logistics: Optimind Co., Ltd.

Operates Loogia, a route optimization service specializing in last mile. Utilizing IoT and AI to support the creation of efficient delivery routes.
Through PCs and smartphones, the optimal route is automatically proposed, taking into consideration information such as delivery start and end times, vehicle load capacity, and package volume. Therefore, you can expect to shorten not only the delivery route creation time but also the delivery time.

Retail Case: Trial Company Co., Ltd.

“Trial Company”, which operates supermarkets and drugstores mainly in Kyushu, has developed AI (artificial intelligence)-equipped cameras to be installed in stores, and has introduced about 1,000 units to actual stores.
It is possible to analyze the inventory status of products, the movements and attributes of people, and it is advantageous for both the store side and the manufacturer side, such as optimizing the product lineup according to customer attributes, the timing of product replenishment, and the display of signage content. that’s right.

A case study in agriculture: Vegetalia Co., Ltd.

A venture company that provides solutions for agriculture using plant science and technology. Agriculture such as IoT sensor “Field Server” and paddy field sensor “Paddywatch” that can constantly monitor environmental information and crop growth status, and cloud-based farm management system “Agrinote” that can record field management and farm work based on map information. We provide IoT solutions.

Case in medical and healthcare: G・U・M PLAY (Sunstar Co., Ltd.)

A toothbrush equipped with an acceleration sensor detects movement and acquires data on how to brush your teeth. The data is compared with the correct way of brushing by a professional dental hygienist, and you can check whether you are brushing your teeth correctly.

Traffic example: Volvi on Call (Volvo Car Japan Co., Ltd.)

“Volvi on Call” developed by automobile manufacturer Volvo. Using a dedicated app, you can control the air conditioning and start the engine from a distance via the in-vehicle system. In the unlikely event of an accident, it will automatically connect to the operator. Even if it is stolen, you can find it early with GPS.

What can your company do to improve the customer experience? Keep thinking about what you can do

What can your company do to improve the customer experience?  Keep thinking about what you can do

IoT is expected to spread more and more with the introduction of 5G and the speeding up of the Internet. Understanding and actively introducing IoT is an urgent task in order to grow Japanese industry, which is facing a serious shortage of human resources and a decline in international competitiveness.

Above all, if IoT is effective, it should be actively introduced as a means of increasing the value it can provide to its customers. Improving the customer experience and increasing satisfaction will ultimately lead to an increase in the company’s competitiveness.

On the other hand, it is also true that there are still some challenges in introducing IoT, such as a shortage of highly skilled IT personnel, power supply, and network security measures. IoT is not intended to be introduced.

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