Internet of Things (IoT) Reaching Tipping Point

Applications of IoT in public sector focused on transport, security, and environmental monitoring domains

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--April 30, 2013--IDC Government Insights today announced a new report, The Coming of Age of the Internet of Things in Government, which analyzes the development of the Internet of Things (IoT), a market of solutions based on computing capabilities embedded into objects. According to the new report, the actual applications of IoT in the public sector today are still limited, focusing mostly on transport, security, and environmental monitoring domains. The limitations have to do as much with the early stages of the technology as with the management approach to using it.

"The Internet of Things (IoT) is reaching a tipping point that will make it a sustainable paradigm for practical applications that can change the future of individuals, enterprises, and the public sector," said Massimiliano Claps, Research Director, IDC EMEA Government Insights. "IoT applications in the public sector can span a variety of domains: public security, defense, environmental protection, transport, and health. In each of these domains, connected objects can provide situational awareness that can help citizens and government personnel act and react at the operational level, monitor the status or behavior of people and assets to make management decisions, and support very fine-grained, sensor-driven analytics that help with planning decisions."

According to IDC Government Insights, a practical example of the threefold impact on service delivery-operations, service management, and service planning is provided by assisted living for elderly, or patients that are seriously ill. Wearable readers (known as e-bandages) can measure body temperature, blood pressure, heart rhythm and other parameters and be combined with environmental sensor to measure moisture, temperature, movement, sound and GPS embedded in mobile phones to monitor movements inside and outside of the home.

        Real-time service delivery - In case of sudden increase of blood pressure and slowing down of heart rhythm, combined with a fall, sensors could automatically trigger an operational response by ambulance services.

        Service management - Blood pressure parameters over one day combined with movement and sleeping patterns can also help the doctor, or the patient himself, decide to adjust the dose of medications. In case of complex systems, sensors could interact with an actuator, such as a wearable pump to automatically adjust doses.

        Service planning - A month's worth of analysis of all parameters can then be used by doctors to adjust doses or types of medication permanently.

IDC Government Insights recommends that public sector executives consider multiple management factors that will influence the ability to harness the benefits of IoT, including the volume, variety, velocity and value of data that are going to be generated, the massive scale of the infrastructure, the complexity of governance, the financial sustainability and the legal aspects.

For more on the Internet of Things see:

The Internet of Things in the Cloud: A Middleware Perspective by Honbo Zhou

Unit and Ubiquitous Internet of Things by Huansheng Ning

The Internet of Things: From RFID to the Next-Generation Pervasive Networked Systems edited by Lu Yan, Yan Zhang, Laurence T. Yang, and Huansheng Ning