IoT’s Usefulness Extends Far Beyond Developed Countries

Connected vehicles, smart thermostats and activity trackers might seem like unnecessary excesses reserved for people who are already living better lives than most of the population. However, the Internet of Things (IoT) isn’t just a way to solve first-world problems. In fact, it can help developing economies in an impressive number of ways, as outlined by a recent joint report released by the UN’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and Cisco entitled “Harnessing the Internet of Things for Global Development.”

Iot Can Be a Matter Of Life and Death

While many of us might not think twice about having access to things such as electricity, clean water, and food, these are matters of life and death in the developing world.

How can IoT help? One example is using networked temperature sensors to monitor and control the temperatures of the refrigerators used to house important medicines and vaccines so they do not spoil in places with unreliable power systems.

The applications are seemingly endless. Livestock can be tagged to reduce the spread of illness; sensors can monitor the purity of drinking water; smart hand pumps can be used to bring water to remote villages; and many other issues that were once catastrophic can quite possibly be predicted and avoided or dealt with quickly enough to minimize the fallout.

There are also a number of useful applications in agriculture. For example, devices that contain actuators that can control water flow will help family farms boost productivity while keeping water wastage to a minimum.

Few Obstacles as Global Connectivity Increases

Although IoT applications can make a big impact in the third world, implementing them does depend on Internet connectivity, and any solutions need to be affordable enough to put in place. Nevertheless, 95 percent of the global population does have wireless network access now, which actually makes it more prevalent than water or electricity!

Taking advantage of the existing infrastructure and improving people’s lives where possible can have a knock-on effect, spreading to other areas and improving them in the process as disasters are contained and safe food and water become increasingly available.