The Internet of Things (IoT) is brewing. From the bubbling morass of connections we shall see countless devices that measure, deliver, capture and share information with humanity. Estimated new device counts are in the billions over the coming 5 years.
One of the easiest measurements that can be taken by a small electronic board is that of temperature. Discrete sensors themselves can in higher volume cost only $0.20 USD each, and can be easily added to any IoT device. Many sensor suites have a temperature sensor built in.
Now, what will the world do with billions of temperature sensors?
What if EVERY piece of sensor data was attached to a single temperature measurement database? Talk about BIG DATA….
Let’s consider TEN near future possibilities….
- The United States Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) employs under 2000 sensors across the United States to register temperature data (and has done so for the last 100+ years). Imagine just a 100 fold increase in temperature data- better measuring urban and rural locations could prove astounding and minimize future arguments for and against global warming. A quick Google search will tell you that data quantity and accuracy is an issue. https://www.google.com/search?q=what+to+do+with+temperature+data
- Sensors placed in homes might measure preferred living conditions, and, if matched against heating fuel usage, might target homes for insulation upgrades or grants.
- Temperature sensors built into handheld devices could record device or battery performance – and be a safeguard against exploding Lithium Batteries (Samsung’s Galaxy Note of 2016 comes to mind).
- Vehicle-mounted temperature sensors may share road temperature conditions and anticipate freezing point conditions- improving salt truck response and even alerting networks of self driving cars to slow down.
- Networks of temperature sensors across ski resorts and mountain tops can anticipate safety conditions.
- Smart Homes and larger structures made for people (mall size -sure!), and may benefit from linked temperature sensors in various devices and allow for better temperature control and comfort room to room and store to store.
- Greenhouses may benefit from sensor arrays to determine temperature gradients inside a hot house, more selectively opening and shutting specific panels and turning on selective fans.
- Greenhouses and gardens may benefit from buried temperature sensor grids to better understand ground temperature on plants- and help identify possible underground heat sources or heat sinks for scientific research.
- Networks of temperature sensors may be used for artistic renderings.
- Refrigerator mounted temperature sensors may help the folks at Jenny Craig know how often a refrigerator door stays open… a Guilt Sensor.
Suffice to say, with the plethora of IoT devices, and likely willingness of industrial, scientific, and institutional organizations to want that data, temperature of nearly everything and every person could soon be realized.
Could raw temperature data be singled out from IoT devices, that are not meant to specifically provide temperature data? Will there or will there not be consumer opt-in, opt-out choices for just temperature network data? How will the data be qualified?
Many questions like this are on the horizon for IoT devices and IoT data. Imagine the ubiquity of cost effective IoT sensors that can be intelligently designed into a bazillion products across the world.
The future will be about access to those devices and their temperature records.
BIG DATA and correspondingly business intelligence is exciting. The future is indeed bright.
We’re really excited to help realize these products which make the world a better place, one 20 cent sensor at a time.