Examples of Internet of Things Applications Being Used Right Now

July 17, 2019 - 7 minutes read

The Internet of Things is capable of producing endless innovation and has potential for improving nearly all aspects of business and consumerism. In turn, this means a better experience for almost everyone in the world: at home, work, and as a consumer.

But IoT’s limitless potential can backfire in surprising ways. Because of its versatility across numerous sectors, many people aren’t exactly sure about how to apply IoT to their specific needs. In this post, we’ll clarify some of IoT’s many use cases by examining its most profound applications and benefits today.

More Efficient Systems

IoT connects companies, industries, and consumers together to create cohesive applications using cloud and edge computing combined with sensors and machine learning. If you work with a global organization, you’ve probably seen this firsthand; branches across the world, from London to NYC, are more in tune with each other in terms of coordination. Companies can share data all day long without major interruption thanks to IoT.

This increase in efficiency is having a great effect on the global economy. Leading organizations are eager to take advantage of IoT’s capabilities. According to a 2018 KPMG survey of 750 tech leaders, within the next three years, IoT is set to drive the most significant business transformation. PwC says that governments, businesses, and consumers will spend a combined $1.6 trillion to invest in IoT solutions in 2020. Software and application development will comprise most of this spending.

With the growing spending in IoT, getting a strong ROI on time, investment, and application development is crucial. And there’s no easier way to measure your ROI than monitoring efficiency. IoT applications really shine when their efficiency is optimized to the highest possible number.


Sensors form the basis for IoT systems. Sensors placed in various locations throughout a factory or manufacturing plant can watch for maintenance, abnormal machine behavior, repairs, process bottlenecks, and so much more.

Analytics and machine learning provide better, more timely maintenance and repair schedules, extending machine life and generating a better bottom line. These improvements also provide extra time for employees to spend on more important and impactful work.

According to the IDC, discrete manufacturing and transportation are forecasted to exceed $150B each in spending in 2022. That makes them the largest industries for IoT investment.

With Industry 4.0 around the corner, the market for 4.0 services and products is forecasted to grow to $310B by 2023.


In farms and agricultural applications, IoT can help track soil moisture and content, detect pesticide levels, manage watering schedules using weather reports, control lighting, humidity levels, and monitor temperatures to make further adjustments. Many farms even use drones as an IoT device to send even more sensor data to their IoT system.


Energy management is difficult because it’s so large scale that it can seem like little changes to the numbers don’t make a major difference. When you introduce sensors into energy applications, the data outputted is invaluable. Optimizing temperature, lighting, and energy usage by closely monitoring it can yield substantial savings of time and money.

At home, it’s as easy as installing a smart thermostat.


For warehouses and shipping companies, NFC and RFID tags are the keys to automating entire systems. It’s easier for humans to find and scan items when their device can tell them exactly where the item in question is located. Knowing that an old item left the warehouse can free up space for new items, which can arrive to be stored within the same day.

On the retail side, users have a better shopping experience online; no longer do we have to suffer rushing to get a product, only to be emailed three days later that it was actually out of stock. Real-time monitoring and inventory management creates incredible efficiency, and its benefits trickle down to the everyday consumer.

Prioritizing Safety and the Environment

IoT has extremely high potential to drive major improvement to life, society, and the environment. According to consulting firm Capgemini’s analysis of companies’ ROI from IoT implementations, renewable plants supervision, environmental monitoring, and smart metering are some of the highest potential use cases for IoT.

Monitoring, detection, and notification all work in tandem to create smarter systems for public servants, healthcare, and the environment.

Emergency Response

By monitoring the environment, sensors can detect early warning signs of natural disasters, like hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and more. With the advent of 5G, citizens can get evacuation orders faster and more urgently.

Public Service

For law enforcement, it can be frustrating when many unsolved cases go cold due to lack of video or photographic evidence. Surveilling and tracking tools can alert authorities faster. High crime areas can be monitored on high priority levels to watch for patterns or suspicious activity. And yes, privacy is a major concern in this application.

Patient Care

Faster response times due to better coordination of efforts from law enforcement to in-patient housing is saving countless lives. The IDC forecasted that, after the consumer industry, the healthcare and insurance industries will lead growth in IoT application investment.

Saving the Environment

Sensors tracking air quality, heat index, radiation, pathogens, and carcinogens can help people stay indoors when they’re most likely to be exposed to harmful substances.

IoT’s Limit Does Not Exist

With its flexibility, connectivity, and constant optimization, IoT offers endless possibilities to improve applications across industries. And when combined with other disruptive technologies like 5G or machine learning, it’s even easier for innovators to make a positive impact on their environments.

What are your favorite IoT applications right now? What do you wish to see from IoT innovation in the near future? Let us know in the comments!

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