When you hear “IoT,” it’s easy to jump to smart fridges and fancy thermostats, but according to the International Data Corporation, there will be more than 55 billion devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) by 2025. These devices generate large amounts of useful data, so it’s no surprise that businesses are increasingly embracing the technology.
Before getting into use cases, it’s important to talk about the Internet of Things security and data protection. Most business data is sensitive and therefore IoT privacy data protection and information security are essential. Companies need IoT cloud data security and other measures to ensure sensitive information remains secure.
With cybersecurity in mind, consider the following five uses of IoT device data.
1. Supply Chain
One of the most visible applications of IoT device data is in the supply chain. While we are all familiar with the capability to track shipments, business applications of the technology go far beyond tracking packages.
GPS tracking devices are also capable of producing other types of useful data beyond tracking data. Some logistics operations use these devices to determine how strictly drivers are following predefined routes. When this data is combined with the organization’s data on fuel costs, it can reveal if shipping vehicles are being used properly.
Supply chain operations are also increasingly using computer vision systems. According to a recent report from Gartner®,”edge CV yields new capabilities that allow vendors and early adopters to differentiate. It will also enable large-scale business process automation (particularly in manufacturing, logistics, and supply chain), drive process improvement through alerts and analytics (primarily in retail and healthcare), and support autonomous vehicle operation.” 
The complex and quantitative nature of manufacturing makes the industry ripe for IoT use cases, and IoT devices are increasingly found as part of manufacturing operations. The connected capabilities of this equipment allow for the monitoring of product quality and equipment conditions.
In the typical manufacturing facility, quality control processes involve looking for defects in finished products. In production equipment with connected capabilities, production line workers can monitor the quality of machine outputs in real-time. This can resolve quality issues faster and significantly reduce the production of defective products.
According to a recent report from Gartner, IoT device data will increasingly be used to enable so-called Edge AI, where “the IoT endpoint (asset) runs AI models to interpret captured or external data and drives endpoint functions (automation and actuation). In this case, the AI model is trained (and updated) on a central system and deployed to the IoT endpoint.” 
Gartner also says the adoption of Edge AI will be especially pronounced in industrial settings: “In these use cases, data is captured at an IoT endpoint and transferred to an AI system hosted within an edge computer, gateway or other aggregation point. This edge AI model is used for many industrial enterprises in scenarios on a factory or plant floor, where sensor data from various assets is normalized and analyzed, and/or integrated within various business planning and logistics applications.” 
While electronic devices have long been used in agriculture to track the effects of weather and climate, IoT devices are being used in new areas of agriculture to provide more granular agricultural data.
In a commercial greenhouse, data from IoT sensors can be used for automated climate control. Based on the types of plants being grown, sensor data can tell an automated system to lower heat or increase humidity.
On a dairy farm, IoT devices are used to track the location and health of individual cattle, making it easier for farmers to monitor the health of their animals. A Russian company called Mustang applies analytics to IoT device data to find connections between milk production and factors like temperature or humidity. IoT devices can even be used to track pregnancies and react quickly to events.
In retail, IoT device data is being used to perform increasingly targeted marketing.
Some stores are now equipped with electronic beacons that use Bluetooth connectivity to send push notifications to people within a certain radius. By sending targeted offers to certain passersby, these stores can attract more foot traffic and increase purchases.
While connected cameras are often associated with store security, they can now be augmented with machine vision technology to gain more information about people who enter a store, including the items they browse and how long they spend in the store. Data pertaining to a customer’s physical journey within the store can be used for more effective product positioning.
5. Service and Product Development
Many modern devices and appliances have internet connectivity to provide additional functionality to customers. But also, these connected devices often provide information back to manufacturers that indicate how these devices are being used.
Some companies use this information to provide a more customized experience. For instance, the manufacturer of a smart TV might apply artificial intelligence to an individual user’s data to recommend shows and movies.
This same usage data for a smart TV could also be passed onto content producers, which in turn, use this information to generate future content.
Get More from Your IoT Data
If your employees have connected devices, or if there are sensors in your facilities, you have plenty of IoT data just waiting to be utilized. However, there are privacy and security challenges to consider.
First, some business IoT data could contain personal information, such as GPS tracking data or customer purchase histories. Second, IoT business data is often highly valuable and sharing that data with an analytics provider does pose risks of misuse and theft.
TripleBlind’s innovative privacy-enhancing technology can facilitate the safer use of IoT data in a way that is superior to other privacy measures like federated learning. Specifically, our technology allows for the private sharing of all data types.
This feature is particularly relevant for the Internet of Things, as IoT data can come in many different forms. Furthermore, manufacturers of IoT devices currently do not have visibility into data flowing from their devices through service providers due to privacy concerns. TripleBlind technology allows IoT manufacturers to address privacy concerns, opening up a Pandora’s Box of insights.
If you would like to know more about the TripleBlind Solution, Contact us today.
 Gartner, “Emerging Technologies Impact Radar: Edge AI”, Eric Goodness, Danielle Casey, October 26, 2021.
Gartner, “Emerging Technologies and Trends Impact Radar: Internet of Things”, Matthew Flatley, Eric Goodness, September 30, 2021.
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