First coined by British tech expert and co-founder of MIT’s Auto-ID Center Kevin Asthon in 1999, the Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a collection of interconnected devices, buildings, vehicles, sensors and other items. It’s used in wide range of applications, including infrastructure monitoring, targeted advertising, machine maintenance, health monitoring and more. According to Financial Express, however, IoT technology can also be used to clean up the environment.
How the IoT Promotes a Cleaner Environment
Countries throughout the world are experimenting with IoT technology to create a cleaner environment with less pollution. Sensor-equipped IoT devices, for instance, can monitor and collect data on air and water quality. A device installed in a municipal water source can monitor for lead and other contaminants, sending this data to a remote center where it’s further analyzed. A similar IoT device installed atop a tower can monitor a city’s air for Particular Matter (PM), which officials can use to issue smog warnings to the public when necessary.
Additionally, IoT technology can be used to send drivers updates about traffic congestion in real time. If there’s an accident in a driver’s typical route, he or she may receive a notification on their smartphone, encouraging them to take an alternate route. Not only does this shorten commutes, but it also improves fuel efficiency while subsequently lessening automotive emissions.
IoT and India’s Smart Cities
In the article cited above, Financial Express explains that waste management procedures such as this is “very important” to India’s Smart Cities Mission. Launched 2015, Smart Cities Mission is a five-year program designed to create 100 sustainable cities in India.
In order for the Smart Cities program to work, however, participating municipalities must improve their waste management efforts. Currently, cities in India have limited solutions for environmentally friendly waste disposal, resulting in excess pollution. However, IoT technology can be used to determine the best times for trucks to collect trash, and which routes these trucks should take to dispose of it. Furthermore, this trash could be repurposed for building roads or creating power instead of being dumped at a landfill.