The Internet of Everything is a growing hot topic around the world, and a fantastic focal point for demonstrating the benefits broadband connectivity beyond their most common uses. The ability to plug devices in our homes and communities into networks (aside from the traditional mobile and computer technology) has near limitless potential for creating a smarter, more efficient way of life. Take for example one of the recent initiatives by Denmark-based DOLL (Danish Outdoor Lighting Lab) to assign IP addresses to their street lamps achieve greater energy savings.
Copenhagen has set the lofty goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2025 for itself, and in the short term needs to replace around €400 million worth of outdoor lighting throughout nearby regions and municipalities. As stated on their website, this provides a perfect opportunity to test and implement energy saving measures in one of the most wasteful areas of its use – powering street lights in areas where there may not always be a need for light. They believe by installing smart controls and networking the lights along their roads they can save up to 70% on energy in a number of ways. One idea involves turning the light intensity down to 10-30% in periods when no traffic is present in the wee hours of the night, turning back up to full intensity when users enter that section of the road.
While the control of street lights is impressive, the benefits may not seem entirely relevant to those living in rural communities in Southwestern Ontario. However, consider the efficiencies and money saving measures that similarly connected devices could provide in farming and infrastructure. Smart irrigation, networked insect traps for crops, and large amounts of valuable environmental data are just a few ways the internet of everything is changing agriculture and rural business. Connected homes are an increasingly affordable way to control heating, cooling, and electricity use for energy savings and the benefits of mapping through connected devices pose a great benefit for both residential and commercial use. Communication is key in every aspect of our lives, and communication with and between our devices is proving to be no less vital – connectivity is the first step.