What Does “Sensing As A Service” Business Model Mean For The End Customer
The issue of IoT implementation in everyday life often causes enthusiasm on one hand, but also a lot of scepticism on the other hand. Does all this “smart” infrastructure really make sense? Does it provide any real benefits, or is it just a hype, imposed by engineering companies?
Of course, criticism is good, but it doesn’t always give an opportunity to move forward. So, we’d like to stress the benefits of the Internet of Things and show how it can really improve people’s lives.
Everything As a Service
A bit of technical information for the start. Companies that make the Internet of things possible generally operate in three basic business models: Infrastructure as a Service, (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).
Such terms as Database as a Service (DBaaS), Data as a Service (DaaS), Network as a Service (NaaS) and Sensing as a service (S2aaS) are found less often, but these models are important too.
Sensing as a service
Imagine that your friend has a new refrigerator with a built-in sensor, Wi-Fi, and an LCD display. One of the sensors embedded in the refrigerator is a device for the RFID reading. After turning on, the refrigerator finds the Wi-Fi-network and requests its owner for permission to connect. In addition, the refrigerator requests the owner’s permission to publish the data obtained by sensors via the Internet. In exchange for access to these data interested companies can provide certain benefits or discounts on their products. After a while, the user receives an offer (via the LCD screen of the refrigerator) from the company that produces dairy products. The company is interested in receiving data from the RFID reader installed in the refrigerator. In exchange for this information, the company agrees to provide a discount of 5% on their products. The user accepts the offer and later receives a discount.
The organization of such data transfer process involves at least three interested parties:
- Owners of sensors;
- Organizations that publish sensor data;
- Producers interested in customers data.
Sensing and Actuation as a Service (SAasS), for its part, is not only the process of obtaining data from sensors but also the ability to manage endpoints, such as opening a door or a window, camera rotation, etc.
At the moment, the majority of businesses are considering a smartphone as the main affordable sensing device, although it is clear that if all potential IoT models will be tied to a single object, it simply might not withstand the load. Therefore, in the future, it is quite natural to expect the emergence of new devices for data acquisition and remote control for ‘things’ over the Internet.
Currently, the capabilities of an average smartphone as a sensing device are the following:
And as long as this market is not yet saturated, smartphones are the first candidates to provide opportunities for exchanging information between peer users or between a user and city services. Special solutions enable rapid transfer of information about the state of the environment (air pollution, accidents) or car accidents and reduce possible damage to the minimum.
As an example we can cite a mobile application that allows users passing air temperature data to help make weather forecasts more correct:
Besides smartphones, you can also recall AirCasters, with its technology solutions that allow users to record, map, and share such environmental indicators as:
- Noise level;
- Temperature, humidity, and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations;
- Temperature, humidity, carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) gas concentrations.
Other existing sensors for mass-market allow efficient solving of problems like:
- Distant pets care;
- Reducing bills for water, electricity, and heating;
- Detecting air pollution;
- Accident prevention;
- Home security.
Currently, all sensors of that kind are connected to a smartphone with special apps which analyze and send alerts to its owner. Maybe in the near future, they will be connected to some other (perhaps wearable) device.
On the city level, using various sensors, we can obtain such advantages as:
- Better traffics routing;
- Smart parking;
- Better experience of public transport usage;
- Environment monitoring;
- Improved sanitation;
- Savings on street lighting.
As we can see, the benefits of IoT use in everyday life are enormous. And all of these options are just a start of the Internet of things technology development. And it gets better and better!