I don’t know about you but this summer felt longer than normal. As New Zealand moved into its traditional summer holiday period and a large percentage of kiwis downed tools to flock to beaches for rest and recreation, it was gratifying to see IoT in action providing real-time quality information to sun and sea seekers.
The service I am referencing is Safe Swim initiative in Auckland which is a collaboration between Surf Life Saving Northern Region, Auckland Council and Auckland Regional Public Health Service.
A look at the /about page will outline the sheer breadth of inputs required to produce an easy to consume real time map that has immediate benefits for the organisations producing it as well as the general public.
The upstream and downstream impacts (pun intended) that this data provides is multi-faceted in its value to the organisations that collaborated to produce it and businesses looking for opportunity.
An example of this would be understanding the impact of heavy rain and cross referencing that to the age of the stormwater infrastructure thus allowing council to identify those areas which need critical attention to safeguard the harbours and their users.
This attention could mean planned works to upgrade water infrastructure (never a cheap or easy option) or programmes to encourage installation of water tanks at residential addresses (thereby mortally wounding the drought and water restrictions problem at the same time).
Other IoT initiatives that provided value were spot travel time updates on the state highways. Such well captured and well-presented real time data enabled me to choose the scenic route from Ruakaka to Auckland via SH16 rather than the stop-start trundle down SH1. The early warning that it would cost a mere 12 minutes more time to enjoy a road less travelled was happily received. This was a very good example of timely data from IoT solutions enabling positive real time decision making.
While 2020 was a year defined by the COVID-19 pandemic and the manifold harmful ramifications that came with it, unfortunately the beginning of 2021 hasn’t seen much change yet. A small bright consolation is that IoT is coming through brilliantly as a supporting capability. From scanning apps, to Bluetooth situational awareness to smartwatches being able to help detect the virus days before symptoms appear. No doubt such smart IoT solutions will continue to be used and developed until the vaccine is distributed.
On a final note, IoT remains at the forefront of innovation and development and I see 2021 accelerating the use case and roll out of solutions that continue to provide benefits to government, corporations and consumers. Personally, I look forward to my own robo-sommelier.
The team at the NZ IoT Alliance
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