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Easy and simple: Sensors

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Sensors make dumb things smart. They are at the root of any Internet of Things solution, breathing intelligence into otherwise dumb objects and devices.

Mit einem solchen Sensor ausgestattet, wissen Mülleimer selbst, wann sie voll sind. Damit die Entleerung besser geplant werden.

This sensor measures the filling level of waste containers. Collection routes can then be optimized according to the filling level. Hence, waste management companies can optimize logistic costs. End-customers benefit from paying only for their actual waste production and avoid full or overflowing waste bins.

The Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to the growing number of physical devices around the globe that are now connected to the internet, collecting and sharing data. With the help of wireless networks, pretty much anything, from a handbag to a shipping container, can be transformed into an IoT device if it has one or more sensors embedded in it that can be connected to the internet and controlled that way. Sensors are therefore indispensable enablers of the IoT. They add a level of digital intelligence to devices that would be otherwise dumb, enabling them to communicate without a human being involved, and merging the digital and physical worlds.

A sensor for every occasion

Sensors serve three broad purposes. They identify items, locate them and determine their environmental conditions, such as temperature, humidity, vibrations, motion, light, pressure or altitude. A GPS sensor, for example, can tell us where a missing pet is. A sensor that measures light will be able to intelligently switch light bulbs on or off in our homes. One that checks temperature in combination with others that measure air pressure or humidity can monitor a meat storage facility. At an even bigger scale, smart city projects are filling entire regions with sensors to help us understand and control the environment. And the cost of adding sensors and an internet connection to objects has continued to fall over recent years, opening up even more possibilities for the use of connected devices. Experts predict that this basic functionality could one day cost as little as a few cents, making it possible to connect nearly everything to the internet.

Internet of Things is one of many topics of Deutsche Telekom around the future digital society at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Visit our booth 3M31 in hall 3 from February 26 - March 1. We look forward to welcoming you.

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