Internet

of

Things

One Monday morning in the not-too-distant future, quiet music gently rouses Anna from her dreams. The blinds open silently, slowly bathing the room in soft morning light. The mayoress of Greentown breathes in the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. No sooner has Anna heard her husband and twins laughing than all three of them rush into the bedroom and join her on the bed. It’s time for their family morning exercise session – naturally accompanied by Alex and Uli’s favorite music, which is already playing through the speakers as if by magic.

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Starting the day full of energy

Anna next takes a quick breather in the bathroom. While brushing her teeth, she watches the news on the display integrated into the bathroom mirror.

Having freshened up, Anna heads for the kitchen. Breakfast is already on the table. The electricity powering the toaster, coffee machine, and fridge comes from wind and solar instal­la­tions. The energy transition is long since complete and a reliable supply of green electricity is always available, even if millions of people are having breakfast at the same time, there’s not a breath of wind, and the sun is hidden behind thick clouds.

Home, smart home

Thanks to smart thermostats, the family home is always pleasantly warm when it’s time to get up each morning. It’s not just the heating that is controlled automatically, though, but also the lights and all electrical equipment. That means breakfast is ready quickly and, most importantly of all, it saves energy.

IoT is all about networking devices online, with smart devices connected to each other and to the internet.

For example, the Internet of Things includes household appliances in smart homes, smart power grids, connected bikes and cars, and connected machinery in industrial and agricultural applications. The Internet of Things – or IoT for short – is based on 5G. This technology makes it possible to transfer huge volumes of data in real time.

On a collision course

Screeching tires and a loud honk startle the two women. A cyclist has ignored the red light and crossed the road. The car driver was just able to brake in time. “That could have ended up very nastily. The cyclist obviously has a good guardian angel,” says Marie. “A digital guardian angel, you mean!” replies Anna.

No more searching

Having arrived at the town hall, Anna meets colleagues from the health and welfare office. The head of the hospital joins them via video link. He shows them the advanced features of the IoT infrastructure. Besides making life easier for nursing staff, they are also intended to help GPs and patients.

When if not now?

The mayoress has quite a distance to cover to get to her next appointment. She uses an electric car from the municipal fleet. Thanks to charging stations with IoT technology, these vehicles are always charged when the price for green electricity is par­ticu­larly low – good for a stable power grid and for the municipal coffers!

Fully connected building site

Having arrived at the site where the new kindergarten is being built, Anna finds the doors are locked. Within seconds, she sees a lady approaching hurriedly. “Digital access control – that’s how we protect the site against thieves,” says the site manager apolo­geti­cally. The mayo­ress nods in acknowledgement.

As Anna watches the self-driving trans­por­tation units moving materials from A to B, the site manager tells her that the machinery can be controlled remotely using IoT technology. This is extremely practical, because it means specialists can work on several cons­truc­tion sites at once and there is no need to travel to the actual location. Besides making building work more efficient, this also cuts costs and CO₂ emissions. Last but not least, building work runs on schedule thanks to this smart technology.

Bring on the water – but only the amount required

Managing water risks

Water is also on the agenda at Anna’s last appointment of the day, with her colleagues from the municipal crisis team. A lack of water in summer can quickly move to the other extreme in spring and fall. Flooding due to heavy rainfall can become a real danger – and it has rained a great deal in recent weeks in Greentown, with the result that water levels have risen.

The crisis team reassures Anna, though, telling her that water levels are not yet critical. For some years now, an IoT-based real-time warning system has been reliably moni­toring reservoir and river levels, which enables highly precise predic­tions. What’s more, the infra­structure has been given a future-proof makeover. It is now better able to withstand both heavy rainfall and also lengthy heat­waves. Among other things, Anna has advocated creating water storage facilities beneath green spaces.

No more waiting

The end of the working day has finally arrived – time for Anna to head home. Uli and Alex rush to greet her. “A package has arrived for you,” shouts Alex. Anna isn’t surprised, even though she only ordered the new cycle helmet the previous evening. Ever since the logistics sector has started using IoT solutions in many areas, goods are transported in next to no time. Drivers obtain all important information about everything from congestion to a change of loading terminal on their tablets in real time. That avoids any diversions during delivery, thereby also cutting CO₂ emissions.

Listen to your heart

“Come on, we’re going to see grandpa,” says Anna. “Yes!” is the delighted re­sponse from the twins. Anna’s father lives just a few doors away and recently had heart surgery. His new pace­maker has a smart radio chip that perma­nently monitors his condition as well as that of the implant. If something isn’t right, the chip imme­diately sends an alert to his doctor. That means he can continue to live at home with Timmy, his cat, and Anna doesn’t need to worry.

Her father has been expecting the three of them. “Hello, where have you left your pa?” he asks, greeting them with a hug. “He’s coming a bit later. He still needs to meet a customer,” replies Anna. “What’s that lovely smell?” she asks curiously. “Wait and see, the table is already set,” says her father with a smile. He loves cooking and is always coming up with something new.

Always in sight

“And where’s Timmy?,” Uli wants to know. Grandpa takes his cell phone out of his pocket. “It looks like he’s in the tree house,” he replies. Timmy has a tiny GPS tracker that can be used to follow the cat on the prowl in real time. That means grandpa doesn’t need to worry when Timmy is out and about until late at night. Anna smiles at her father and thinks to herself: “What would we do without IoT technology?!”

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