Saving Resources with IoT

by Jonas Schmid

Dieser Blogspost ist in Deutsch auf booster-magazine.ch verfasst worden


"booster magazine" talked to Akenza, a 2 year old IoT company based in Zurich, about the Internet of Things.

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Jonas Schmid, Head of Smart City & Business Development, Akenza

What is IoT Really - A hype or a trend?

The Internet of Things (IoT) uses sensors to connect objects, data and processes into a single, digital ecosystem. Everyday objects such as smartphones, watches, clothes, refrigerators, coffee machines and cars communicate with each other and become what is now known as "smart". According to experts, more than 26 billion everyday objects will soon be interacting with each other. IoT is seen as the main driver of the next digital revolution. So the answer to your question is very simple: IoT is not hype, it is a very serious trend.

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How are we confronted with IoT in everyday life? And when will the limits of digitalization be reached?

To say that IoT will revolutionize all relevant areas of life in the near future is not exaggerated. Whether state, companies, city administration or individual households - they all receive information through the Internet of Things. The digital transformation has been influencing humanity for years and many areas of our lives have become more efficient and comfortable as a result. Devices are capable of recording, collecting and exchanging data. We are only at the beginning and are in the process of finding out how the full potential of the Internet of Things can be used. It is very important to me personally that IoT is not a technical gimmick. IoT is the way to save resources and use them more efficiently. In my opinion, this is a topic that nobody can close their eyes to.

Can you elaborate on that? What examples exist in Switzerland for concrete IoT use?

Clever use of IoT in Switzerland takes place in "Smart Cities", for example: Several Swiss cities have equipped their waste containers with sensors that display the level of waste in the containers so that the route planning of cleaning cycles can be optimized. On the one hand, this improves service, and on the other hand saves time and fuel by avoiding unnecessary journeys. Another example are intelligent parking systems. Thanks to sensors that report whether parking spaces are free or occupied, cities can reduce search traffic for parking spaces - and the resulting environmental and noise pollution. In Basel, my hometown, IoT has solved another problem: the lifebuoys on the Rhine, which were repeatedly stolen or misused, have been equipped with sensors. Today, the sensors automatically inform the police when a life ring is used.

This is interesting, but how can companies use IoT? We often see that altough there is a lot of talk about digitalization in Switzerland, the actual use still lags far behind the possibilities. How do you see this?

That is partly correct. Countries like India clearly have more pressure to innovate here. If the inhabitants of a city suffer from massive air pollution, then an intelligent parking system is not a "nice to have" but an urgent necessity. But we also see great examples of IoT-based resource optimization in the Swiss private sector: One concrete example is the company IoT-based resource optimization. With ISS we have created a digital twin that collects data in the new ISS headquarters via strategically placed sensors. This means that ISS now knows exactly when which toilets are used and can adjust the cleaning intervals to the actual need. The ISS team now also knows when and how often their flexible workstations are used, giving them an even better understanding of how many places are effectively used and how often they need to be cleaned. We collect all this information on our IoT system Akenza Core and make it understandable and analyzable.

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