The most prominent usage of IoT gateways is in home and building automation. In addition to autonomous control of lighting, heating, smoke detectors, alarm systems IoT gateways can communicate with white goods to prepare your coffee before you get up, place an order automatically when your fridge runs out of food or start the washing machine when the energy costs are at minimum. Through smart metering energy costs can be additionally reduced and overloading of the grid can be avoided.
IoT gateways ease our lives even on the go. The information which has been collected from sensors throughout the city makes it possible to optimize public transportation, avoid traffic jams and navigate drivers to the next available parking lot. In a shopping mall the customized instructions and specifically tailored services enable customers to save time and money. Further applications such as remote, real-time health monitoring and drug delivery, asset tracking of the goods, fleet management, and concepts such as remote security, remote diagnosis and predictive maintenance can all be realized through customized IoT solutions.
The automation of the manufacturing facilities is not a new issue. However, it used to be limited to separate production lines, group of machines or processes due to various interfaces and protocols. IoT gateways with their wide range of wired and wireless interfaces support legacy and new devices and protocols. Moreover, IoT gateways bring the intelligence to the edge. Such that independent of the infrastructure the information can be distributed between smart nodes to increase the efficiency. It is also possible to collect, aggregate and transfer the information to the cloud to unlock the real value of big data. Consequently, IoT gateways pave the way to make Industry 4.0 a reality.
IoT gateways bring the intelligence to the edge converting almost any object to a smart “thing”. It may be a necklace or a watch which monitors heartbeat, oxygen saturation in blood and body temperature while analyzing electrolyte composition of sweat. Or a car which calculates the optimal route according to your appointment schedule and the real-time traffic reports whilst driving autonomously to prevent accidents and traffic jams. Or an elevator which has the intelligence through the analysis of collected data to decide on which floor to wait in order to minimize waiting times and energy costs. It may also be an agricultural watering system which optimizes the watering plan in accordance with the weather forecast and the data from humidity and temperature sensors distributed over the field. These examples can be further extended whereas the only limitation for any further application is the creativity of thought and commitment for innovation.