2017: The Year of the Internet of Things

In 2015, over 60,000 people searched for smart home each month, and the popular interest was reflected in dollar signs piled up high behind all the IoT apps meant to make our lairds more efficient, more comfortable, and more something-to-talk-about (close behind were the wearables, smart cities and grids, and the industrial internet).

With smart cars, connected health, and even smart farming gaining terrain in 2016, IoT is clearly bound to be one the biggest consumers of streaming technologies. From streaming data ingestion frameworks to streaming analytics platforms and to complex event processing solutions, all real-time technologies are working for the same goal: feeding the automated actions behind smart applications.


Here’s a list of IoT apps to follow in 2017:


Wearables / Personal IoT

  • Fitness & health
    • Activity trackers and gesture control devices.
  • Physical enhancements
    • Artificial sensory systems can provide an electrical activation of the retina and produce the sensation of light in a blind person, or of sound in people with smart cochlear implants.
  • Creative & lifestyle
    • Smart watches, image recognition, location-based matchmaking devices.



  • Police activity/ forensics 
    • Time constraints, site access, and simple knowledge of the facts can complicate crime scene investigations. But now a combination of 3D laser scanning and sensors can calculate the distance between objects and time/stamp investigations of the scene for authentication in criminal proceedings. The scanner emits pulses of light that calculate the distance been objects and can capture data points at speeds up to 50,000 points per second. “It has become a standard part of our initial investigation process,” said Chattanooga Police Sgt. and investigator Darrell Whitfield.
    • In a high-speed chase or immediately after a crime has been committed, it’s been difficult for officers to identify suspects who have fled the crime scene and pursue them for arrest. However, over the past 10 years federal, state, county, and city authorities have worked together to provide seamless access to a variety of databases at all levels of government. The databases contain both structured and unstructured data, including text-based entries from computer systems, fingerprints, photo IDs, and arrest records. This fingertip information, which officers can access from hardened laptops in their cars, increases the odds of rapidly identifying and catching up with suspects.
  • Global political predictions (with impact on supply chain management and financial markets)
    • With the impact of global warming and climate change, companies want to know in advance when areas of the world are likely to be affected by typhoons, heat waves, fire, and other weather calamities, The goal for companies with long, global supply chains is to predict (and prepare for) potential disruptions at suppliers and within their supply chains that could be brought about by a weather disturbance or possibly by political unrest. If a company sees that it has only one supplier of a highly critical component in a product, and the supplier is forecast to be in tycoon zone, the company will see what it can do about broadening its supply base for the component so it has other sources to rely on if an emergency arises. Financial services companies, too, want to have heads-up predictions on potential political and climatic disruptions around the world that could affect the financial markets and the strength of their portfolios.


Smart Cities

  • Smart self-driving vehicles
    • LiDAR (light detection and ranging), infrared, and spectral sensors will get lighter and smaller in 2016. In the drone and driverless car worlds, these sensors help with collision avoidance. For drone-based applications, sensors with smaller and lighter footprints will be also be able to process video images with greater clarity.
  • Smart Parking
    • Monitoring of parking spaces availability in the city.
  • Structural health
    • Monitoring of vibrations and material conditions in buildings, bridges and historical monuments.
  • Noise Urban Maps
    • Sound monitoring in bar areas and centric zones in real time.
  • Device Detection
    • Detect iPhone and Android devices and in general any device which works with WiFi or Bluetooth interfaces.
  • Electromagnetic Variations
    • Monitoring the energy radiated by cell stations and and WiFi routers.
  • Traffic Congestion
    • Monitoring of vehicles and pedestrian levels to optimize driving and walking routes.
  • Smart Lighting
    • Intelligent and weather adaptive lighting in street lights.
  • Waste Management
    • Detection of rubbish levels in containers to optimize the trash collection routes.
  • Smart Roads
    • Intelligent Highways with warning messages and diversions according to climate conditions and unexpected events like accidents or traffic jams.


Smart Environment

  • Forest Fire Detection
    • Monitoring of combustion gases and preemptive fire conditions to define alert zones.
  • Air Pollution
    • Control of CO2 emissions of factories, pollution emitted by cars and toxic gases generated in farms.
  • Snow Level Monitoring
    • Snow level measurement to know in real time the quality of ski tracks and allow security corps avalanche prevention.
  • Landslide and Avalanche Prevention
    • Monitoring of soil moisture, vibrations and earth density to detect dangerous patterns in land conditions.
  • Earthquake Early Detection
    • Distributed control in specific places of tremors.


Smart Water

  • Potable water monitoring
    • Monitor the quality of tap water in cities.
  • Chemical leakage detection in rivers
    • Detect leakages and wastes of factories in rivers.
  • Swimming pool remote measurement
    • Control remotely the swimming pool conditions.
  • Pollution levels in the sea
    • Control real-time leakages and wastes in the sea.
  • Water Leakages
    • Detection of liquid presence outside tanks and pressure variations along pipes.
  • River Floods
    • Monitoring of water level variations in rivers, dams and reservoirs.


Smart Metering

  • Smart Grid
    • Energy consumption monitoring and management.
  • Tank level
    • Monitoring of water, oil and gas levels in storage tanks and cisterns.
  • Photovoltaic Installations
    • Monitoring and optimization of performance in solar energy plants.
  • Water Flow
    • Measurement of water pressure in water transportation systems.
  • Silos Stock Calculation
    • Measurement of emptiness level and weight of the goods.


Physical Security

  • Perimeter Access Control
    • Access control to restricted areas and detection of people in non-authorized areas.
  • Liquid Presence
    • Liquid detection in data centers, warehouses and sensitive building grounds to prevent break downs and corrosion.
  • Radiation Levels
    • Distributed measurement of radiation levels in nuclear power stations surroundings to generate leakage alerts.
  • Explosive and Hazardous Gases
    • Detection of gas levels and leakages in industrial environments, surroundings of chemical factories and inside mines.



  • Supply Chain Control
    • Monitoring of storage conditions along the supply chain and product tracking for traceability purposes.
  • NFC Payment
    • Payment processing based in location or activity duration for public transport, gyms, theme parks, etc.
  • Intelligent Shopping Applications
    • Getting advices in the point of sale according to customer habits, preferences, presence of allergenic components for them or expiring dates.
  • Smart Product Management
    • Control of rotation of products in shelves and warehouses to automate restocking processes.



  • Quality of Shipment Conditions
    • Monitoring of vibrations, strokes, container openings or cold chain maintenance for insurance purposes.
  • Item detection
    • Search of individual items in big surfaces like warehouses or harbours.
  • Storage Incompatibility Detection
    • Warning emission on containers storing inflammable goods closed to others containing explosive material.
  • Fleet Tracking
    • Control of routes followed for delicate goods like medical drugs, jewels or dangerous merchandises.


Industrial Internet

  • M2M Applications
    • Machine auto-diagnosis and assets control.
  • Indoor Air Quality
    • Monitoring of toxic gas and oxygen levels inside chemical plants to ensure workers and goods safety.
  • Temperature Monitoring
    • Control of temperature inside industrial and medical fridges with sensitive merchandise.
  • Ozone Presence
    • Monitoring of ozone levels during the drying meat process in food factories.
  • Indoor Location
    • Asset indoor location by using active (ZigBee) and passive tags (RFID/NFC).
  • Vehicle Auto-diagnosis
    • Information collection from CanBus to send real time alarms to emergencies or provide advice to drivers.


Smart Agriculture

  • Wine Quality Enhancing
    • Monitoring soil moisture and trunk diameter in vineyards to control the amount of sugar in grapes and grapevine health.
  • Green Houses
    • Control micro-climate conditions to maximize the production of fruits and vegetables and its quality.
  • Golf Courses
    • Selective irrigation in dry zones to reduce the water resources required in the green.
  • Meteorological Station Network
    • Study of weather conditions in fields to forecast ice formation, rain, drought, snow or wind changes.
  • Compost
    • Control of humidity and temperature levels in alfalfa, hay, straw, etc. to prevent fungus and other microbial contaminants.
  • Hydroponics
    • Control the exact conditions of plants grown in water to get the highest efficiency crops.
  • Offspring Care
    • Control of growing conditions of the offspring in animal farms to ensure its survival and health.
  • Animal Tracking
    • Location and identification of animals grazing in open pastures or location in big stables.
  • Toxic Gas Levels
    • Study of ventilation and air quality in farms and detection of harmful gases from excrements.


Smart Homes

  • Energy and Water Use
    • Energy and water supply consumption monitoring to obtain advice on how to save cost and resources.
  • Remote Control Appliances
    • Switching on and off remotely appliances to avoid accidents and save energy.
  • Intrusion Detection Systems
    • Detection of windows and doors openings and violations to prevent intruders.
  • Art and Goods Preservation
    • Monitoring of conditions inside museums and art warehouses.



  • Fall Detection
    • Assistance for elderly or disabled people living independent.
  • Medical Fridges
    • Control of conditions inside freezers storing vaccines, medicines and organic elements.
  • Sportsmen Care
    • Vital signs monitoring in high performance centers and fields.
  • Patients Surveillance
    • Monitoring of conditions of patients inside hospitals and in old people’s home.
  • Ultraviolet Radiation
    • Measurement of UV sun rays to warn people not to be exposed in certain hours.

Sources: forrester.com, internetofthingswiki.com, iot-analytics.com, and libelium.com.