Brief History

In 1982, a modified Coca Cola vending machine in Carnegie Mellon University became the first internet connected appliance. It was able to communicate when it needed to be restocked and the temperature of newly loaded drinks.

While the above vending machine was essentially a playful gimmick for IT students, the idea of inter-connected devices gained momentum and between 2008 and 2009, Cisco System estimated that the Internet of Things (IoT) was born when more devices were communicating directly to the internet with the intention of communication to other devices, than people connecting to the internet. .

Current Irish Research

In Ireland, Enterprise Ireland sponsors A-IOT which is a consortium of five of Enterprise Ireland’s Technology Gateways. A-IOT provides a single point of contact for companies looking to access technical capabilities for Internet of Things (IoT) research and development.

One element of the consortium is WiSAR Technology Gateway (Letterkenny Institute of Technology). An innovative IoT solution that essentially automates the old proverb of “A stitch in time saves nine” can be found here. The system monitors heating and ventilation effectiveness using sensor technology. This allows anomalies to be detected which can indicate component failure. The earlier these are detected, the cheaper they are to repair and in addition, the repair can be carried out before total system failure.

The Smart Light Pilot Scheme also utilized the IoT to allow the sensors on the bikes interact with their environment. This is just one aspect of the Smart Dublin project.

Another Smart City initiative uses IoT to monitor activities in drainage gullies. In collaboration with Irish IoT startup Danalto, Dublin City Council can get advanced warnings of potential floods.

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