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Using IoT for Good

Using IoT for GoodSometimes, the Internet of Things can seem abstract or full of promises that it wont deliver for another decade. Smart homes and self-driving cars are still only on the fringes of mass adoption and havent made a major impact on many peoples lives. But despite the hype, IoT/M2M technology is already proving to be an incredible tool that can provide aide for those in less fortunate communities. Here are five ways that Internet of Things technology is being used as a socially responsible resource.

IoT Water Meter Sensors

SweetSense adds sensors to everyday things, such as water pumps, in remote locations to monitor their conditions and not implement new infrastructure but fix the internet of broken things already in place. The GSMA estimates that 125 million people who have mobile coverage unfortunatelylack access to safe drinking water, and over a billion people within cellular networks have unsafe sanitation. So SweetSense has deployed over 1,000 sensors in 15 countries on water pumps, water filters, cook stoves, latrines, and many other custom applications. SweetSense works with Aeris to connect deployments and visualize data to help measure utilization and functionality of water pumps and other infrastructure, which will improve uptime overall and help enforce healthy behavior.

Human Trafficking Alerts by Wi-Fi

Project Beacon of Hope is working to combat global human trafficking, which is now in the top three fastest growing crime categories, with 20.9 million victims in 2013. Often, the only way a person who is the victim of human trafficking can reveal they are away from their captors is when they enter a public restroom. With this in mind, the project relies on low-cost Bluetooth or Wi-Fi devices placed in restrooms as well as the ubiquity of smartphones to track the locations of trafficking victims. A victim would squeeze the device to turn it on, and a signal is then relayed along a mesh network of volunteer participants smartphones and on to law enforcement and victim assistance organizations, triggering a rapid response to help the captive. If an immediate rescue is not possible, location data is still left behind, making future rescue possible, and helping to track traffickers patterns.

Monitoring Vaccine Refrigeration WithIoT

Nexleaf builds, scales, and supports wireless sensor devices and data analytics tools that improve global public health. ItsColdTrace technology, powered by Aeris, is designed to address the problem with defective vaccines being delivered in third-world countries. Vaccinations need to be kept at specific temperatures, and 56% of low/middle income countries cold equipment is prone to failure, meaning that 75% of vaccines are ruined during transport. ColdTrace technology is placed into transport trucks and can then monitor and evaluate temperature, self-correct, and keep distributors accountable. Vaccines can only work if theyre delivered in the best condition, and Nexleafs IoT technology helps make this possible.

Navigation Bracelet for the Blind

Technology has been able to help the visually impaired navigate the digital world, such as using voice technology for computer apps. Yet the physical world remains a challenge for many to tackle, especially in developing countries that are not always as accommodating for the blind. Ustraap is a wearable technology that helps blind people more effectively sense their surroundings. It allows the wearer to point in any direction and have obstructions immediately identified through a buzz. The bracelet can also sense how dense the obstruction is, buzzing more softly for a small shrub than for a bench or wall. While a dog or cane can only sense what is directly ahead, the bracelet can sense the space above ground level and completely surrounding the wearer.

Energizing the Developing World With Solar

BBOXX is an Aeris customer that works to develop solutions to provide affordable, clean energy to off-grid communities in the developing world. The products they distribute include smart solar technology that enables solar energy to be controlled and monitored remotely. BBOXX can then extend the life of the battery, improve user experience, control payment plans, and offer improved customer service. The company has deployed 70,000 systems so far, expecting to provide energy for 20 million people by 2020.

These are just a few examples of how IoT/M2M technology is being used to improve living conditions for people in need. Want to learn more? Download the SweetSense case study.

DownloadCase Study