Social infrastructure is converging with the Internet of Things creating a new phenomenon known as Social IoT, where IoT meets social infrastructure. This is a NEC’s special feature named ‘IoT Meets Social Infrastructure’.
Household garbage is picked up by garbage collectors following a specific route and on a specific timetable. But on days when the amount of garbage is more or less than usual, the collection route and timetable may need to be suddenly adjusted. Making these adjustments is not easy, and is an issue that providers of garbage collection services face every day. Now there is a solution. By attaching sensors to garbage containers, real-time data on garbage amounts can be transmitted to the control center via the network. All collection locations are managed centrally on a map displayed on a large screen at the control center. The data collected from the sensors is analyzed and sent to the garbage collectors, allowing them to prioritize collection of full containers and move more efficiently around their collection routes. This solution has already been adopted by the City of Santander in Spain.
The above solution is just one of the ways that social infrastructure is converging with the Internet of Things, creating a new phenomenon known as Social IoT. Social IoT uses distributed sensors and other connected devices to improve the efficiency of social solutions in fields such as energy, utility services, and transportation. There is no doubt that sensors for collecting huge amounts of data are set to become an integral part of our lives. This article examines the convergence of ubiquitous connectivity and the task of managing related data and analytics output. So, how can firms get the most out of IoT technologies in terms of data?
Both sensors and devices have, indeed, allowed the collection of huge amounts of data. Yet the real importance lies in how, and how quickly, the collected data is processed and analyzed so that firms can use such data effectively. If processing is not optimal, for instance, there is a high risk the data will lose its effectiveness. NEC offers various technology solutions to enable quick and effective data analysis for the benefit of society. The strength of NEC’s Big Data analytics is seen, for example, in innovative solutions for analyzing customer voice data. These solutions go further than simply looking at a list of problems—they are able to account for the surrounding situation as well.*
Big Data combined with appropriate and fast analysis translates into better, smarter, and more productive lives for many users of IoT technologies. Smart homes, as another example, make use of real-time analytics and monitoring alongside automation and other communications technologies. By comparing the results of real-time analytics with patterns mined through Big Data, potential disasters like floods, fires, or burglaries can be flagged remotely and avoided entirely for users of smart home devices. Similarly, smart cities arise when such sensors and devices are applied to public infrastructure like transportation and utilities. Still, concerns over the expanding IoT loom. Since this kind of increased data exchange calls for higher levels of security, NEC provides specific information management solutions to protect against cyber attacks** such solutions are directly relevant to the emerging markets for IoT.
The IoT landscape, however, remains the focus of far more practical concerns. From an industry perspective, ways are still being developed to monitor and monetize the variety of different streams of data generated by the various devices and objects of a particular user or group of users. As Deborah Collins noted “Social IoT is a much more complex prospect than developing glitzy wearables for personal IoT. It involves large infrastructure, the acquisition of social trust, superior expertise and effective collaboration among numerous partners.”
As mentioned before, this is why companies like NEC, in addition to cybersecurity measures, have sharply focused their efforts around appropriate and fast analysis of Big Data.
* BigData analytics solution by NEC's advanced technologies:
** Information management solution to protect against cyber attacks:
*** NEC Top Executives Firmly Focused on Social IoT: