On 5 June, every year, we have World Environment Day. Every year, the United Nations uses this day to create awareness regarding pressing environmental issues. Every year the topic is different. But even some cases are a non-technological field, the IoT can be useful for ecological uses. Here are five ways technology makes the world a better place: #enviromentalsensors #iberianlynx #smartfarming #energyefficieny
The Iberian Lynx;
A Preservation Success Story. Spain has one of the clearest examples of saving a species on the verge of extinction through technology. At the turn of the century, under 100 Iberian lynxes were left and considered a critically endangered species. Thanks to a cutting-edge captive breeding center called La Olivilla in Southern Spain, the number of these felines now surpasses 300. As the second stage of this repopulation effort, many lynxes went to safe habitats, protected for the causes that led them to endangerment.
How is the IoT helping this wildlife program? Location collars track Lynxes that georeference them the same way other IoT asset management systems. Scientists can study behavioral uses of space and territories by these lynxes in the wild. Connected drones, less invasive than humans, also help monitor them and see how well they are doing from a distance. Therefore, researchers are considering the option, shortly, of changing the uncomfortable (and battery-dependant) collars for light subcutaneous sensors that would remain under the lynx’s skin.
Sensors can get the job done where people cannot. Deploying sensors to measure elements like air or water quality, radiation, or sensors to detect hazardous chemicals can help track the evolution of the environment. They allow access to inaccessible, polluted, or uninhabitable spaces without risking technicians’ health. Parents of infants with breathing problems and asthma affected citizens could also receive precise information in real-time. Of course, workers that need to operate in hazardous conditions (like mines or workplaces exposed to radiation) can benefit from this real-time environmental data more than anyone.
Efficient farming has a huge positive impact on the environment. We already explained how technology was controlling crop or greenhouse irrigation through sensors. Automatic irrigation in Southern California is fighting the periodic droughts providing water according to the soil conditions. As a result, farmers also use connected drones. Their spectral onboard sensors help farmers optimize fertilizers and plant protection products besides providing airborne soil condition data to complement soil sensor information.
A Boston Consulting Group report determined that ICT-enables climate mitigation strategies could reduce global climate change by 16.5% by 2020 compared to current efforts. No other climate mitigation strategy seems to be as effective. These improvements include Smart Home and Smart Building energy management, efficient use of home appliances, intelligent grid devices, asset tracking applied to logistics, and intelligent industrial motors that adapt speed variables to illustrate with only some examples.
The energy toll of adding connected devices by the millions every year is enormous, and we cannot oversee it. It is in the interest of everyone moving forward to create an IoT that minimizes energy requirements and environmental impact. LPWA has this idea of low-power embedded in its name. Soon, ubiquitous low-power sensors will work under conditions that surpass current IoT capabilities. Besides working underground or being deployed at a long distance from the nearest antenna, battery life will be extended to last for years, thus reducing the energy impact.