Dynamic Changes in Real Time
Imagine the future where a “smart” traffic light analyzes the traffic volume at an intersection and then adjusts, in real-time, to greatly reduce congestion. The future is now. Leveraging a technology known as “adaptive signals”, traffic jams are becoming a thing of the past in Bellevue, Washington. (From a Time.com article May 2015 by Josh Sanburn): “Adaptive signals make sure that inefficiencies never happen,” says Alex Stevanovic, director of the Laboratory for Adaptive Traffic Operations & Management at Florida Atlantic University. “They can make sure that the traffic demand that is there is being addressed.” That technology could prove wildly useful right here at home in Charlotte, N.C. where a study performed by the 2015 Urban Mobility Scorecard ranked the “Queen City” as the longest rush hour commute in the state.
The world is becoming more connected each day, and the continuing trend in lower bandwidth costs is helping to push the agenda of the Internet of Things (IoT). In a recent Venturebeat article (David Evans 08/30/15) the author eludes to the next generation of farming that may revolutionize the manner in which crops are grown, harvested and delivered: “vertical farm operations bring farming indoors where all of the elements required for rapid and healthy growth can be monitored and controlled. These facilities are built vertically, so growing areas can be stacked. This greatly decreases the amount of acreage needed for farming, which allows vertical farms to be located in or near cities, shortening the time needed to transport and distribute food. From an IoT perspective, vertical farms are connected both internally and externally. Internally, small sensors in the soil are connected to individual plants tell a control system exactly how much light, water, and, nutrients are required to grow the healthiest, most productive crops. Sensors will also tell vertical farmers when crops are nearing their peak for harvesting at just the right time to ensure it’s still fresh when it reaches its final destination. Externally, vertical farms will be connected to other networks and information systems, including databases that track local demand. For example, local restaurants could input when they need to replenish their fresh food supplies. And vertical farmers could access that information so they know which crops to grow in what quantities. Vertical farms can also connect to the power grid, using their windows as solar panels to supply the system, creating a tight feedback loop between the food supply, the power grid, and consumers. This type of IoT system would have been unimaginable a generation ago.”
As the father of a young child that bumped his head on a wire rack one evening, I had a decision to make: did the situation require a visit to the ER or was it just a scratch that didn’t require stitches? After seeking counsel from an “experienced” mother of two grown children I was assured that it was merely a scratch (which healed fine). The issue wasn’t the cost of care, it was the dread of having to keep a toddler occupied while in the ER which, from my experience of ER visits, could have been hours. What I would have gladly paid for was the ability to obtain an opinion from a professional, say, using my FaceTime connection on my iPhone.
In a recent Forbes.com article (Telemedicine Is A Game-Changer For Patients, The System – Bill Frist 3/12/15) my point is furthered: “Data show that telemedicine can deliver quality outcomes comparable to in person office visits. A 2011 Center for Disease Control study showed eighty percent of adults discharged from the emergency room-meaning patients who could be treated and sent home-said they sought care at the ER due to lack of access to a primary care provider (PCP). However, the ER is also the most expensive and least efficient way to provide non-emergent care, costing from $1,500 to $3,000 on average compared to $130 to $190 for a PCP visit. A telemedicine visit can cost as little as $40. The throughput provided by Gigabit Internet connectivity enables 4k video (a.k.a. Ultra HD) to be utilized. The increased clarity provided by this technology can improve the diagnostic process, which promotes a more accurate diagnosis.
Join DC74 Data Centers on 9/17 at the “Gigwow Experience” event to learn more and see live demos from three Charlotte companies (Skookum, Cardinal Solutions, and T1V) that are leveraging the power of high speed Internet in creative ways.
Director of Client Relations