Deutsche Telekom is looking to put 5G technologies in as many different applications and devices as possible, according to demonstrations planned for the Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona next week.
Here are some of the highlights.
The company’s Greek operator Cosmote has partnered with ISTMOS to offer a solution that monitors individual bottles of wine while they are stored and tracks them during transport to their final destination.
NB-IoT sensors monitor temperature, humidity, and luminosity, and the results can be checked via an app that reads the QR code on each bottle.
ISTMOS produces specialist real-time data recording and automated alert systems for the wine trade, to ensure that wine is stored and transported in ideal conditions. Deutsche Telekom said this opens up new business models in the wine market, with every bottle telling the story of its storage and journey, avoiding waste, losses, and spoiled produce.
This isn’t the first smart wine system. In 2015, for example. Thin Film Electronics partnered with accountability systems specialist G World Group to produce smart wine bottles using printed NFC OpenSense tags. A trial programme was run with the Ferngrove wine group, which exports over 600,000 bottles annually to China.
Meanwhile, smart beer systems have been developed by several technology and business partnerships.
T-Mobile Austria has teamed up with Austrian smart machinery company, ToolSense, to collect usage data from tools, such as electric saws, drills, and jack-hammers.
The data analytics system within these machines is based on Deutsche Telekom’s IoT connectivity, and could help improve important key performance criteria, such as the tools’ longevity, energy consumption, and wear and tear.
Combined with enterprise asset management (EAM) systems and data analytics, IoT solutions such as these turn tools into smart, connected networks that help manage their own sustainability.
ToolSense creates plug-and-play IoT systems that avoid engineers and site owners having to waste time by setting up the technology.
The company says: “Tool connectivity has to work directly, out of the box and without the contractor having to do anything. That’s why we work with the newest telecommunication technologies: to connect the tool directly, without needing a gateway – just like your smartphone.”
Any concerns that these systems might drain the batteries on handheld tools are countered by the company. “At the moment, connected tools solutions just stream sensor data over long periods of time. This is energy-expensive and especially draining for battery tools. There’s a smarter way: We analyse the sensor data directly on the ToolSense-Module, compress it locally and just send the insights – that’s why we are more energy-efficient than current BLE solutions.”
In Germany, Deutsche Telekom has been working with BS2 Sicherheitssysteme to develop an NB-IoT-based monitoring system for bridges, tunnels, buildings, and other massive structures in the built environment.
Sensors monitor environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, and corrosion, and can be incorporated as early as the design and building stage to create a construction early warning system. These are the critical factors that can cause irreparable damage to structures, such as to the reinforced steel within concrete structures.
The telco said that sensors can pick up warning signs long before they can be seen by engineers, making structures smarter, safer, and more sustainable, reducing damage and minimising future repair work, costs – and travel delays.
Ingo Hofacker, SVP of IoT at Deutsche Telekom’s T-Systems Digital Division, said: “With the rapid expansion of our NB-IoT network as part of 5G in Europe and the USA, the diversity of innovative solutions in a wide variety of industries is also growing.
“Applications such as the smart wine bottle, smart tools, or smart bridges will change our view of existing challenges and accelerate the development of new business models.”
Deutsche Telekom’s NB-IoT network is now live in the US, and in eight European markets: Germany, Austria, Poland, Slovakia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Greece.
Internet of Business says
These smart projects and industry-specific startups reveal that the IoT isn’t just something that will be imposed on the environment from outside, but will be incorporated into a huge variety of objects, spaces, and services at the design stage.
As long as costs and power usage can be kept as low as possible – something that itself demands smart thinking – the IoT will soon be something that most people accept and, importantly, appreciate the value of.
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