You’ve heard the buzzwords, but perhaps don’t quite know what they mean. That’s ok! In fact, even in the tech and business worlds, there are a number of different perspectives and definitions. Here, we’re going to keep it paired down to the basics and provide you with our perspective on turning technology into real-world improvements for your business and bottom line.
What is the Internet of Things?
According to Wikipedia, the Internet of Things (IoT) is “the network of physical devices, vehicles, buildings and other items—embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data.”
Basically, it’s the connection of things to the internet in order to provide or extract data. And it can be used to enhance capabilities, increase efficiency and generally make life easier and smarter. It’s the FitBit people wear to track and improve their fitness, sleep and health. It’s the refrigerator that alerts you if you’re out of milk – and in the future, order more for you automatically.
Here at Spireon, it’s the connection of our GPS vehicle trackers to our cloud-based software that allows customers to track and manage their vehicles and assets from their computer or smartphone in real time. Our IoT sensors alert fleet customers if their drivers are wasting fuel by idling excessively and let our trucking carriers know if the cargo doors on their trailers have been opened.
What is Big Data?
Big Data is the massive amounts of data that each of us generates, digitally and from more traditional methods – social media, transactions and purchases, web browsing and more. With every click, every credit card swipe and every Facebook like, we are all producing. A lot of data, thus the name Big Data.
So, now we’ve generated all this raw data and businesses have collected it. What next? The data can be analyzed and transformed it into more consumable and actionable business intelligence. A business can implement marketing promotions that are more relevant to your individual needs and likes. They can analyze processes and transactions to find the most efficient method and make it easier for customers to do business with them. There are countless ways that Big Data can be used.
For automotive financing customers serving the subprime market, our GPS devices include a Location Genie feature that collects and analyzes massive amounts of driving data. If the vehicle needs to be recovered, the Genie can predict the most likely location of the vehicle depending on the day and time, which drastically reduces the typical time and costs of non Big Data recoveries.
What is the Connected Car?
This one is interesting because it could be considered a subset of the IoT. A Connected Car is one that is, well, connected primarily to the internet as well as other cars and infrastructure. This allows any number of functions from navigation to apps, engine controls, diagnostics and even providing WiFi within the vehicles so kids can stream movies instead of fighting in the back seat.
Along the same lines, you may have heard about autonomous or self-driving cars. Think the Google cars that drive around mapping our streets. And now, the race is on to bring a fully autonomous vehicle to market – with everyone from GM to Apple to Tesla in the game.
While most newer vehicle models come connected, you may not find this tech in fleet vehicles or that old Camry your teenager will inherit when they get their license. That’s why we provide a non-OEM solution. Our telematics devices for fleets can provide that connection, allowing owners and managers to track driver behavior, streamline routes and even receive alerts when the check engine light comes on. And our Kahu app connects parents to their cars and teens. From making sure they’re at the library instead of the mall to monitoring speed, we provide a connected car experience and peace of mind.
So, there you have it. A quick primer on some of the latest buzzwords and our take on using this new technology to improve your life, business and bottom line. Be sure to follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn to find out what else is happening in the world of tech today and what the future holds. We’ll be sure to keep you in the loop with all the latest buzzwords and developments.
Want to know more about how we can help you with a connected vehicle and Big Data solution? Contact our team today. We’d love for you to take a test spin.