The Internet of Things produces significant amounts of data from objects embedded with sensors and machine-to-machine communications. According to Verizon’s VP of Connected Solutions Mark Bartolomeo, the Internet of Things is growing over 100 percent a year. Companies are using this technology to improve the management of supply chains, equipment and customer demands. The energy, transportation and digital cities units are the fastest growing sectors in Verizon’s Connected Solutions.
“The energy sector is the fastest part of Connected Solutions, according to Mr. Bartolomeo,” reports The Wall Street Journal. Verizon installs “smart grids” for gas and electric companies looking to collect user data that helps manage supply and demand. Verizon also helps oil field companies use sensors to monitor wells.
Verizon’s Connected Solutions is also managing data from sensors in several modes of transportation. The company collects data from over 10 million vehicles daily. These vehicle sensors can also provide data to insurance companies to help them evaluate driver behavior to compute car insurance payments. Railroad companies also use Connected Solutions to monitor data from sensors in 32,000 freight carriers.
Digital cities is the newest sector of Verizon’s Internet of Things division. About 100 municipalities are purchasing services that help manage public goods. Sensors monitor traffic, water usage, and waste management, which can help private companies reduce energy or water consumption.
Healthcare is the one sector that seems to be lagging in growth, likely due to high levels of regulation that protect patient privacy. Verizon is developing cloud-based software to store medical files, a service that will allow doctors to remotely monitor patients using biometric sensors, and virtual doctor visits over video chat.
In the retail sector, the Internet of Things helps businesses manage inventory, payment methods and rewards programs. Verizon is helping businesses create wireless pop-up stores and smart vending machines.