Top 50 “internet of things” applications

Since 2008, there have been more objects connected to the Internet than peeople in the world and this figure will hit 50 billion by 2020, according to Libelium, a wireless sensor networks platform provider. The company has released a list of 54 sensor applications for a smarter world, covering the most disruptive sensor and “internet of things” applications.

Their list is grouped in 12 different verticals, showing how the internet of things is becoming the next technological revolution. It includes the trendiest scenarios, such as smart cities where sensors can offer services such as smart parking – to find free parking spots in the streets– or managing the intensity of the luminosity in street lights to save energy. Climate change, environmental protection, water quality or CO2 emissions are also addressed by sensor networks.

Other sections such as industrial control, logistics or retail cover applications more focused in process efficiency like providing information for restocking the shelves and even product placement for marketing purposes. The list is completed with applications in the verticals of smart metering, security and emergencies, smart agriculture, animal farming, domotic and home automation and eHealth.

“Now we are able to collect data everywhere from our environment, infrastructures, businesses and even ourselves, and this huge amount of information is generating a new ecosystem of business opportunities around its storage, analysis and accessibility” says Libelium’s CEO Alicia Asín. “We want this document to inspire people and companies with all the opportunities around the Internet of Things era,” she added.

Smart Cities

1.  Smart parking:  Monitoring of parking spaces availability in the city.

2. Structural health: Monitoring of vibrations and material conditions in buildings, bridges and historical monuments.

3. Noise urban maps: Sound monitoring in bar areas and centric zones in real time.

4. Traffic congestion: Monitoring of vehicles and pedestrian levels to optimize driving and walking routes.

5. Smart lightning: Intelligent and weather adaptive lighting in street lights.

6. Waste management: Detection of rubbish levels in containers to optimize the trash collection routes.

7. Intelligent transportation systems: Smart Roads and Intelligent Highways with warning messages and diversions according to climate conditions and unexpected events like accidents or traffic jams.

Smart Environment

8. Forest fire detection: Monitoring of combustion gases and preemptive fire conditions to define alert zones.

9. Air pollution: Control of CO2 emissions of factories, pollution emitted by cars and toxic gases generated in farms.

10. Landslide and avalanche prevention: Monitoring of soil moisture, vibrations and earth density to detect dangerous patterns in land conditions.

11. Earthquake early detection: Distributed control in specific places of tremors.

Smart Water

12. Water quality: Study of water suitability in rivers and the sea for fauna and eligibility for drinkable use.

13. Water leakages: Detection of liquid presence outside tanks and pressure variations along pipes.

14. River floods: Monitoring of water level variations in rivers, dams and reservoirs.

Smart Metering

15. Smart grid: Energy consumption monitoring and management.

16. Tank level: Monitoring of water, oil and gas levels in storage tanks and cisterns.

17. Photovoltaic installations: Monitoring and optimization of performance in solar energy plants.

18. Water flow: Measurement of water pressure in water transportation systems.

19. Silos stock calculation: Measurement of emptiness level and weight of the goods.

Security and Emergencies

20. Perimeter access control: Access control to restricted areas and detection of people in non-authorized areas.

21. Liquid presence: Liquid detection in data centers, warehouses and sensitive building grounds to prevent break downs and corrosion.

22. Radiation levels: Distributed measurement of radiation levels in nuclear power stations surroundings to generate leakage alerts.

23. Explosive and hazardous gases: Detection of gas levels and leakages in industrial environments, surroundings of chemical factories and inside mines.


24. Supply chain control: Monitoring of storage conditions along the supply chain and product tracking for traceability purposes.

25. NFC payment: Payment processing based in location or activity duration for public transport, gyms, theme parks, etc.

26. Intelligent shopping applications: Getting advices in the point of sale according to customer habits, preferences, presence of allergic components for them or expiring dates.

27. Smart product management
Control of rotation of products in shelves and warehouses to automate restocking processes.


28. Quality of shipment conditions: Monitoring of vibrations, strokes, container openings or cold chain maintenance for insurance purposes.

29. Item location: Search of individual items in big surfaces like warehouses or harbours.

30. Storage incompatibility detection: Warning emission on containers storing inflammable goods closed to others containing explosive material.

31. Fleet tracking: Control of routes followed for delicate goods like medical drugs, jewels or dangerous merchandises.

Industrial Control

32. M2M applications: Machine auto-diagnosis and assets control.

33. Indoor air quality: Monitoring of toxic gas and oxygen levels inside chemical plants to ensure workers and goods safety.

34. Temperature monitoring: Control of temperature inside industrial and medical fridges with sensitive merchandise.

35. Ozone presence: Monitoring of ozone levels during the drying meat process in food factories.

36. Indoor location: Asset indoor location by using active (ZigBee) and passive tags (RFID/NFC).

37. Vehicle auto-diagnosis: Information collection from CanBus to send real time alarms to emergencies or provide advice to drivers.

Smart Agriculture

38. Wine quality enhancing: Monitoring soil moisture and trunk diameter in vineyards to control the amount of sugar in grapes and grapevine health.

39. Green houses: Control micro-climate conditions to maximize the production of fruits and vegetables and its quality.

40. Golf courses: Selective irrigation in dry zones to reduce the water resources required in the green.

41. Meteorological station network: Study of weather conditions in fields to forecast ice formation, rain, drought, snow or wind changes.

42. Compost: Control of humidity and temperature levels in alfalfa, hay, straw, etc. to prevent fungus and other microbial contaminants.

Smart Animal Farming

43. Offspring care: Control of growing conditions of the offspring in animal farms to ensure its survival and health.

44. Animal tracking: Location and identification of animals grazing in open pastures or location in big stables.

45. Toxic gas levels: Study of ventilation and air quality in farms and detection of harmful gases from excrements.

Domotic and Home Automation

46. Energy and water use: Energy and water supply consumption monitoring to obtain advice on how to save cost and resources.

47. Remote control appliances: Switching on and off remotely appliances to avoid accidents and save energy.

48. Intrusion detection systems: Detection of windows and doors openings and violations to prevent intruders.

49. Art and goods preservation: Monitoring of conditions inside museums and art warehouses.


50. Fall detection: Assistance for elderly or disabled people living independent.

51. Medical fridges: Control of conditions inside freezers storing vaccines, medicines and organic elements.

52. Sportsmen care: Vital signs monitoring in high performance centers and fields.

53. Patients surveillance: Monitoring of conditions of patients inside hospitals and in old people’s home.

54. Ultraviolet radiation: Measurement of UV sun rays to warn people not to be exposed in certain hours.



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