From Automobiles to Avocados: The Internet of Everything, Everywhere

Mar 31, 2015 12:00 PM ET
Campaign: AT&T: Planet

From Automobiles to Avocados: The Internet of Everything, Everywhere

By Amanda Moore, Senior Sustainability Manager

The Internet of Things (IoT) has exploded in the past year, changing the face of many industries along the way.  IoT may not be the first thing you think of when driving your car, eating fresh produce, or dining at a restaurant, but it is changing your experience with many everyday activities.

IoT technology enables three million Connected Cars on the road today, a number rising so fast that soon we won’t be able to imagine having a car without built-in connectivity. Connecting cars isn’t just about managing your music or making a phone call on the go, it has the potential to help you navigate more efficiently leading to reduced fuel consumption and avoided traffic jams, promote safer driving, and eventually enable vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communication. But these breakthroughs go beyond cars.

When your favorite fast-food restaurant introduces a new menu item, it usually requires a manual update to adjust and re-program the oven. Our IoT team is helping one customer, Emerson, implement an M2X solution that would streamline these updates with a SIM card embedded in the oven and a data platform controlled in a central location. Data is collected via the SIM card which Emerson can use to collect and analyze data for performance and maintenance as well as use to remotely program updates. This saves time, money and energy for the restaurant and enables them to efficiently change their menu.

Ever buy a fresh avocado in the middle of winter? The same IoT technology that makes cars smarter and restaurants more efficient is also helping fresh produce reach more consumers no matter what the season. CargoView with FlightSafe uses the M2X platform and wireless sensors to monitor shipping conditions. Produce is one of the most fragile things to transport; even a slight temperature change can accelerate spoilage, escalating cost and waste. Real-time monitoring lets a shipping company better track and manage cargo; something to think about the next time you’re enjoying homemade guacamole in January!

Check out our  2014 Annual Report for more insights on IoT and how it is contributing to a more sustainable way of doing business for AT&T’s customers.