The future of the Internet of Things (IoT) is within the network of sensors collecting data and bringing real-time data to different industries. With wireless sensors, companies can run applications for critical business processes, which can run better with real-time awareness. Wireless sensors provide the real-time information and eliminate the guesswork out of many day-to-day operations. The value proposition for wireless sensors is different for each business, meaning, the same sensor data may be used differently depending on the industry.

Wireless sensors can feed a company data to make inefficient processes much more efficient and profitable. The data is collected from the wireless sensor network (WSN) then sent to a software system, which allows the company to effectively predict issues to prevent malfunctions, create more efficient processes, and save both time and money.

The University of Huddersfield’s Institute of Railway Research (IRR) investigated new methods of railway crossing controls. The IRR suggested a network of wireless sensors that could not only improve safety at the railroad crossings but is also more cost efficient as there will be less to install and maintain. A conventional detection system cost up to £500,000 with a running cost. A network of wireless sensors in the same application would cost less than £20,000, and be self-powered.

As wireless sensors grow faster than smartphones many companies are beginning to implement wireless sensor networks (or already have), and are finding ways to make them better. Companies are using sensor data to track shipments; prevent perishables from spoiling; send alerts before critical equipment is about to fail; save energy when heating or cooling homes and buildings; track fleet of vehicles – and many other uses we have not imagined yet.

Read more about how the University of Huddersfield’s Institute of Railway Research plans on implementing a wireless sensor network.