It is germane to understand that IoT needs an enabling environment to function right. Often, I’ve had to ask myself this; how long will rural areas and under-developed communities suffer the stress of having to do things manually, when the same thing can be done in the comfort of their abode with the right command and approach? This study tends to harness IoT with a smart environment.
Basically, some IoT devices will be discussed in the cause of this study and their implication on Africa environment.
Smart Waste: One of the primary issues in modern cities is waste management, which is a key issue. Particularly, in a city like Ibadan, Nigeria, due to the cost of the service and the problem of storing the garbage. One of the solutions to this is to use an intelligent waste container that detects the level of the load using an embedded sensor that helps in optimization of the truck’s route, reducing the cost of waste collection and improving the quality of recycling. IoT will connect these end devices for tracking, and checkmate payment for the service which would help maintain waste solution.
Monitoring Quality of Air: Most areas in Africa are polluted with CO2 emissions; IoT can provide means to monitor the quality of air in a more interactive way where users can receive notifications about the healthiest path free from C02 emission.
Traffic Congestion: IoT helps in monitoring traffic congestion in cities by the sensory capacity and GPS installed on modern vehicles. The related information is forwarded to the city traffic authorities and citizens for controlling the traffic and scheduling routes.
Smart Parking: Ethiopia has taken the lead in Africa by developing a smart parking service, this is based on intelligent displays that direct cars along the best path for parking in the city. The benefits derived from this service are numerous including faster time to locate a parking slot, less traffic congestion and comfort among citizens. Furthermore, by using short-range communication technologies (such as Radio Frequency Identifiers. i.e. RFID) there is also a possibility to realize an electronic verification system of parking permits in slots reserved for residents or disabled people, thus offering a better service to citizens that can legitimately use those slots and an efficient tool for quick spot violations.
Smart Lighting. Depending on the atmospheric condition, the presence of people (other factors inclusive), these can optimize street light intensity. Street lights should be embedded into Smart City infrastructure for the service to work effectively. More so, a fault detection system will be installed on the street light controller, the essence of this is to collect useful information from each street light at the end of each day. The information stored in the database include; power consumption, total number of burning hours, and total number of interruptions.
These and many other simple but highly valuable use cases show how IoT may be more of a necessity than a luxury for developing countries. Major ICT players must consider these markets in the early stages of deployment.
Author: Oluwatobi Oyinlola