Application Areas

From Web of Things Community Group
(Redirected from Use Cases)

This page is a collection of application areas for the Web of Things. Agreed use cases are essential for driving work on standards. The following is really just a starting point for elaborating use cases into stories that provide sufficient details to derive functional requirements. Here is an example:

Smart Cities

This is a disparate collection of use cases.

Public Transportation

  • Webcams for public places
  • Current data on traffic
  • Current location of buses, trams and trains
  • Forecasts, e.g. for congestion maps
  • Predictions for journey times
  • Navigation aids for walking, cycling, driving, etc.
  • Guiding people to available parking spaces
  • Guiding people back where their car is parked
  • Services for smart use of shared bicycles
  • Long term data for infrastructure planning
  • Collecting statistics on network performance

Smart Utilities

  • Smart meters as a means to encourage smarter consumer habits
  • Smart plugs as a means to spread load by using off peak tariffs
  • Smart watering of lawns and gardens
  • Consumer generated power that feeds back into the Grid
  • Energy storage devices for the city, block or individual homes

Context based search

  • Helping people to find what's on where
  • Information on shops, restaurants, theatres, & pubs, area by area
  • Information on schools, clinics, parks, and other local services
  • Location and time of day based search

Emergency overrides

The day to day policies for access to given sensors and actuators in a building may need to be overridden in emergency situations, e.g. in case of fire or flooding. Police or Fire brigade staff may need to be able to unlock the doors and turn off equipment etc.

Smart Cities and Big Data

Smart city use cases will often be associated with really large datasets that become hard to process using traditional database technologies. New techniques for Big Data exploit large clusters of computers. What are some of the use cases and algorithms?

to be expanded

Smart Resorts

Helping tourists to get the most out of their vacations. An example is a ski resort where people could get information on what's on, opening and closing times of lifts and the current queues, how busy each piste is, their current location on the piste map, the weather conditions and so forth.

Smart Homes

This covers a range of ideas including home automation. Personal Zone is a name for the abstract space containing all of your personal devices, apps and services. Note the distinction between personal devices, e.g. your smart phone, and devices that are shared, e.g. a living room TV. One approach is for every device to have an owner who delegates rights to others to use it, e.g. as a responsible parent, you could put controls on your TV to limit the kinds of content your children can see.

Home Security

A smart home can provided improved security through a network of motion sensors, sensors on doors and windows, video cameras and so forth. Another benefit could be reduced insurance bills, and the ability to check on your home when you are away.

Smart Heating and Cooling

Saving energy through better data on room temperature and which rooms are occupied now, or are soon expected to be based upon data mining of past behaviour. In future, we can expect a richer range of mechanisms for managing the environment in our homes: automatic shutters to deflect sunlight, and heat pumps that can pump heat to/from underground storage areas (e.g. underground pipes).

Smart Lighting

Avoiding wasting electricity on lighting when you are out of the room. This likely to become less valuable as we switch to power efficient LED lighting.

Extended Warranties

You pay for an extended warranty service in which you enable a provider to monitor devices such as your washing machine, central heating and air conditioning system and so forth. This allows them to detect problems in advance of breakdowns and to proactively schedule maintenance visits at a time convenient to you. This is based on the diminishing costs for adding network connectivity to consumer products. A side effect is being able to check on you devices remotely, and to get alerts e.g. when the washing cycle has finished.

Media Sharing

This is about a combination of local storage and network streaming for a variety of media: electronic photo frames, audio and video. We will want easy access from whatever room we are in.

Smart Enterprises

Many of the ideas for Smart Homes could be applied to the workplace. Smart enterprises could provide staff with access to rich information about the organization's structure, where people are located physically, meeting rooms, the available devices, e.g. printers, scanners, projectors, and so forth. Access control policies can be set based upon your role within the organization, e.g. as the departmental manager for human resources.

Home Healthcare

The cost of healthcare continues to rise and rise. Home healthcare promises to reduce the costs and improve outcomes. This based upon devices for monitoring your health and your use of medications. We can expect an increasing range of sensors including blood sugar levels, heart rate and patterns, temperature and so forth. There are plenty of challenges, e.g. designing devices for use by people who may not see or hear well, or suffer from mental confusion. Security and privacy will be key to broad acceptance.

Retail and Richer Shopping Experiences

Shops will seek ways to offer enriched shopping experiences, e.g. helping you to find products and to get information about them and other products that you may want, e.g. matching items for a cool fashionable look, or food items for appealing recipes. You may want to know something about where an item comes from and whether the suppliers received a fair proportion of the final price. People with family members with allergies would like instant feedback on whether a given product is safe without having to read the small print for the ingredients. If you are on a diet, you could get suggestions for what to buy for enticing healthier meals. You may want to get independent product reviews before deciding to purchase a given item. You may be interested in what items your friends have bought or looked at recently.

This is all possible with barcodes and NFC, assuming your device can access the Web, and we can expect more and more stores to offer WiFi to enable this. we can expect to see third party services, whether these are in cooperation with the store or completely independent.

A relevant technology is indoor location sensing, and the means to detect when you are moving into and out of particular zones. This could be used to show promotions relevant to the section of a store or mall you have just entered. The demand on battery life could be reduced by pushing the details down to the hardware level for efficient execution on microcontrollers.

Another idea is based upon wireless charging of mobile devices, something recently introduced by Starbucks. Imagine walking into a cafe and on noticing the charger icon on the table, you place your mini-tablet down to charge. As it does so, you are automatically connected to the cafe's WiFi network and presented with enticing information and offers, possibly personalized to you based upon your purchasing history and interests. This scenario combines wireless charging, NFC and WiFi, where NFC is used to connect your device to the WiFi and open the browser at the designated website.