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Navigating today’s connected world

Navigating today’s connected world

27 June 2024

Sonya Weiser

Embracing the internet of things (IoT) can lead to operational improvements, cost savings, and a competitive edge for businesses. I attended an Internet of Things (IoT) conference in Sydney on 13th June to learn about the latest developments in this field. In this blog post I will share some insights, award winning examples of IoT and details of the lovely people I met at the vendor expo.

What is the internet of things?

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a vast network of interconnected physical devices that can transfer data to one another without human intervention. These devices aren't limited to computers or machinery; they can include anything equipped with a sensor and assigned a unique identifier. IoT transforms our world by connecting everyday objects, improving efficiency, and enabling data-driven decision-making.

robots connecting
image: Microsoft

The key components of IoT are:

  • Devices and Sensors: These are the building blocks of IoT. They include everything from smart thermostats and wearables to industrial machinery and environmental sensors.
  • Connectivity: Devices connect through various communication protocols (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular networks, etc.) to transmit data.
  • Data Processing: Collected data undergoes analysis, filtering, and transformation to extract meaningful insights.
  • Cloud Infrastructure: IoT relies on cloud platforms to store, process, and manage data.
  • Applications and Services: These utilize the processed data to provide valuable services or trigger actions.
  • Whilst there are some obvious benefits, there are also challenges and considerations, such as:
  • Security: Protecting data and devices from cyber threats is critical.
  • Interoperability: Ensuring different devices can communicate seamlessly.
  • Scalability: As the number of connected devices grows, managing them becomes complex.
  • Privacy: Balancing data collection with user privacy rights.
  • Cost/benefit: The large capital cost involved in implementing and IoT system may not have a good return on investment.
factory robot
image: Microsoft

Here are some real-world applications of IoT to consider:

  • Manufacturing
    IoT, combined with faster networks and smarter devices, paves the way for Industry 4.0—a revolution in manufacturing processes.
    Industrial robots, equipped with IoT devices, can communicate with each other, share data, and coordinate activities autonomously.
    This connectivity improves robotic efficiency, productivity, safety, and reduces unscheduled maintenance.
  • Agriculture and environmental management
    Farmers use IoT sensors to monitor soil conditions, crop health, and irrigation needs. This data-driven approach optimises farming practices. Using artificial intelligence to analyse the data enables more efficient farm management.
  • Health care
    Wearable devices like Fitbits collect health data and transmit it to smartphones or cloud platforms. These devices help individuals track their fitness, sleep, and overall well-being.
  • Digital Twins
    Starting with a digital replica of an asset, for example an electricity generator, digital twins are a virtual representation of the asset. Sensors feeding real-time live data from the asset into the digital twin make predictive maintenance possible, optimising performance and reducing down-time.
  • Smart Cities
    IoT can be used in smart cities for traffic management, waste management, energy efficiency, and public safety. For instance, sensors can adjust streetlights based on real-time traffic flow.
  • Connected Cars
    Vehicle manufacturers are introducing features like drivers checking their electric vehicle's charging status, controlling interior temperature, and reviewing driving behaviour data from an app on their phone.
    For example, this connectivity can be used to track a stolen Tesla car and disable it remotely from the app
  • Traffic Management
    One interesting new idea of an IoT application was discussed at the IoT conference was an example of how we might combine smart cities with connected cars. You’ll be familiar with overhead gantries on freeways that adjust speed limits according to traffic conditions. Imagine these speed limits being applied directly to a connected car, remotely limiting the speed of vehicles to improve traffic flow.
robot dog overlooking city lights
image: Microsoft

The vast amounts of data created by connected devices in the internet of things of course requires a lot of processing power to make sense of it. Artificial intelligence (AI) is often used as an underlying part of the software solutions that form part of IoT systems. I’m referring here to generic AI processing – the ChatGPT style of AI is a subset of AI, which uses large language models to interact with users in a conversational style known as generative AI. If you want to learn more about that, you can read my blog post from last year on this topic: Navigating the frontier of generative AI (wisertechnologyadvice.com.au)

IoT vendors

The biggest benefit I gained from attending the conference was meeting some lovely people at the vendor expo stands. They’ve given me permission to share their direct contact details, so please get in touch with them, I’m sure they’d be happy to have a chat with you.

IoT vendor expo
IoT vendor expo. Photo: Wiser Technology Advice

Aquamonix Solutions


Aquamonix capabilities cover a range of water and environmental monitoring products and services. Aquamonix has an installed base with more than 30,000 operating flowmeters, 1,000 operating depth or quality sensors and 5,000 irrigation controllers or other devices.

Juliet Browning, 0483 154 211, juliet.browning@aquamonix.com.au

Cogito Group


Cogito Group is an Australian owned IT company dedicated to providing organisations with digital identity and security solutions to assist with managing risk, ensuring compliance and defending against vulnerabilities and threats through innovative technologies.

Bernadette Brown, Director, 0417 266 695, bernadette.brown@cogitogroup.net



Glyn is a specialty distributor in a dynamic and high-growth semiconductor market with its continuous stream of new technologies. They provide qualified technical and commercial services that consistently meets and anticipates the changing needs of customers and the market.

Mark Bennett, 0433 965 540, mark@glyn.com.au

IFM Effector


Since its foundation in 1969, IFM has developed, produced and sold sensors, controllers, software and systems for industrial automation and for SAP-based solutions for supply chain management and shop floor integration worldwide. As one of the pioneers of Industry 4.0, IFM develops and implements consistent solutions to digitalise the entire value chain “from sensor to ERP”. Today, the second-generation family-run ifm group has more than 9,000 employees and is one of the worldwide market leaders.

Zeinab Khaksar, 0417 513 966, sales.au@ifm.com

SAPHI Engineering


SAPHI develop and integrate cutting-edge technologies that drive innovation and efficiency, with competencies in AI imaging, edge computing, research and development, smart operational technology in industry 4.0, hardware and software integration.

Natalie McMahon, 0459 917 411, natalie@saphi.engineering



Senquip finds inspiration in the rugged landscapes of the Australian outback, one of the harshest and most remote places on Earth. Their product design is rooted in the ability to not just endure but thrive in such challenging conditions. Facilitating remote control and monitoring, Senquip products empower users to efficiently oversee and manage distant systems and sensors through online connectivity, ultimately saving them valuable time and resources.

Norman Ballard, CEO
0403 266 851, norman.ballard@senquip.com

IoT award winners

The IoT conference concluded with the IoT awards, showcasing practical examples of how IoT is being used for innovation here in Australia.

IoT award winner
IoT award winner Digital Twinning Australia. Photo: Wiser Technology Advice

These were the winners in each of the categories:

  • Sustainability -Environmental Monitoring award winner:
    University of Technology Sydney’s IoT Enabled Real-time Seawater and Arsenic Removal Monitoring Systems

    University of Technology Sydney developed and deployed real-time seawater monitoring stations in Vietnam to safeguard aquaculture, particularly lobster farming, against diseases and adverse water quality conditions.
    The system measures critical parameters—temperature, acidity, ammonia, dissolved oxygen, salinity and turbidity.
    It then uses artificial intelligence to analyse the data and automatically alert farmers via a mobile app or SMS, enabling them take action and protect their stock.
  • Sustainability -Data for Net Zero award winner:
    City of Perth’s publication of live solar generation data from IoT sensors to inform its community about net zero goals

    The City of Perth is using live, publicly shared IoT data from its solar photo voltaic sites with the goal of informing and increasing public support for net zero projects.
    The project combines data from multiple sites, using an existing Azure Data Lake to make the process cost effective. City of Perth added an API, created a visualisation and shared it on an Open Data portal. No custom coding was required.
    By having real-time high-resolution data, engineers have been able to advise on the feasibility of a community battery more accurately on site.
  • Sustainability -Energy Management award winner:
    Wattwatchers MyEnergy Marketplace "living lab" for real-time household energy data

    Conceived as a ‘people’s energy data bank’ in 2017, the Wattwatchers MyEnergy Marketplace (MEM) has since become operational as a resource for research, innovation and services for the clean energy transition and the electrification of mobility and the built environment.
    The marketplace makes more than 5,000 household, community and small business customer data sets available.
    It includes highly granular electrical data, down to individual circuits covering grid connections (imports and any exports), rooftop solar generation if present, and typical appliance loads such as electric hot water, air-conditioning, pool pumps and EV chargers.
  • Productivity - Asset Management award winner:
    Kallipr & Keolis Downer Yarra Trams' IoT monitoring solution for tram network resilience

    A collaboration between Kallipr & Keolis Downer Yarra Trams, this project aimed to improve the way Melbourne's tram network deals with the challenges posed by sand and debris blockages in over 600 switch point pits.
    The solution features Captis Pulse Lite data loggers and Kallipr Pit Monitoring Kits for real-time drainage monitoring.
    It incorporates a multi-tiered alert system based on data modelling at the network edge and can trigger predictive workflows to help workers mitigate overflow risks and service disruptions during rainfall.
  • Productivity - Remote Monitoring (including Smart Metering) award winner:
    SA Water’s Predictive Cathodic Protection Maintenance IoT Project

    This project is helping automate testing of a system that protects sections of SA Water’s ~$1.7 billion worth of pipe assets, and also aims to help SA Water planners make more informed long-term capital investment decisions.
    Large sections of SA Water pipes are protected through an electrochemical process, the Cathodic Protection System, which prevents or reduces corrosion.
    SA Water integrated a range of IoT devices from Corrosion Instruments for measuring variables, with telemetry sent to a central cloud-based platform to analyse and visualise the data over a combination of communication methods (LoRaWAN, Cellular & Low-Earth Orbit satellite).
  • Productivity - Industrial Automation award winner:
    CSR PGH Bricks and Pavers’ IoT vision-based quality control system for accurate colour matching

    In partnership with Bosch Australia Manufacturing Solutions (BAMS), this project aims to accurately measure and quantify the colour consistency of bricks in factory production, facilitating data-driven decisions for grading of bricks for sale to customers within specified colour ranges and to reduce waste.
    BAMS collaborated with Bosch Global Software Technologies (BGS), specialising in Industrial AI and IoT-driven true north manufacturing efficiencies.
    Additionally, the project established a scalable digital architecture, facilitating data-driven decisions across the organisation. This technology-driven approach enabled vendor and solution neutrality.
  • Productivity - Logistics/Supply Chain Management award winner:
    Scully RSV’s ScullyLive IoT-powered fleet management portal

    The ScullyLive customer portal provides reporting and dashboards to support operations of customers of Australian refrigerated logistics sales and hire company Scully RSV.
    The company uses telematics and IoT to manage compliance to maintenance schedules for vehicle and refrigeration assets, asset availability and stocktake at branches and repair centres and provide customers with temperature reporting.
    The portal, built on Inauro’s Perspio platform, has enabled Scully RSV to grow its vehicle fleet while integrating third-party telematics into operational processes, without costly hardware rationalisation.
  • Productivity - Safety and Wellbeing award winner:
    Transport for NSW’s smarter, safer: Level crossing technology trial

    The Level Crossing Technology Trial is designed to improve safety at level crossings by improving driver awareness of the level crossing and its risk.
    IoT radar-activated LED stop and advance warning signs are being trialled at three passive railway level crossings in regional NSW.
    The trial is a collaboration between Transport for NSW, Australian Rail Track Corporation, Sage Automation, Weddin and Narromine Shire Councils, in consultation with the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) and the Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB).
    The $1.8 million Level Crossing Safety Technology Trial is funded by the NSW Government's Smart Places Acceleration Program and Transport for NSW.
  • Trusted technology and data - Trusted IoT Service award winner:
    Transport for NSW and Sydney Olympic Park’s digital trust for places and routines project, to support a smart Sydney Olympic Park

    This project became the first organisation in the Southern Hemisphere to rollout Digital Trust for Places and Routines (DTPR) - an open-source communication standard to increase transparency and accountability for digital technology in public places.
    DTPR is a wayfinding system for IoT solutions used in public places, aiming to make data collection more visible. The signs tell the story of the technology in use, the data being collected, who is collecting it and what they are using it for. A QR code helps community members and visitors learn more, ask and provide feedback.
    The system has been used to communicate about a smart irrigation management pilot, a pilot using AI vision to reduce litter in Sydney Harbour’s waterways, and a pilot using de-identified footage and other data for crowd safety purposes.
  • Trusted technology and data - Smart Sensing award winner:
    SAPHI’s dynamic visual sensing technology for government

    Shellshock is an “urban insights system” designed to capture multiple data sources but not personal or identifiable data. It is designed for local governments and transport authorities grappling with complex urban data collection.
    Shellshock is intended to replace an array of devices that require large-scale, costly deployments and extensive management.
    This system uses sound sensors with edge computing, able to interpret what types of vehicles are using a roadway by the sounds they make.
    This offers a cost-effective, secure and efficient alternative to traffic counting systems, being cheaper than a road rope counter.
  • Trusted technology and data - Digital Twin Innovation award winner:
    Digital Twinning Australia’s CCEmission360, a digital twin solution to resolve CapEx-OpEx-emissions impact trade-off

    Digital Twinning Australia created a minimum viable product for a digital twin designed to enable automation of statutory emission reporting for an unnamed multinational client, through “precise determination of the ‘green’ content in ore tonnage”.
    The project aims to govern the process from IoT live data collection to data analysis from more than 100 sources within a concentrator plant.
    CCEmission360 also helps optimise the lifecycle of plant assets through real-time performance evaluations.
  • Trusted technology and data - Research award winner:
    CSIRO’s randomised controlled trial: using IoT to support older people to live in their own homes for longer

    This randomised controlled trial aimed to validate a CSIRO-developed iOS platform called Smarter Safer Homes (SSH) to support older people living independently at home.
    The SSH trial was conducted as a large multi-site, community based RCT, in collaboration with three aged care providers.
    Ambient sensors were installed around a person’s home to gather data which was pre-processed through a novel algorithm to infer essential activities of daily living including mobility, hygiene, dressing, food preparation, and socialisation. The sensors did not include wearables or video cameras and as such were designed to be unobtrusive and privacy preserving.
    Final analysis and end trial reporting was conducted and released in FY22-23, with the study finding a positive impact on social care-related quality of life, but no significant differences between groups when it came to secondary outcomes such as health-related quality of life, functional independence, depression levels, health service utilisation and care giver burden.
  • Trusted technology and data - Data Smart Transformation award winner:
    WaterGroup combines IoT and human agency to save water

    WaterGroup’s Active Water Analysis Risk and Efficiency (AWARE) service combines real time water usage metering and cloud-based data analytics with human intervention with the goal of enabling large organisations to achieve significant water usage reductions.
    Savings are recorded, monitored, verified and reported to stakeholders along with identification of key issues.
    WaterGroup focused on achieving cost-effective and water savings by encouraging user action.
  • Further reading

    IoT Impact conference: https://www.iothub.com.au/iot-impact

    30 Internet of Things Examples You Should Know, 19 March 2024, Matthew Urwin, Built In, available at: https://builtin.com/articles/iot-examples

    IoT Applications and Benefits in Manufacturing, 5 March 2024, Ashutosh, SDLS Corp, available at: https://sdlccorp.com/post/iot-applications-and-benefits-in-manufacturing

    IoT explained: the 2024 IoT guide, 26 February 2024, Emily Bowen, Telnyx, available at: https://telnyx.com/resources/what-is-iot

    IoT in Manufacturing: Applications and Benefits of Smart Factories, 8 February 2024, Vitaly Kurduban, DIGI, available at: https://www.digi.com/blog/post/iot-in-manufacturing

    IoT in Manufacturing: Applications and Upcoming Trends, 9 April 2024, Emily Himes, PTC, available at: https://www.ptc.com/en/blogs/iiot/iot-in-manufacturing-applications-and-trends

    IoT in Manufacturing: Guide and Use Cases, 1 February 2024, Boomi, available at: https://boomi.com/blog/guide-to-iot-in-manufacturing

    Navigating the frontier of generative AI, 10 December 2023, Sonya Weiser, Wiser Technology Advice, available at: https://www.wisertechnologyadvice.com.au/wiser-technology-advice-blog/navigating-the-frontier-of-generative-ai

    The state of IoT in the manufacturing market, 19 September 2023, Max Pliats, Itransition, available at: https://www.itransition.com/iot/manufacturing

    What Is the Internet of Things (IoT)? With Examples, 30 March 2024, Jessica Schulze, Coursra, available at: https://www.coursera.org/articles/internet-of-things

Sonya Weiser

Sonya Weiser

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