3 Ways IoT is Empowering the Holiday Season

IoT Holiday, Snowflake, Image by Adobe stock

It’s the Holiday season once again, and amid all the celebrations and festivities, we here at Soracom found ourselves thinking – as we often do – about IoT. Connected smart technologies are enriching our lives in innumerable ways, and, given the season, we started thinking about how IoT is empowering the Holiday season.

Let’s look at a few examples.

Christmas trees, IoT, image by adobe stock

Using IoT Sensors to Monitor Christmas Tree Production

In the months leading up to the holiday season, there are roughly 350 million live Christmas trees growing on farms across the country. Given that the average Christmas tree most people will be thinking of is typically between 6 and 8 years old, and the USDA claims that anywhere between 25 and 30 million trees are sold every year, precision farming is essential to keep up with demand. 

Carefully placed sensors can track a tree crop’s growth but also monitor environmental conditions to better inform maintenance and upkeep of the crop. These actionable insights allow farmers to know when to sew and when to reap, how to react to potentially damaging events (such as fires and pest infestations), and even how to maintain more eco-efficient practices.

This also extends to the next step in the supply chain, transportation. Trucks can be remotely monitored both to keep up with real-time tracking and delivery estimates, but also to maintain the trucking equipment itself. With these insights, farmers can be on top of any and all deliveries and provide solutions to any potential issues that stem from delayed shipments, all while ensuring that their vehicles – and their drivers – are operating at optimal levels.

Gift-Wrapping Robots Make the Elves’ Jobs Easier

A lot of IoT-empowered automation is in service of manufacturing or construction, yet one company is utilizing one of its smart robots in a more festive manner. Automation company ABB has created a number of interesting robotic devices throughout the years – yet its YuMi robot is just as at-home wrapping Christmas presents as it is on the assembly line.

Described as the “world’s first truly collaborative robot,” the YuMi utilizes advanced sensors to provide its arms with uniquely high sensitivity and collision control. The YuMi’s gift-wrapping ventures are only the latest display of its deft and nimble controls, as the robot has also made paper airplanes, served coffee and ice cream, and even conducted an orchestra.

“Underlying all of these fun applications is the serious message of how robots like YuMi are helping to change attitudes towards robotic automation,” Sami Atiya, ABB president of robotics and discrete automation, told IoT World Today. “In helping to educate people about how robots can support our work, YuMi has paved the way for robots to be used in workplaces and factory floors worldwide.”

Xmas Special, IoT Christmas tree lights

IoT-Empowered Christmas Lights Brighten the Season

This one is a fun DIY project from our past. By using a Raspberry Pi Zero W Kit, some LED light strips, and Breadboard wires, our team was able to create a remotely operated string of lights powered by Soracom’s cellular connectivity.  Of course, the process could be repeated with another single-board computer or device, so there is some leeway for creativity.

This process allows a user to remotely control their Christmas lights, and though the version explored in our post is fairly basic, it does provide users with the basic understanding necessary to create larger and more elaborate displays.

Read more to learn how you, too, can have your own connected Christmas tree,

IoT is the Gift that Keeps on Giving

With so many potential applications, the IoT has found its way into virtually every part of modern life. If you are interested in exploring your own IoT application, why not get in touch with our team of experts to discuss your project? We’re always happy to hear from you!

Happy holidays!


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