Increasingly more partnerships between large corporations, an automobile industry in transit and digital assistants for at-home use. The Internet of things, also known as IoT, has entered both into our workplaces and homes. We asked Jens Eliasson, Associate Professor and IoT researcher at Luleå University of Technology, to share his thoughts on the IoT year of 2018.

IoT is a collective term for the development that incorporates things – i.e. refrigerators, clothes and even humans – being equipped with built-in sensors and processors. As a result it is possible for objects to perceive and communicate with their surroundings, making it possible to design new, intelligent services and products.

The rest of the scientific community were very sceptical towards using IP, but now we are actually started seeing the impact as it is taking off.

Within the field of IoT, Jens Eliasson has specialized in research concerning safety and smart solutions for communication. As one of the engineers behind a company named ThingWave he also works with designing solutions for safer work environments in mines. He recalls that the current discussion concerning IoT is quite different from that of ten years ago:

– In my occupation as a scientist I have been working with IoT for a very long time. At LTU we were one of the first ones in the world to point at the advantages with applying Internet technology even on small, wireless battery-driven platforms. The rest of the scientific community were very sceptical towards using IP, but now we are actually started seeing the impact as it is taking off. To be a part of and contribute to this development will be extremely satisfying, Eliasson says.

Cutting costs in maintenance

Jens Eliasson mentions the industry with an on-going 4th revolution as an example of increased IoT use. More and more sensors are connected to create competitive advantages through decreased production losses and maintenance costs. During the next couple of years, Eliasson believes that the progress will accelerate even more. – ”Particularly considering the progress that is being made in machine learning and big data”. He also mentions the manufacturing industry with its big maintenance costs as an area with big development potential:

– IoT allows implementation of predictive maintenance that can save a lot of money. I also believe that we will see a lot happening in the area of smart homes and security.

When adopting IoT in businesses and organisations, Eliasson points out cooperation as a key factor to successful implementation:

– The biggest challenges for businesses that want to invest in IoT, is to manage security aspects and also being able to fully make use of this new technology. To solely install a bunch of IoT-units in itself is does not guarantee success. All systems – maintenance, production and analysis – all need to be working together, Eliasson concludes.


Did you find this article interesting? Here you can continue reading about the award-winning project with smart rock bolts, another research project of Jens Eliasson.