RALEIGH (WRAL) – The current wave of the tech economy, the Internet of Things, is showing strong presence in our region’s entrepreneurship ecosystem. At RIoT, we have the great fortune of supporting emerging and established companies as they dive into new applications of our connected economy.

Editor’s note: Rachael Meleney is Program Director for RIoT, the regional Internet of Things users group based in Raleigh.

Through the RIoT Accelerator Program (RAP), we mentor groups of entrepreneurs at once. In aggregate, this provides a view into the health and evolution of IoT entrepreneurship in the region– and also exemplifies the strength of the region, as RAP is attracting applications from startups across to U.S. In our ecosystem today, we are seeing the maturation of IoT applications to real world problems as IoT data becomes more sophisticated.

The internet connectivity of physical things first advanced capabilities in monitoring, which led to an ability to control and then the ability to optimize– meaning IoT can drive peak performance of a technological capability, with little ongoing direction or manual intervention from users.

Take utilities metering for example– first we were able to monitor electricity consumption, then with greater sophistication could compare consumption across households, time of day, and season. With that data, utilities providers could move towards optimization of electricity consumption and cost by employing dynamic pricing, or even control the flow of energy in some commercial cases.

Now technology is advancing further to predictive intelligence that allows IoT devices, networks, and systems, to be autonomous. You can think of the Nest thermostat, which optimizes your energy consumption and temperature comfort in your home by learning your habits and automatically adjusting the temperature based on your preferences and your comings and goings.

IOT STARTUPS AND PUBLIC SAFETY

In public safety, IoT is enhancing visibility and quick action in emergency situations. Green Stream Technologies provides municipalities with real-time flood monitoring, empowering them to take swift action for the safety of their citizens, a need the Southeast knows all too well.

Safe Zone, a gunshot detection device by Florida-based AVidea Group, enables private commercial spaces to establish a system that will alert administrators and first responders immediately in active shooter situations—cutting down response times and therefore saving lives. Both solutions show cases were IoT systems more quickly and accurately capture emergencies and prompt necessary human response before consequences become more disastrous.

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