Bins will be able to tell your rubbish collector when they’re full and ready for emptying, ovens will let you know when the dinner is cooked and parking bays will be able to alert your car when it’s empty around the corner and ready for you to park there.
All these and more seemingly magical innovations will soon be possible here following the launch of the latest Internet of Things (IoT) network from Vodafone by Minister for Communications, Denis Naughten.
The revolutionary technology that will enable a plethora of new smart devices is now here and it has been made possible following the rollout of the first nationwide commercial narrowband (NB) IoT network from Vodafone.
Narrowband is different technology to the broadband we are all already used to, and with the upgrades now completed by Vodafone, narrowband will be able to run cheaply alongside existing 2G, 3G and 4G networks.
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It is far cheaper and more sturdy and reliable than existing broadband networks, with coverage easily available in remote rural areas – great news for farmers who will be able to track livestock remotely with the new technologies – and even underground.
Minister Naughten welcomed the innovation with open arms and said he looked forward to some of the wonderful digital advancements that would now follow.
“We’re the first country in Europe to have a nationwide network that allows for the development of the Internet of Things right across this country,’ Mr Naughten said.
“That means we can connect ordinary things like cookers, washing machines, electricity to the internet.
“The projection is that between now and 2020 on average every minute 600 things will be connected to the Internet of Things.
“These are ordinary everyday items and it will improve everyday use of and efficiency of electricity.”
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The IoT advancements will also drive new technology in the crucial field of healthcare.
“The uses in the health services in feeding back medical data, ongoing monitoring of patients with chronic illnesses – there are huge opportunities we haven’t even visualised yet,” Mr Naughten said.
Anne O’Leary, chief executive at Vodafone Ireland, said that the exciting new technology would be of enormous benefit to both business and consumers.
“The evolution of the Internet of Things means that there is an urgent need for a low-power way to connect thousands of devices – NB IoT fits the bill perfectly,” Ms O’Leary said.
“We are therefore delighted to be the first Irish operator to provide a fully commercial, nationwide NB-IoT network to our customers.
“Our latest innovation will provide a head start to Irish businesses and consumers in their race to become truly smart and efficient, radically saving time and money,” she said.
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