Sergey Nivens - Fotolia

Internet of Things use cases that do more than lock doors

The Internet of Things isn't only about locking doors. It's also about having a network that knows who to let in and who to keep out, without any human intervention.

I heard something recently that stuck with me: Internet of Things use cases aren't just about adjusting thermostats or locking doors remotely. That's only the start of its value.

Fully realizing IoT's potential comes down to what you do with all those controls, particularly how you use them to automate simple tasks that humans would otherwise need to do. Instead of flashing an ID card at every door in an office building, you would be identified via facial recognition software, which would use the network to relay the level of authorization you have, and then upon approach, automatically unlock the door.

It's a neat example, but I wouldn't blame you for not being dazzled by it. Fortunately, however, this issue of Network Evolution not only takes you on a tour of four organizations with really cool Internet of Things use cases, but it also shows what it takes to support them on an enterprise network ("IoT wireless networks: What's it really take to run them?"). For instance, newborns in a Boston hospital receive a wristband with a sensor. If the baby is removed from the ward without permission, the wireless network detects it and immediately puts the building on lockdown. Find out how the hospital's IT pros navigate everything from signal inference to access point placement to make those Internet of Things use cases happen.

Also in this issue, we explore what it takes to make the transition from network engineer to network architect ("How to become a network architect, from those who did it") and what network automation looks like in the real world ("Network automation scripts: Separating myth from reality").

Next Steps

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How to support Internet of Things apps in AWS

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