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The Internet of Things has potential to transform public sector

Staff writer |
Government has been slow to incorporate Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, but some leading public sector organizations are starting to benefit from early applications.

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This is according to a new report by Deloitte's GovLab think tank titled, "Anticipate, Sense, and Respond: Connected government and the Internet of Things." Researchers also identified ways government organizations can further use connected devices to transform service delivery.

To show the potential impact of IoT on government, Deloitte examined three areas – public education, public safety and public water utilities – where the IoT could be used to enhance current operations.

Education
Cognitive devices could alert a teacher to a student's concentration or stress levels, allowing the teacher to focus on students who need the most help, whether they ask for it or not.

Educators with years of experience often develop an intuitive understanding of such complex behavioral dynamics, but a connected classroom could provide insights even to rookie teachers.

Public safety
The IoT could be utilized to more quickly aggregate and analyze information about an event; examples include environmental sensors that recognize the sound of a gunshot and pinpoint its location within 10 feet, devices that monitor officers' stress levels or other anomalies, or connected weapons that signal when and where an officer removes a gun from its holster and discharges it.

Public water utilities
The IoT can create a more cohesive picture of the highly-fragmented water supply system to better manage the multiple issues from well to tap.

For instance, sensors within water delivery systems can help identify, stop, and even fix leaks to improve delivery to customers.

For agriculture use – which accounts for 70 percent of water consumption today – sensors with advanced algorithms can address problems of overwatering by analyzing how much water plants need and automatically adjusting supply.


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