In Chicago, Ill, some of the railroad viaducts are more than a century old. Yet they’re miraculously able to withstand the blow when a 13′ 6″ truck tries to barrel through an underpass that is just 12′ 4″ high. That’s good news for the rail commuters heading downtown or back out to the suburbs. But it doesn’t help you if you live in the city. One truck in one viaduct can gridlock traffic throughout your entire neighborhood for hours.
The viaducts are marked with steel signs stating their height, of course. But that isn’t always sufficient. So what if you addressed the issue with some very simple Internet of Things technology? All you’d need is a sensor to measure truck height, a digital sign, and a network gateway. The sensor would report an approaching truck’s height to the network gateway, the gateway would consult with your software, and your software would use the network gateway to place an appropriate message on the digital sign.
There are an infinite number of parameters that can be measured by sensors and sensor networks, and an infinite number of messages that can be displayed on digital signs. Keeping trucks from getting stuck in viaducts is just one possible application. But the Internet of Things technology involved is pretty straightforward. The sensors collect data, the gateway reports it, and the software decides what should be displayed on the digital sign.