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How can IoT innovations resulting from space missions be used?

Space exploration has shaped the course of society through technological advances in IoT applications for healthcare, personal and business use.

The push to rapidly develop technology for space exploration has resulted in many IoT innovations. IT pros have been able to use these innovations to develop sensors, communication networks and compute processes that collect and transmit data and images over limited network bandwidth.

Space missions have served as the launch point for many of the latest innovations people use every day, including PCs, smartphones and solar panels, as well as medical innovations such as the insulin pump, scratch-resistant lenses for glasses and artificial limbs.

Organizations that developed these space and IoT innovations pursued them because of the need to develop smaller, faster and more reliable systems. Once successfully demonstrated on missions, researchers began to explore how the technology could be used on earthbound systems. The application of space technology to other areas was both planned through research and discovered as the result of experiments in space.

3 IoT uses inspired by space exploration

Satellites are primary examples of devices that gather data, collect images and transmit information -- through calls, streaming or emails -- about the environment to monitor storms or agriculture. The data has traditionally been sent to government or university labs. IT pros had to figure out how to broadcast this data to users who weren't in a lab or didn't have high-tech equipment, which pushed them to create IoT technology that could transfer data without needing supercomputing facilities.

IoT innovations continue to expand the uses of IoT in a variety of industry applications. Doctors can monitor patients by using bandages or other wearables that incorporate sensors to collect patient health information. IoT can add value in rural and undeveloped areas where access to medical care is limited. For example, if fears of a communicable disease were to arise, data could be shared quickly with a lab and the areas of the outbreak to try to contain the spread of disease.

In the enterprise, organizations can use IoT sensors for predictive maintenance on their machines to monitor conditions in factories or asset tracking. Many smart buildings incorporate sensors to adjust temperature and lighting based on the presence of people in rooms to lower energy waste. Tracking devices reduce the time spent locating equipment and products.

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