TechInAfrica – To achieve the fourth Industrial Revolution’s general vision, objectives can be defined as points in which machines are augmented with wireless connectivity and sensors, connected to a system that can visualize the entire production line, control, and make decisions on its own. This is often referred and popularized as Internet of Things, or IoT for short—we have our very own section exclusively dedicated to IoT, you can check it out here—that offers ease in access for various human activities by providing them with the ability to communicate and interact with others over the Internet. In addition, they can also be remotely monitored and controlled.
Vodacom, a South African mobile communications company that provides voice, messaging, data and converged services to over 55 million customers, launched a number of IoT products designed for users to manifest them in their own homes—eventually making their houses as ‘smart homes’. Dubbed “V by Vodacom”, the corporation released a bunch of services, namely V-Pet tracker, V-Kids Watch tracker, V-bag tracker and a V-Home Safety Starter Kit that comes with a multipurpose sensor, siren, HD camera and a mobile Wi-Fi hub.
All of these awesome devices are connected to your respective smartphones via the V-Sim—which is provided with all cellular V by Vodacom devices and sold at Vodacom stores. Users will be alerted via push notifications whenever your pets or possessions move outside of certain bounds; also provided in the V-Home Safety Starter Kit.
Currently, this service is available for existing Vodacom customers only—as payments revolving a monthly subscription program will be charged into their respective monthly cell bill and/or phone credits. In the near future, however, Vodacom hopes to make this service feasible for non-Vodacom users—all while connecting millions of South Africans by their use of IoT.
When I first played Watch Dogs, these types of ideas (where all things can be controlled in the palm of our hands) were only deemed fictional and entertaining. But Vodacom’s refreshing move proved that Internet of Things isn’t that far for us to reach.