Interconnectivity Developing World

Interconnectivity Benefits the Developing World

By DeVry University

Imagine a world where clean water is widely available and water-quality information is easily accessible, life-saving vaccines are remotely monitored to maintain stable temperatures and wearable devices can help predict life-threatening illnesses. Good news — that future is already here thanks to the growing reach of interconnectivity and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Evolving technology is reshaping our world, with multiple benefits and ripple effects that we can only begin to imagine. And as these effects start materializing, IoT devices represent a prime opportunity for programmers with the latest skills — like circuit design, gesture programming and microcontroller programming — to apply their knowledge to expanding technologies that offer global benefits. Continue reading to learn more about how advanced technology is changing not only the digital landscape, but also the ways in which people in developing countries are able to thrive.

The Power of Interconnectivity to Improve Communities

Nothing demonstrates the growing interconnectivity of tech quite like the IoT. From smart homes to smart cars to beacon technology, the IoT is poised to disrupt all major industries to change the way we live, work and play. And it can also improve communities and contribute to global development. From improved energy efficiency to more effectively allocating enough resources to people, interconnectivity can advance communities in a variety of ways.

Water quality is a major concern for developing countries. The IoT is already being used in locations such as Bangladesh, where robotic IoT sensors monitor arsenic levels in drinking water to determine unsafe water sources. In Kenya, IoT devices monitor usage using accelerometers attached to water pumps, and in Rwanda, they monitor water flow and pump performance, sending alerts when pumps need repairs to help people maintain accessibility to water sources.

IoT devices and systems can also provide improved traffic alerts and monitoring, effectively reducing noise pollution and streamlining deliveries in the process. Smart transportation systems, such as those used in Singapore, can monitor expressways for accidents and traffic tie-ups or utilize variable toll pricing to speed up the flow of traffic and provide real-time traffic information to area drivers. In Singapore, the IoT has helped ease congestion and has paved the way to faster travel times over city roadways.

Wearable tech has many potential uses beyond fitness tracking. For example, companies may develop wearables that can measure a child's breathing to alert medical professionals that he might have early-stage pneumonia — the main cause of death for young children in poor countries. This is just one example of how advanced technology can be used to solve prominent problems facing children around the globe. 

Challenges of an Increasingly Interconnected World

As the world becomes increasingly connected, issues like cyber security will begin to take center stage. Experts predict that there will be 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020.While the growth of the connected world has many benefits, it also presents unique security and privacy risks for consumers, such as:

  • Worried consumers may be hesitant to connect to IoT devices for fear of data breaches
  • Increased vulnerability to hacking — Icon Labs notes that “standard PC security solutions won’t solve the challenges of embedded devices” and that “the number…of attacks against embedded devices continues to rise and greater security measures are needed,” suggesting that IoT devices require unique security solutions that are still in development 
  • How much data is too much to collect? Big Data raises privacy concerns about whether companies are learning too much about consumers via the information collected with IoT devices

IoT devices are poised to take on increasingly larger, more consequential roles that impact and improve communities around the globe. The digital landscape is changing quickly, with new advancements in technology poised to touch nearly every facet of life. As interconnectivity brings more people online around the world, the potential benefits continue growing at a rapid pace.

Brought to you by DeVry University. In 1931, Herman DeVry founded a university that embraced technology.  Today, we are putting technology at the core of our business, tech and healthcare programs, to help prepare our students to solve tomorrow’s problems.