What is the Internet of Things?

You might have come across the concept of IoT - the Internet of Things. What is IoT and how does it relate to Brick and powerbank sharing?

What is the Internet of Things?
What is the Internet of Things?

In a nutshell, a network of physical devices (‘things’) connected to the internet and other devices. Devices can communicate with each other through their connectivity, making data transmission, collection, and analytics possible. Brick stations and powerbank are IoT solutions! You can rent a Brick from one of our stations by using your phone to ‘talk’ to the Brick station. We’ll go into more detail later, let’s cover IoT basics first!

To put it briefly, IoT works in three steps:

  1. Sensors embedded in devices collect data
  2. Data is then shared via the cloud and integrated with software
  3. The software analyzes and transmits data to the user via an app or website

What are IoT devices?

This machine-to-machine communication (M2M) requires little to no direct human intervention and will be implemented in the majority of devices to come. Though still relatively novel in some areas, IoT can be implemented in a broad range of settings

  1. Human health - e.g., wearables
  2. Home - e.g., home voice assistants
  3. Cities - e.g., adaptive traffic control
  4. Outdoor settings - e.g., autonomous vehicles

Let’s take wearable devices for human health as an example. Often equipped with biometric sensors, they can detect body temperature, heart rate, respiration rates, and more. The collected data is then shared, stored in a cloud infrastructure, and transmitted to a health app that is compatible with this service.

What are the benefits of IoT?

IoT connects the physical and digital world by simplifying complexities. Its high levels of automation reduce margins of error, require less human efforts, and fewer emissions, increase efficiency, and are time-saving. According to Statista, the number of IoT-connected devices was 9.76 billion in 2020. That number is expected to triple to approximately 29.42 billion by 2030. Given their advantages and potential, the exponential growth is not surprising!

Brick as IoT

The Brick powerbank sharing infrastructure is a global network. That means that you can grab a powerbank at a Brick station in Stockholm and return it at a Brick station in Australia, or anywhere where there are Brick stations. Cool right?

The majority of Brick stations are connected with SIM cards using 4G and LTE. As you might have already guessed, Brick is reliant on reliable connectivity. If there is no connectivity, you can’t rent or return a powerbank. The Brick stations are not high data users, they use approximately 0.5 megabytes a day. You wouldn’t be able to stream anything with that usage.

We collect as little data as possible, especially about our users. There are no GPS sensors in the powerbanks, but we do collect data around Brick station usage. All our partners have access to the data concerning their own local Brick stations. We’ve built a unique dashboard where they can see usage and other parameters (for example how many slots are occupied/empty and when rentals are happening) that allow them to run, manage and grow Brick in their own markets. This is also how we can help our partners remotely from our Brick HQ in Stockholm!

Access beats Ownership

As you might have noticed, sharing economy is the driving force behind Brick. Powerbanks are our pillar stone, but it’s not our limit. We are building an infrastructure for any IoT device that can be implemented within the sharing economy context. This would enable any entrepreneur to build and grow their business autonomously, without having to consider branding or coding.

Get started with Brick

The start-up cost of becoming a Brick partner is €4 000. Maybe 20 stations and a passive income from their Brick stations is more than enough for some partners. Other see it as an opportunity to easily and with a lot of support build a large-scale business. Interested? Go ahead and apply to become a network partner!