IoT Is Essential to Preserving World History
Wed, April 21, 2021

IoT Is Essential to Preserving World History

IoT helped monitor the Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence / Photo Credit: kavalenkava (via Shutterstock)


IoT is the key to the future and to the past, according to Simon Chandler of business news Forbes. Increasingly, IoT sensors are now used to monitor historic structures and buildings. Thanks to these sensors, we are now getting better at preserving the world’s heritage, allowing us to connect with the distant past. 

One notable example is when a part of the embankment of the river Arno in Florence collapsed in May 2016, putting the Ponte Vecchio bridge in a similar fate. The University of Florence’s Geology Department installed geotechnical sensors to monitor the 14th-century bridge, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Worldsensing, a Barcelona-based IoT firm used its Loadsensing remote monitoring system was installed across the bridge in the form of wireless sensors. The system was used to collect real-time data from the sensors. 

The sensors tracked the stability of the bridge, as well as the surrounding area in real-time, to ensure that the Ponte Vecchio is not on the verge of collapse or subsidence. They sent a steady stream of data back to operators in Florence. The operators checked the information using Loadsensing’s Software Suite, with the latter powered by California-based firm InfluxData. By monitoring real-time data, Florence City Council could respond promptly in cases of danger, preserving the bridge and keeping visitors safe. 

At the IoT Solutions World Congress, WorldSensing CTO Albert Zaragoza explained to Chandler, “Using the power of the IoT, we are able to bring that data faster, in a more secure way, to a centralized system, where you can cross-reference that data with other signals.” In the past, each of the devices and departments operated in silos. Now, companies can respond faster thanks to IoT technologies. With IoT, firms can prevent disasters that are otherwise ignored or left undetected, Zaragoza stated. 

As IoT devices become more prevalent and affordable, there will be an exponential increase in the numbers of charities, museums, and governments using IoT to preserve history. This is one case where new technology is used to protect and conserve, not to disrupt. Emerging technologies will change our lives, but it will also connect us with the past, enabling us to remember what is most important to us.