How Nonprofits Can Take Advantage of the Internet of Things

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      Internet of Things applications, or the use of connected devices to collect, share and disseminate data, may seem far on the horizon for nonprofits. But some organizations are already taking advantage of this technology and coming up with creative ways to incorporate smart tools into their missions the AirBeam, a wearable device that gathers information on air pollution, tracks air quality using maps and graphs and sends the information to a crowdsourced platform. The AirCasting app, created by Brooklyn-based HabitatMap with a Google mapping-development grant, puts data into the hands of activists — literally — while increasing the number of advocates working to identify and locate areas where air pollution is a problem.

      Scaling up participation via apps and wearables, technologies that are already familiar to users, is a logical next step for nonprofits that want to expand their reach. While the AirBeam device captures the air pollution data, it’s the digital connection that makes it possible to share it. And, with more than 10,000 downloads of the app, HabitatMap reports a robust community of users that range from schools to citizen scientists. 

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