Internet of Things (IoT), the term first coined in 1999 by Kevin Ashton, refers to a network of devices, which communicate with each other over the internet. Moreover, they don’t require human intervention while interacting. Good thing, this technology isn’t restricted to mobiles, computers, and laptops only. Today, the application of the said technology ranges from door locks to washing machines, vacuum cleaners, air conditioners, and much more. All you need is to hook them up onto a good internet connection and the whole world is at arm’s length.
All good things come at a cost and so does this one. It is expected there will be up to 21 billion devices under the IoT umbrella by 2020, but at the same time penetration of internet into our homes to this extent is making our lives more vulnerable. A proposed solution to counter this susceptibility is end-to-end encryption; a good security plan is equally crucial as the technology itself.
20 years after IoT got its name, it is being utilized in almost everything. At the time Kevin Ashton first used the term, the British innovator faced an issue with lipstick sales dropping due to delayed re-stocking. And he came up with the idea of using sensors in them so the stocks could be replenished as soon as the stores ran out of them.
Number of IoT Appliances expected to double by 2020:
Statistical predictions by IDC say the IoT market will grow to $1.7 trillion at a compound average growth rate (CAGR) of 16.9% by 2020. Moreover, a report by Business Insider claims IoT business will grow from 10 billion in 2015 to a whopping 34 billion in a mere 5 years’ time. An investment of almost $6 trillion is expected in this domain and projected to generate returns over $13 trillion by 2025. Cisco claims an optimistic estimate of about 50 billion IoT devices by 2020, whereas Gartner Inc. is rather pessimistic around 20.8 billion connected devices.
More of “Smart” cities
Statistically, of all the businesses that have invested in IoT, 94% have seen encouraging results on these investments. In addition, the IoT application in our daily life is predicted to bring a mammoth sum of $19 trillion in cost savings and returns. Only smart kitchens can lead to approximately 15% savings in the Food and Beverages industry. Owing to such encouraging results, experts believe that IoT is here to stay and in future, cities will be able to automate: manage themselves remotely; utilize smart video surveillance systems, study human/consumer behavior through kiosks, so on and so forth. The scope and possibilities are never-ending.
Drive with IoT
IoT has been a part of the automotive technology for considerably long, with facilities like: monitoring of connected car systems, smart driving assistance, availability of cloud based information, entertainment services, automated emergency management, real-time fleet management, Driver safety systems, optimized logistics, predictive maintenance and much more.
IoT for Sports and Fitness
IoT can be and has already been incorporated in the domain of sports and fitness. For instance today we see sportswear sensors and trackers for fitness connected to mobile phones for data collection and integration with sports gear, real-time analytics, share-able data storage, predictive sportswear maintenance, remote gym equipment control, etc. French tennis company Babolat has in fact added sensors and connectivity into some variants of its rackets, allowing players to analyze ball speed and impact location to help improve their game.
IoT in Retail World
Some retailers have already put it into action, while some other businesses are still in the homework phase working on development and incorporation of IoT into their respective business processes. Introduction of mobile shopping apps, sensor-based inventory/sales tracking & management, individually tailored digital marketing, mobile payment solutions and data collection pertaining to consumer behavior and customer preferences, all are instances of IoT induction into the retail market.
IoT and Healthcare
The noblest application of IoT is to the healthcare regime, wherein it allows you to manage and monitor your health status on any number of virtually connected devices. Monitoring patient’s health status remotely, asset management in hospitals, remote configuration & tuning of medical equipment, predictive device & equipment maintenance etc. are some of the varied aspects of healthcare industry wherein IoT has begun to make its mark.
Ralph Lauren has created a new Polo Tech Shirt that’s equipped to stream athletic performance metrics such as heart rate, the intensity of movement and energy output. It can be integrated with devices like Fitbit etc. Through wearables IoT can thus make possible multi-device data exchange, topic-based notifications, data integration across devices & apps, and customized analytics & reporting.
“Smart-er” farming with IoT
IoT can make farming easy with features like sensor-based field mapping, monitoring the moisture and fertilizer levels, monitoring equipment and crops remotely, predictive analytics for crops and livestock, livestock tracking, climate monitoring and forecasting, smart warehousing and livestock feed and produce analytics, etc. For instance, Field Connect system by John Deere monitors moisture levels, air and soil temperatures, wind speed, humidity, radiation, rainfall, etc. through its extensive sensor system, thus helping the farmer farm smarter!
Banking with the Internet of Things
Banks have by far utilized IoT the most, and to the fullest of the technology’s capacity thus far. They have exploited wearable devices like Apple Watch and Fitbit for easy payment alternatives by developing wearable-friendly banking apps. Branching out to IoT connected cars, smart contracts based on Blockchain technology and ensuring customer security, smart banking branches now offer a better experience than the now-under-threat retail branches. Bluetooth beacons are used for all demographics of the client population including disabled individuals, thus helping them locate smart branches. You can also now pay bills through Amazon’s Alexa, from the comfort of your home.
Manufacturing and IoT
IoT in the manufacturing industry is expected to have a CAGR of at least 16.9% across the world. Approximately 35% businesses already use IoT sensors in manufacturing across the U.S., which is expected to grow significantly in the next few years, especially with the development of location-based beacon technologies like iBeacon.
This definitely is not an exhaustive list of trends molding the future of IoT, but still enough to have a fair idea of the necessity and the importance of its development. Also, the listed trends signal as to how smartly IoT can transform regular human experience into a more fascinating and convenient one. Such as Gym equipment with predictive maintenance alerts.