Posted Monday, September 26, 2016 by AMIT ARORA
“There will be 34 billion devices connected to the internet by 2020” as per Business Insider report. “By 2020, there will be close to 10 million Internet of Things developers” predicts Vision Mobile. IoT space is surely booming in leaps and bounds. However, some questions that need an answer include what all it has in store for us in future? How would IoT affect the way we live? Is IoT the next big thing? If you want to get an answer to any of these questions, this post will enlighten you on the same. Let us first begin by a clarification of the IoT concept.
What Is IoT?
In simple terms, IoT (Internet of Things) is a technology that enables simple everyday objects with the ability to send and receive data using internet and a sensor. Such devices are becoming very common in everyday lives and people are getting used to them. In layman terms, IoT is a network of physical objects that have sensors attached to them and they are able to connect using internet to a smart phone or other devices. IoT allows us to make any object smart by placing a sensor and internet connectivity to it. IoT also allows devices to be fitted with actuators that turn things on or off automatically under given circumstances. Here is an example to explain the concept. Have a look at the watch. It is a simple object. Now, add a sensor, let’s say heart rate monitor and internet connectivity. Now this watch can connect to a smart phone or other device and provide information on how our heart is functioning.
From Industrial to Consumer
Though most of us relate internet connected devices with consumer products, it is actually not the case always. The concept of IoT began mainly with enterprise solutions and that is still a very big but comparatively lesser known part of the picture. AT&T, GE, Cisco, IMB and Intel shaped IIC or Industrial Internet Consortium and have been pushing new ideas through the same since two years. IIC is a nonprofit syndicate that aims to coordinate the structure and foundation of the industrial internet. Since its inception, there has been materialization of a range of connected sensors that collect data in an industrial setting. But how does all this affect enterprise mobility?
Earlier, most companies were using enterprise mobility in context of solely messaging and collaboration. However, with time, as capabilities developed, we are seeing enhanced demand for software that supports enterprise apps. There is a foray of opportunities in enterprise app development and developers can surely benefit from the same. Well positioned app developers can unlock valuable sensor and asset data to bring about revolutionary products.
Better association implies enhanced growth
It is clearly evident how the growth of IoT will allow businesses to leverage mobile workforce by staying connected to key systems and assets anywhere in the world. Enterprises which are interconnected internally via sensors, internet and smart machinery have an advantage of reducing downtime, gain more insight into their working and this means it can improve the services and products. All this implies better growth opportunities.
IoT enterprise solutions that are already making a mark
IoT is being used in environmental monitoring a lot and is giving great results. Remote sensors send information about the quality of air, water and even soil or other atmospheric conditions that are of great help to its users. IoT is being used a lot to improve the warning system for a major seismic event, which helps save countless lives. Another important use of IoT is in energy management. Energy companies are utilizing IoT to sense and communicate current energy generation and usage that allows them to effectively balance and optimize energy levels. Also, some IoT based devices have actuators that turn a device on or off automatically under specific conditions, saving energy and providing comfort at the same time.
What are the other possibilities in IoT apart from wearables?
Wearables are no doubt an important part of IoT and are getting a lot of attention in media and advertisements. However, there are endless possibilities in IoT beyond wearable in the enterprise solutions. Enterprise solutions are making our lives easier whether or not we realize the same. AVIS, a car rental company has used IoT and installed sensors of their cars that alert them of over speeding renter. Their system then sends a message to the driver warning them of the same. This is an enterprise solution utilizing IoT. Another example of enterprise solution to IoT could be a car that sends alerts to the owner when it needs an oil change.
What IoT has in store for us?
-Evolution will be rapid
In the coming years, it is expected that IoT space will evolve at a rapid pace. Experts believe that IoT products will become more cheap, small and fast. It is not a distant dream that they may become so small that we can ingest them and ember them in our bodies. Yes, really! The Apple’s watch is expected to be an altogether an improved device over the coming years.
-Our lives will be affected in every which way
We will experience life in a different way altogether with the improvement in obtrusive wearables. Obtrusive wearables which are already in the market like smart glasses will develop further and there will be more such wearables that will disguise their technological components completely. According to Gartner, “biometric sensors will be included in 40% of smart phones shipped to the end user by next year.” There are ample opportunities still left to be explored in this segment.