The Internet of Things or IoT is a computers’ ability to autonomously collect data, process information, identify objects & patterns, and understand the physical environment to initiate an action. This smart technology has found its way into every domain we know of – from retail to healthcare, from finances to transportation, from housing to logistics. The year 2020 has brought to the fore, in front of lay masses, the huge opportunities and benefits of this new technology.
In 2020 alone, despite the global COVID-19 shock, the IoT is estimated to generate USD 344 billion in revenues and USD 177 billion in cost savings. The market size for IoT solutions is poised to touch USD 1.6 trillion by 2025.
IoT devices are already enhancing the efficiencies and productivity of major developed world plants and factories. Many routine tasks for which semi-skilled labor was needed, like loading and unloading, or precision tasks, like chip fabrication, are already being done by IoT-enabled assemblies and robo-cars.
Future of IoT
The following top 10 trends, from 2020 and beyond, explore the impact on IoT of new tech. These technologies are affecting all existing industries –finance, education, healthcare, insurance, construction, housing, manufacturing, transportation, logistics, farming, retailing, and more.
- Rise of the Machines!
Literally, the number of IoT devices has grown from 15.4 billion in 2015 to 30.2 billion in 2020 and is estimated to cross the 75 billion mark by 2025. Not only the number of devices but also their types are increasing every quarter. Sample this partial list – Voice assistants, Smart appliances, Smart fitness bands, Smart Locks for cycles and homes, Smart medical implants, and IoT Security Systems.
- Smart Homes for Smarter People
Smart homes come fitted with smart devices, appliances, air conditioning, kitchen, bathrooms, and even gardens. Now you can tap your phone to heat your food in the oven, fill the bathtub with hot water and turn on the AC for the right temperature on the go. Your refrigerator can inventory and send you the grocery list to be ordered online and paid for automatically.
- Over the Clouds and At the Edge
IoT devices use cloud services overly to store their data and process it. New-gen IoT applications allow nearby IoT devices to pool their processing power and perform the computing locally using an ad-hoc edge network and minimize the traffic to the main network. Now IoT systems can:
- better manage large amounts of data
- lower their dependency on cloud
- help app’s efficiency with reduced latency
- More Secure
As the number of connected devices increases exponentially, so does the threat to the security and vulnerability of their users. Addressing the security vulnerability has become a crucial challenge of the IoT domain. Greater use of IoT technologies must be accompanied by more investment in IoT security, awareness, and training. In the coming years M2M or machine-to-machine authentication, biometric logins, and tech-combos like IoT + may become the norms.
- Bespoke Solutions
Rationalization, customization, and tailor-made solutions will overshadow the business of off-the-shelf IoT solutions developed with the ‘one-size-fits-all approach.
- Intelligent, Big, and Learning Systems
IoT devices not only collect and forward data they also extract useful information from it. The incorporation of AI, Big data, and Machine Learning will set the tone for IoT trends in the next decade. Using data analytics, businesses could make decisions for both predictive and preventive measures.
- Chain for Security
Blockchain, a decentralized service with very strong encryption, is a strong candidate to securely store confidential and sensitive large amounts of IoT data. Its decentralized design also allows most IoT computations to be solved locally and only the final summarized data being stored to the central servers.
- Smart Cities
Smart Cities, with smart parking, drainage, street lighting, traffic lights, traffic management, emergency response, digital records, geo-tagging, and many more aspects will become a reality in the times to come. The environmental, social, cultural, and financial aspects of a city will all be fine-tuned and balanced using an IoT architecture.
- Increased Adoption
Consumers or end-users will adopt personal IoT devices and tech with a vengeance to catch up with the privileged few who were early adopters.
- Your Voice is My Command
Voice based-search, instructions or commands, and dominate the IoT markets. More and more languages and their dialects are being incorporated and their databases are being prepared to allow even a child or uneducated person to use the IoT system.