The Internet of Things (IoT) has the power to change our world. And while we are starting to see its incredible impact, we are still very much at the beginning of the transformational journey. Here’s a look into the current state of affairs in the race to standardize IoT, along with what people are saying about it.
Soon every device you own – and nearly every object you can imagine – will be connected to the Internet. Whether it’s through your phone, wearable tech or everyday household objects, the Internet of Things (IoT) will connect us in ways we can’t even imagine yet.
Your thermostat, alarm system, smoke detector, doorbell and refrigerator may already be ”networked”, but changes are starting to take root in our cities as well. Better management of energy, water, transportation and safety are bringing people in closer touch with their surroundings and capturing our imaginations for urban bliss – a fully integrated, smart, sustainable city. Last but not least, we’re seeing dramatic increases in activity and innovation on the factory front, where the potential for cyber-physical systems to improve productivity in the production process is vast.
As you can imagine, life in ten years will look materially different from how it looks in 2016 as the pace of technology change accelerates, thanks in large part to the coming boom of the Internet of Things. In some ways, IoT still feels like empty tech jargon. It’s hard to lump all these different, disparate things together and talk about them in a meaningful way. So, in an attempt to make sense of this emerging technology, let’s look at what plans are afoot to build an IoT future.
Paradigm shift in technology
Technology consulting firm Gartner, Inc. projects that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide this year, up 30 % from last year. And this number is expected to grow by more than three times to nearly 21 billion by the year 2020.
Over half of major new business processes and systems will incorporate some element of IoT by 2020, assures Gartner. The impact on consumers’ lives and corporate business models is rapidly increasing as the cost of ”instrumenting” physical things with sensors and connecting them to other things – devices, systems and people – continues to drop.
Welcome to Industry 4.0
Around the world, traditional manufacturing industry is also in the midst of a major change, marking the dawn of smart manufacturing or Industry 4.0. Every day, technologies based on IoT make factories smarter, safer and more environmentally sustainable. IoT connects the factory to a whole new range of smart manufacturing solutions, which run around the production. The dramatic improvements to production and cost reduction are projected to generate billions in revenue growth and productivity over the next decade. The transformation that it implies is huge.
IoT gives manufacturers the ability to track objects, to find out how consumers are using a certain product, and to determine which features are the prominent ones. This creates a better understanding of what adjustments should be made to the product(s) to help improve adoption and purchasing rates. Knowing what the users do with the product is something brands want to leverage and IoT makes that readily available.