In layman’s terms, the Internet of things (IoT) is a connected network that spreads the exchange of information quickly inside local area networks (LANs) and wide-area networks (WANs) and wired connections like Ethernet, without the need for human interaction.
From mobile communications to health care centers, IoT is seamlessly drafting each industry. The 2020s is the age for this application and currently, it is on a hot streak. Here is a look at how this industry continues to transform our present lifestyle and impact its future.
1. Telecommunications: With the rollout of 5G in the coming years, the number of connected devices and mainstream IoT applications will reach multiply. And this holds the power to redefine our lives in the hyper-connected world. This along with Wi-Fi 6 also known as 802.11ax will propel connectivity with better network velocity.
As a result, one can expect a push by telecom giants to switch for 4K+5G for better bandwidth and lower latency. Along with this Starlink by SpaceX will enter the mainstream market to provide users with high-speed internet.
2. Virtual Assistance: Working hand in hand with AI, now it can collect input in multilingual mode, thereby enabling people to interact in their mother tongue which may not be a global language. Although making a voice assistant multilingual can be challenging yet it is the need of the hour.
It is predicted that these wake word functioning assistants can soon act on auditory signals which are not voice commands to help the user and connect more on a real-life basis. E.g. if Alexa hears your car driving through the gate, as soon as you enter your house, it may be greeting you in a cheerful tone and ask about your day or may instruct coffee maker to brew a fresh cup of cappuccino.
3. Smart-Cities: From ancient civilization to modern metropolitan, technological advancement has generally converged in cities. IoT provides scope for better cities which entails smart lighting, smart irrigation, automated valet parking, environment sensible to check pollution levels and waste generation. Mixed usage of the land, to promote area wise development, walkable localities, Transit-Oriented development, application of smart solutions to infrastructure and housing and sustainable use of resources will landscape the urban matrix. In addition to that, it will make better use of infrastructure and ensure the safety of residents.
4. Fitness: Real-time data from fitness trackers and health devices can augment qualitative life by monitoring health conditions like blood sugar level, heartbeat rate etc. and habits like frequency of drinking water, smoking cigars etc. based on optimal standards. In situations of an outbreak, they can provide information about the diseases and individual status after a quick scan and evidence-based insights on the interpreted data can dispense medical aid too. In an emergency, they can issue alerts to the concerned department.
All these improved IoT driven medical solutions will be more cheap, vigilant, accessible and efficient, and less bureaucratic. It will make sure that it prevents overlooking of minute medical history details of the patient too.
5. Fashion: When almost every physical object is undergoing a digital update so why not fashion. When fused with IoT, this has the potential to open new business models. Imagine a bracelet that heals or displays news like the ones in the movie Black Panther. A t-shirt that changes colors based on your mood or body temperature or sneakers that can get you entry to the most covert night club or miles you ran on a single day. Even a jersey that lets you know how to recycle after it has reached near a worn-down state or enables you to order by self at Starbucks Driveway; or a sunglass powered by solar energy and using a night vision goggles is also viable.
We may be using hyper customized products that cater to people on the basis of individual identity i.e. more functional outfits. For instance, a pair of jeans that fits perfectly to you or headphones built for you and your ears only.
6. Manufacturing: IoT can boost productivity by enabling automation, real-time data analytics and insights. This has multifold implications like optimization of workflows and processes, detection of errors and snags which were previously missed by the human eye, thus ensuring seamless operations, greater savings and workflows to save valuable production time. It can also help to track assets in the factory and help consolidate control rooms.
This decade will witness the emergence of digital manufacturing powered by 5G, backed by new regulatory reforms due to improved connectivity.
7. Marketing and Shopping: For a couple of years, shops are using Bluetooth beacons in their stores to better reach out to their customers and this will foresee a gigantic rise. After sensing the presence of a customer nearby, it will log itself in, to customer’s mobile devices, these beacons can inform about the locations of the aisles of the items, looking for via maps, send personalized discounts, offer the option for self-payment instead of waiting at counters. It can also provide customized support based on the input provided by an individual.
8. Transportation: Self-driving cars would now no longer remain as a ‘concept’ from sci-fi movies. Thanks to autopilot which uses high-tech cameras to view and collect data, these vehicles are likely to spearhead the automobile industry. These vehicles continuously scan their environment and prevailing traffic conditions. It is believed that the majority of road accidents are caused due to human error or negligence, keeping that in mind, automated vehicles will safeguard lives in the long run. This period will also be significantly marked with advanced vehicle-to-everything (V2X) connectivity technologies. A similar situation might be mutated in the aviation industry too. Furthermore, drones may be used for automated vehicle parking.
9. Edge Computing: As IoT continues to expand, more and more devices are getting added to the circuit, hence it will build the importance of Edge Computing. In this system, instead of directly sharing data to the cloud, it is first sorted, calculated and interpreted by local devices close by and then sent to the cloud. There will be a rising need to extrapolate growing data and make decisions without sending data to the cloud.
Because of its ability to cut latency, preserve bandwidth, and move data-processing closer to end-users and connected devices making it indispensable and soon it will take over cloud computing by being the more preferred solution.
10. Digital Signage: Today, TV is more than an idiot box. It can either stream online content along with cable channels or alert you about Facebook Notifications or even show your Instagram Feed. So, what follows next?
Well, the futuristic screens can show you the show times or menu as you happen to walk by restaurant or Movie theatre, or automatically display alternate routes when stuck in traffic, to visually react to voice commands like Siri and Google Voice Assistant. These displays may be broadcast in the air (screenless) instead of the ancient screens made up of glass and polymer substrates and gases.
11. Blockchain: – Raullen Chai, co-founder of blockchain company IoTeX and Scott Amyx, global thought leader and venture capitalist, author of Strive: How Doing the Things Most Uncomfortable Leads to Success argue that in case of monolithic and centralized network, acting as a backend, the major issue is not only creation of a huge attack vector for cybercriminals, limit scalability and drive up costs, but customers lose ownership of their data and fail to protect it against theft. Because of decentralized architecture, Blockchain can secure user data and prevent large scale information leakage and incidents of Internet Fraud.
12. Interoperability: There is a growing emphasis for interoperability for the unification of network across heterogeneous devices and machines, that will nullify looking for virtually identical solutions by companies in isolation from one another while working to achieve a common goal. This is crucial for IoT to function without friction across the border.
This approach will immensely help in the healthcare sector and during emergencies.
13. Weather: Not only will IoT help in studying temperature, humidity to monitor weather and report statistics online, it may also be able to predict the chances of occurrence of calamity like situations or if you need to apply an extra dollop of sunscreen.
We are at the cusp of never-ending technological advancements. Although IoT is now an exploited mainstream buzzword, it will continue being a key player in the coming years, leveraging every platform and expanding its horizon. Which of the trends are you counting on? Drop your thoughts in the comment box.