By: Katie Johns
As the biggest brains in technology have said, the Internet of Things (IoT) is set to be “the next Industrial Revolution” with the way it will affect the world around us. Are they right? Will people will inevitably change their lifestyle and will governments evolve?
Well, take a moment to consider the following:
- The brand new car you just bought that came with all the new apps –
- That smart device you control your home’s temp and lighting with –
- That wristband that tracks your daily step count and calorie burn –
- The app that tells you what medication you need & when to take it –
You get it.
And this is nowhere near the end.
In 2016, millions of signals from across the globe upload what they’re observing every day. And these devices aren’t “computers”, they can be the simplest and cheapest of technology. To really get a sense for this you need to understand something that applies to your actual life. So, consider the following uses of the expanding Internet of Things.
- A bridge that iced over recently underwent a government mandate to embed ice-detection sensors that communicate with incoming cars. But you were in a heated conversation with your passenger so you didn’t realize you needed to slow down when your car notified you, so your car initiated the breaks automatically and potentially saved your life.
- Your doctor knows that without a change in your diet and an increase in your daily physical activity, you’re at serious risk of heart disease. So, he recommended you download an app that can track all of this while will logging results that will transfer back to the doctor’s location so he knows you’re keeping it up.
- You’re heading to the hospital where your wife is giving birth, but its rush hour and traffic a few miles ahead of you is at a standstill. Your car has a device that can detect this based on GPS real-time data and recommends a faster route to you, shaving off 15 minutes total time.
And the above uses aren’t just for vanity (which there are plenty of), they’re potentially life-changing.
Since 8 years ago, when the first glorious smartphone was released to the public, new ideas and methods to expand the Internet of Things has consistently emerged. This exponential growth has set us on a path to where many experts are saying that by 2020 the IoT will be experiencing explosive growth.
50 billion devices, to be exact.
Cheap and efficient computing ability and free internet connectivity are the driving forces making these advances possible. When we think of the Internet of Things, we often use the metaphor – “Smart everything”.
Likely, you’ve already heard a lot about the consumer-facing flagship IoT devices like the recent Apple Watch and home control device “Nest”.
Nest’s self-learning home device makes homes more energy efficient while allowing you to tinker with your home’s different functions from a remote location. This kind of technology is the key to the future of the “smart city” which we think we’ll begin hearing a lot more about in the coming years. Nest and Apple Watch are tiny pieces to a large puzzle. Chief of technology at Ratheon, Michael Daly says these devices don’t operate on an individual basis, they’re infinitely connected with other online networks.
To really drive this point home, we looked into a recent BI Intelligence study and found the following:
- Just about $6 trillion will be funneled into IoT devices during the next five years.
- For-profit companies will be the number one driver of IoT solutions. These businesses will adopt them rapidly because of three core reasons 1- Less cost of operation 2- Raising total productivity 3- faster expansion into new markets and better product offering development.
- The governing bodies of the world are generally concerned with increasing their employee efficiency, lowering their operational costs, and making the standard of living better for those they’re governing. They are predicted as the second most powerful force driving IoT solutions forward.
- Consumers will only adopt the most convenient IoT devices as they will be third in driving this growth forward. Regardless, consumers will still be accountable for a significant purchase number of IoT devices in the coming 5 years.