What IoT is packed with for this year, is beyond anyone’s imagination. According to a Business Insider research report, the shipment of all the smart home devices, be it safety and security systems like alarms, cameras, sensors or smart appliances like coffee makers, washing machines, dryers or any energy equipments, would increase two-fold by 2020. This number is expected to swell with AI becoming the new UI,UX with hyper-personalisation.
Smarter lightning, smart houses, smart city infrastructures are few fields that are being talked about a lot today and these will completely transform the way people carry out their everyday tasks.
Here are the top five IoT trends that you need to watch out for in 2017.
1. IoT - Connectivity & New Business Models
2017 is going to bring a wave of new categories to the markets. New forms of wireless connections and protocols, new business models with reduced costs of ownership, and hassle- free UI/UX to mention few. Various technologies such as Wi-Max, Bluetooth, Wifi, Low Power Wi-Fi , LTE, regular Ethernet and the very latest Li-Fi, are already being used to link various parts of IoT to sensors but this year would see Sigfox, LoRaWAN and 3GPP’s narrowband (NB) being tested.
Companies on the other hand would get major benefits with IoT. Remote work, inventory tracking and management, efficiency and productivity, speed and accessibility, are few realms where the technology would work wonders.
2. Smart Homes
Smart home devices allow the owners to control and monitor a broad range of verticals like improved home monitoring, access control, security and energy efficiency. Many brands in smart homes are collaborating over a variety of appliances to make them smarter, more efficient and secure. Many devices such as Eskesso, Samsung smart fridge and Genican are adding real convenience to everyone’s lives in the best ways possible.
Amazon Echo is another smart device that works as a CPU for all your home gadgets. Another famous device Learning Thermostat, manufactured by Nest, automatically adjusts the temperature of the house through embedded sensors
These devices are a bit costly right now, because of the development costs and relatively lower sales. But with more advancements the prices are expected to fall making them more affordable to an average consumer. Soon we could also see personal assistants and robots moving inside our houses and this is just one small part that IoT is going to transform.
3. Smart Cities
With IoT, devices can now be highly interconnected - your phone telling your oven to stop and the oven signalling housemates that dinner is ready? Or cars stopping automatically at signals? Apart from IoT being used smart homes, smart security systems or energy equipment providing comfort and personal well-being, it has progressed towards making cities smarter. With an aim of linking intelligence and information with devices, various companies are working to establish a network of interconnected devices.
Amalgamation of analytics, big data and ubiquitous connectivity are ushering in immense new potentials such as to control and manage devices, the capability to monitor remotely, and to build insights from a plethora of data. Hence IoT is actively changing the infrastructure of cities completely by reducing traffic congestion, enhancing public transportation, creating more efficient and cost effective municipal services and keeping people engaged and safe.
4. Increased adoption in Healthcare Industry
Ever heard of patient beds automatically adjusting themselves? Well they can now, thanks to ‘smart beds’. These smart beds are for now being implemented in few hospitals that can detect the patient's movements and adjust the height accordingly so that there is no need of nurses or any human intervention. There are also home medication dispensers coming up which track if medication is taken on time or not with the help of the data stored in the cloud. Health information trackers helping with patient-physician interaction are also opening up ways for smarter devices to deliver great results in the field of healthcare.
With technology beginning to get implemented everywhere, it will fetch great results by reducing costs, improved outcomes of treatments, enhanced patient experience, reduced errors, enhanced management of drugs and improved disease management.
5. Security & Privacy
IoT is linking number of smart devices each day and in the coming years we would be surrounded by around 24 billion IoT devices. Now that is some big news! Apart from smart homes, smart energy saving systems, smart devices also help people track their own health with improved and fuller medication feedbacks. Connected carsl link up with the infra of smart cities to transfigure the usual ways that drivers earlier followed. But with these benefits also comes the risks.
Researchers at MIT and Michigan have found too many loopholes in some big brand smart devices which could give hackers more entry points to breach the security. Thus more companies are putting security in their products as paramount. After the attack caused by the Mirai botnet late last year, it was a wake up call for everyone and more efforts are needed in the future to keep the hackers away. Few of the security concerns that we may note here are:
- A surfeit of data - too much data is being added every second by the IoT devices and this will definitely create entry points for the cyber hackers
- Intercepting unencrypted data - these connected devices can be hacked to virtually invade a person’s house or office. Even a smart house meter can be used to track down your daily activities as proved by the German scientists
- Public confidence - In 2015, Icontrol State of the Smart Home found out that people were very much concerned about their information getting stolen from smart homes. This could be one major reason why consumers won't switch to IoT that easily
The Internet of Things is the next level of automation and the emergence of newer technologies will definitely improve many aspects of our lives be it at work or home. This year would see IoT grow into a multi-trillion dollar industry only if the security and privacy concerns are looked through.
If you would like to find out if and how your business can benefit using IoT, get in touch for a free consultation call today.