The introduction of the internet brought many changes to our society. Starting from entertainment to industrial usage, it revolutionized everything.
Along with that, it also brought many new ideas and possibilities to do things in a different and better way.
The introduction of OTT content truly transformed the entertainment industry. It forced cable providers to offer something new such as Spectrum TV offering streaming services to computer networks in the offices, making it possible to get the work done in minutes.
Another concept brought to light was the Internet of Things or IoT.
IoT is a vast network of devices that gather and share data from the environment in which they are used and how they are used to a common platform. That platform translates data into meaningful information and takes action as per guidelines.
It can be as simple as a smart fitness watch that provides us details such as heart rate, distance traveled & calories burned, or as advanced as a self-driving car that keeps you on track and detects any hurdles using sensors.
How does IoT work
Internet of Things (IoT) refers to equipping our “things” with sensors and connecting them with the internet to operate without human interaction.
These sophisticated sensors and chips turn these devices into intelligent devices that can then communicate and send/receive data to humans or networks to which they are connected and act on that data.
The data is obtained from the environment and transmitted to the network through meaningful information.
All these IoT devices and their working depend upon the apps deployed for them and the protocols defined in the apps.
For example, intelligent home air conditioners can be controlled through apps on our phones where we can turn them On/Off or change the temperature.
These apps can also send us and the manufacturer notifications about AC’s working condition and repair. All of that is done through the sensors embedded in the Air Conditioners that collect data and provide helpful information.
Day-to-day applications of IoT
The applications of IoT are universal, from in-house devices to large manufacturing plants or small businesses.
It is used in in-home appliances and devices such as smart refrigerators, air conditioners, doors and window motion sensors, Alexa voice control, and many more. If you look around, you will see more IoT devices in your surroundings than ever.
Moreover, let’s look at it from an industrial point of view. It has immense usage in manufacturing to supply chain, such as using barcode scanners to maintain stocks and keeping an eye on inventory.
According to IoT Analytics research based on monthly google searches for related apps, smart homes are ranked number 1 for IoT applications with devices such as thermostats, connected lights & intelligent locks.
Wearables were ranked 2nd, and other applications were mainly observed in connected health, smart retail, intelligent supply chain, and smart farming. And by the looks of it, this usage will expand more and more as more people will realize the efficiency and effectiveness of IoT.
Future of IoT in 2023
In 2019, there were over 26 Billion IoT connected devices, with expectations of an even higher number in 2020. According to some experts, by December 2020, IoT devices will reach a total of 31 Billion.
That is an outstanding growth rate of about 20%. Due to increased efficiency in business processes, more businesses are taking advantage of and expanding their usage of IoT. Although Machine Learning, Remote monitoring, and many more features are already here in 2020, there is no stopping them in the future.
By 2021, the IoT market on a global scale is expected to reach $ 520 billion. That is almost double if we compare it to last year. According to Newswire, the Internet of Things market will reach $1.12 trillion by the end of 2026.
One primary reason is the rising demand for artificial intelligence and cloud computing, fueling this market as it has applications in all sectors, from healthcare to finance.
Companies like Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Facebook are investing billions of dollars in IoT applications to capitalize on this immensely growing market.
In October 2020, Forrester Research Inc. released its Predictions 2021, which discusses and predicts the factors contributing to IoT market growth in the coming year. It considers the COVID factor. Let’s look at a few factors that are expected to see immense change in terms of IoT.
According to the research, after getting hardly hit by COVID-19, the healthcare sector will receive more attention from device makers. Many illnesses that could have been avoided were left undetected as sufficient resources were unavailable.
Post-Covid healthcare will focus on digitalizing healthcare systems where people can get virtual care.
So, in 2021, it is expected that there will be an increase in sensors and wearables that will detect a patient’s health while he is staying home. The ease of in-home monitoring will spur people’s interest as they will have better information about their health without going anywhere.
Another IoT usage that will gain popularity, according to Forrester’s research, is intelligent offices. Currently, most of the workforce is working from home to contain the spread of the Corona Virus.
Even though decision-makers expect a higher percentage of remote workers working permanently with corporations, more than 60 % of the offices will likely be implementing IoT applications to enhance their resource efficiency and provide safer working environments to their employees.
These include managing layouts of their offices for social distancing, using intelligent energy solutions, monitoring traffic flow, managing congested areas, and monitoring sensor-enabled environments.
In 2023, location services will be used as a core to provide convenience to customers. Brands can offer virtual queues, appointments to the nearest access points, and better pick-up and delivery services if they partner with 3rd parties with access to customer location and permissions.
Other than these 3, Remote Asset Management & New networking technologies were some other points presented in Forrester’s research that would contribute to IoT market growth.
Even though all these factors highlight a drastic increase in IoT devices and applications, almost 97% of IoT users are concerned about IoT security. Customers are willing to pay more if their safety can be guaranteed.
Nearly half of the IoT adopters have raised concerns about technical challenges and complexity in the usage of IoT, pointing out that enough training is not available for IoT support.
If these challenges can be taken care of, there is no doubt the IoT market can grow better than expectations and all forecasts.
Based on current trends and forecasts, saying IoT is the future would not be wrong. It has wide implications on both residential and commercial levels.
By keeping efficiency and convenience in mind, most businesses are adopting IoT, and the number is rising daily. By the looks of it, it seems like IoT will be changing our lives for good.