March 7, 2017

Changing the World: IoT

The IoT (Internet of Things) has been called the next Industrial Revolution because of its impact on how individuals, businesses, and state governments interact with the world. By 2021 we’ll see approximately 12 billion devices connected[1] to the global network, and a quarter of them will be cars, industrial robots, drones, and other types of devices.

After seeing these predicted numbers, it’s hard to overestimate the influence of this revolution on our future. In a series of articles, we’ll show the power of IoT’s forays into business, government, and consumer verticals. We’ll start the journey by discovering how these connected things have entered our lives.

Business

IoT technologies are making companies and their products more agile and effective. Modern businesses can deliver goods to consumers faster and more efficiently, which establishes new revenue streams and a larger client base. 64% of business leaders strongly expect IoT initiatives to impact their businesses in the long run[2]. By using data gathered from connected “things,” brands can enhance their business models and investments; this data is uncovering vital insights into consumer behavior. However, IoT devices aren’t the only source of new revenue. Professional IoT services, as well as consumer and connectivity services, are estimated to reach $273 billion in 2017[1].

Consumers

The number of consumer IoT devices tops all other categories, and the dollar amounts are huge. According to MediaPost, consumer expenditures on smart things will total $725 billion in 2017. An important factor contributing to this trend is the emergence of wearable devices such as smartwatches, smart glasses, heads-up displays (HUDs), health and fitness trackers and monitors, smart clothing, and other innovative items that have the capability to connect and communicate to the network either directly through embedded cellular radios or through another device (primarily a smartphone) using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or another technology. By 2021, Cisco estimates that there will be 929 million wearable devices globally, growing nearly threefold from 325 million in 2016.[1] Connected vehicles are a hotbed of discussion in the tech industry as they need to overcome a handful of safety and regulatory obstacles before consumers can start reaping the benefits, which range from cheaper insurance to cars that drive themselves.

Government

The Internet of Things has had a sizable effect on government institutions from city hall to international governing bodies – playing a major role in projects focused on the aging of the population, food security, and energy efficiency and sustainability (at both the federal and local levels). Standard state services are also enhanced by the Internet of Things, automating common government processes and trimming unnecessary expenses while making the development of smart nations and smart cities a reality, including enhancement of the infrastructure. For example, San Francisco connected its parking meters so drivers can find open parking spots without driving around the same block several times.

Read our next article on integration of IoT into the business sector. We’ll focus on the best insights and trends.

1. Cisco
2. TEKsystems

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