The rising popularity of the “Internet of things” (IoT) has outgrown the workplace as we all knew it would. Not only can this concept revolutionize the way we work, but also change the way we live and the world as we know it. So what exactly is IoT and where did it come from? Here’s a simple explanation.
IoT is the concept of connecting any device to the Internet and/or to other devices. These devices not only include computers or laptops, but also smartphones, coffee machines, headphones, wearable tech devices, washing machines, and pretty much any other electronic device you can think of.
Imagine a “smart” house where your refrigerator can send a heads up to your smartphone informing you that your milk’s about to go bad, or you’re about to run out of eggs. Imagine a “smart” house where you can tell your lamps and sound system to dim the lights and play some romantic tunes even before you and your date reach the front door.
The IoT may sound like something out of an episode of The Jetsons, but its first milestone actually dates back to the 1930s. In 1932, Jay B. Nash wrote in Spectatoritis, “Within our grasp is the leisure of the Greek citizen, made possible by our mechanical slaves, which far outnumber his twelve to fifteen per free man… As we step into a room, at the touch of a button a dozen light our way. Another slave sits twenty-four hours a day at our thermostat, regulating the heat of our home. Another sits night and day at our automatic refrigerator. They start our car; run our motors; shine our shoes; and cut our hair. They practically eliminate time and space by their very fleetness.”
Some of the things Nash wrote about are already in effect today, but it was only on January 13, 1946, more than 10 years after his piece came out, that the first 2-Way Wrist Radio made its first appearance in a comic strip.
The device was worn by Dick Tracy and other police force members as a wristwatch. In the years that followed, the concept of IoT has made several milestones, including the first time a message was sent over the Internet’s predecessor ARPANET on October 29, 1969. More than 10 years later, Mario Cardullo received the first patent for a passive, read-write radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag.
Today, IoT seems to be everywhere you look, as it has truly changed the way we work and live. People’s dependency on the smartphone alone is enough to suggest that we are living in a world dominated by machines that we have become reliant on.
In the world of business where innovation not only increases the chances of success but also ensures survival, many organizations have embraced the IoT concept and are constantly on the lookout for new trends. On that note, here are some of the latest IoT trends to look out for.
IoT Trends from Business Insider Intelligence
- By the year 2020, there will be about 34 billion devices connected to the internet. The projected rate is about 10 billion higher from the assumptions in 2015.
- Businesses will spend almost $6 trillion in the creation of IoT solutions in the next five years.
- Businesses, not consumers will be the greatest adopters of IoT solutions. In the business arena, IoT can improve business operations in three ways: reduced costs of operations, increased productivity rates, and development of new products, as well as expansion into new markets. Governments will be the second biggest IoT ecosystem adopters.
- Although consumers will be the third largest group of IoT adopters, they will still invest huge amounts of money in IoT, which includes purchasing smart devices.
IoT Trends from App Carousel
Here are some of the IoT trends noted by App Carousel after attending the IoT World in California and the Internet of Things Summit in London.
- Data will reign supreme. Businesses are looking for ways to monetize the data they collect with the help of IoT.
- Focus on security. The increase in connections will result in greater importance for the security of the devices, data, and networks.
- Devices become services. Businesses will look for ways to transform a device into a service. For instance, how wearables become an adopter of IoT.
- The influx of government grants and money. Many governments are investing in the development of smart cities and smart transportation.
- IoT behemoths will emerge. The majority of companies are specializing in IoT subsections, which include smart homes and smart cars. However, business titans such as Bosch and Samsung, who have massive manpower and resources, will be able to specialize in other IoT areas.
Towards A Smarter World
The Internet of Things is already upon us, and it is gearing up to take us to greater heights, especially the organizations who are slowly adapting to it. When it comes to M2M or telecommunications, technological progression is so fast that the industry in the next 10 years could be unrecognizable.
There is no point fighting a revolution that has already been won. Businesses should take the IoT as a form of innovation and look for ways to hitch a ride with it so they don’t get left behind.