There are now up to 18 billion IoT devices at work globally, according to Ericsson.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical ‘things’ which carry sensors or software to exchange data between devices via the internet.
IoT was first touted in 1990, when engineer John Romkey connected his toaster with his computer - becoming the first ‘thing’. More modern examples include Fitbit watches, the virtual household assistant Alexa and smart cars.
Here are our Top 10 IoT trends across the sectors.
10. Accelerating 5G
The adoption of 5G networks offers businesses quicker data transfer rates and international internet coverage. IoT crossed with 5G can create cost savings and save time, as 5G technology can support IoT devices which need to connect and communicate more efficiently.
9. Technological solutions
Previously, IoT was merely known as a digitising process. But now it can offer more solutions for manufacturers. IoT can go further than SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) regarding machine operations, through supplying the necessary data needed, faster.
8. Bundled IoT solutions
While the benefits of IoT are clear, some customers are cautious.
Andrew De La Torre, group VP of technology for Oracle Communications, knows that bundled IoT solutions which provide concise and user-friendly functions with integrated analytics will be what popularises IoT’s usage. “Enterprises are investing in the form of off-the-shelf IoT solutions with a strong desire for connectivity and analytics capabilities built-in,” he said.
7. Secure remote access
IoT has some unique benefits for those companies using the hybrid work model. Businesses which need to enable remote access for their equipment are also likely to need technical support at some point. IoT will help to troubleshoot equipment and inspect machine data, in real-time and remotely.
Expected later this decade, sixth generation technology, 6G, is already in the works. By the time it is on the shelves, other technological advances will be combined with IoT, such as space–air–ground–underwater communications, low-latency communications and blockchain, making products more efficient, sustainable and user-friendly.
5. Immersive reality technologies
With the global population expanding and the rush for urban space growing, immersive realities could open up a new world of space, as we know it.
Using IoT with immersive reality technology, can offer businesses a new way to communicate with customers - and each other. But not everyone is ready for Virtual Reality video call work meeting.
In the green economy, IoT technology has a lot of potential. It can enable sustainability initiatives, such as environmental monitoring and energy optimisation. But as a tool, IoT can lower energy costs, support remote working and identify failures in machinery.
3. Wearable technology
The current success of wearable technology, from medical devices to smart watches, has more potential with IoT. In gaming, armbands (used with immersive reality glasses) offers gamers a more realistic experience and when shopping, smart glasses can highlight promotions and conduct a price comparison between two items.
The healthcare industry is also excited about the potential of wearable technology and how it can better support patients and keep medical professionals updated.
Wearable devices with IoT can monitor asthma or check a patient for the threat of a heart attack and used with AI, such devices can analyse a patient’s blood samples.
One popular example is the Zoll LifeVest 4000, a wearable defibrillator which can treat cardiac arrest.
With every new technological development, security must take priority. Sadly, one of IoT’s greatest benefits is also its flaw - being connected to other devices, if one is compromised, the other devices are also in danger. If a medical device is hacked, this could cause devastating problems.
An IoT device includes protective services, where the operating system provides security functionality, such as isolating processes to stop them from being used to combat the devices security and encryption.