The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the most prominent tech trends in recent years.
In 2020, there were more than 8 billion IoT devices. The number is projected to grow as more industries prepare themselves for Industry 4.0. They start using new technologies, including machine learning, Big Data, and IoT, to build effective strategies and stay on top of things.
This post will tell you more about the basic concept of IoT, the trends, and its benefits.
What Is the Internet of Things?
IoT is a system of internet-connected devices that transfer and receive data from one to the other. Usually, the process can be monitored via a mobile application, such as a smartphone.
A good example is home appliances, like alarm-activated curtains. Every time an alarm rings, the curtain opens automatically.
It works thanks to sensors embedded in both of the devices. First, the sensor of the alarm clock will send the alarm status to the cloud. The cloud will read and send a signal to the sensor in the curtain to open it.
IoT has been used for many purposes, like smart homes, cars, and cities. However, as even the smallest IoT projects generate many data, they need extensive cloud storage from a reliable web hosting provider to run smoothly.
6 Trends of IoT
Now, let’s talk about technology trends and innovative examples in IoT.
1. Increasing IoT Apps
Seeing as interconnected smart items bring significant benefits, like efficiency and less human effort, many industries started applying this technology to their products.
One of the everyday examples is wearable fitness and health trackers.
They monitor vital metrics, like heart rate, sleep, and caloric intake, and tell us about our health condition. Some wearables even connect to third-party apps to share the users’ conditions with a healthcare provider.
Another example is home automation, like Nest Thermostat. It automatically sets the temperature based on the users’ preferences and helps save energy on heating.
2. Artificial Intelligence with IoT
With the connected sensors, IoT works like ‘a human body’. Yet, relying on this technology alone will take much effort for advanced data analysis.
So, artificial intelligence (AI) comes to act as ‘the human brain’ that analyzes the collected data from sensors and decides on further actions.
An excellent example of AI and IoT working together is self-driving cars. The sensors in IoT will detect the road, the traffic, and the parking conditions. The AI will analyze the situation and run the car at an optimal speed for a smooth trip.
3. Edge Computing
Edge computing shortens the gap between data processing machines and IoT devices that generate the data. So, the data can be transferred faster as the two locations are closer.
IoT applications in petroleum refineries can be a great example. Sensors in the control valves detect dangerously high pressure in the pipes. When that happens, it must be fixed as soon as possible.
If the device for data processing is far from the sensors, the automatic shutoff instructions may come too late. However, if the processing device is placed closer to the sensors, the gap will be shorter, and automation will be faster.
4. IoT Supporting Retail
During the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of physical supermarkets were closed temporarily due to stay-at-home orders. Although they had to face drawbacks, the pandemic also encouraged many retail owners to use digitization, like IoT.
An excellent example of IoT in retail is Amazon’s fully automated supermarket, Amazon Go.
It reduces human interaction by using automated checkout. Visitors only open the Amazon Go app when entering the store. Then, the sensors inside the supermarket will add up purchases to their virtual cart in the application whenever they grab a product.
5. Raising Cybersecurity
As more tools are connected to the network, people and companies are becoming a target for cyberattacks. Fortunately, these situations also make them more aware of securing their data.
Over 60% of organizations started improving their cybersecurity protection around the same time that IoT started gaining popularity. Their efforts included recruiting IT experts and installing IoT-based technologies, like security intelligence and advanced identity and access management.
6. Enhancing Data Analytics
Analytics on IoT data involve datasets gathered by sensors. Meaning, the technology will generate analysis only after the data is collected.
An example of data analytics using IoT is Disney’s Magicband wristband. When visiting Disney World, their visitors have to wear this wristband, which functions as a ticket, hotel room key, and credit card.
The wristband will connect to thousands of sensors in the venue, so Disney knows the visitors’ location and needs. It helps Disney make smarter decisions, like suggesting another ride to the visitors or adding extra staff to crowded areas.
Benefits of IoT
Looking at the IoT trends and applications above, here are the primary benefits of using the technology:
- Improve operational efficiency. IoT can do repetitive and time-consuming tasks and create automation.
- Minimize human efforts. IoT products, like smart home devices and self-driving cars, help simplify humans’ routines.
- Reduce cost. Many companies with IoT reduce human labor and other expenses caused by human errors.
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the system of interrelated devices connected to the internet. It involves cloud platforms and sensors in the devices to work.
Various industries, such as retail and home setup, use IoT. They use this technology for their products and operational processes. Some even combine it with other kinds of technologies, like artificial intelligence (AI) and Big Data.
IoT can bring benefits in many ways, including efficiency and cost. Therefore, it’s very likely that more and more IoT devices will be released in the near future.