5 IoT Trends Everyone Should Look Out For

The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the fastest-growing markets for new technology with billions of new devices being deployed each year. The concept of the IoT is simple: adding internet connectivity to everyday objects reveals a whole new range of possibilities for collecting data from the environment in ways that enhance consumer convenience and create new value. 

The excitement surrounding the development and proliferation of IoT technologies is absolutely warranted given the range of potential applications: connected health care, smart cities, autonomous vehicles, wireless location tracking, smart stores, and more will all see increased adoption as the IoT market fully develops over the next decade. Today, we wanted to highlight five of the most important trends that are emerging as we continue to discover the power of the IoT.

Here are five of the latest IoT trends that everyone should look out for in 2020.

IoT Big Data is Growing and Becoming More Important 

With the number of IoT devices deployed around the world growing exponentially each year, the IoT is the driving force behind the growth of big data

As recently as 2015, researchers measured a total of 13.9 billion active internet connections across all devices around the world. These included 3.8 billion IoT devices and just over 10 billion mobile devices. Four years later, in 2019, the number of mobile devices connecting to the internet had grown by 10% to just over 11 billion devices. During the same time period, however, the number of IoT devices more than doubled from 3.8 billion to over 8.3 billion devices. Analysts now believe that by 2025, over 41 billion IoT devices will generate 79.4 zettabytes of data on a daily basis.

Each IoT device is equipped with sensors that capture a variety of data and feed it into cloud databases, with measurements transmitted hundreds or even thousands of times per day. With each IoT device generating thousands or in some cases millions of data points per year, it's easy to see how the growth of the IoT device market will necessitate the development of new technologies and working methods for storing and analyzing data, including machine learning and pattern recognition algorithms powered by AI.

IoT Tech Will Enable Smart Cities

Smart cities are an exciting area of IoT technology application with the potential to drive change in many of the ways that we live our daily lives. IoT devices enable city planners and municipal governments to gather data and efficiently allocate resources towards resolving issues that impact residents. Today, there are already IoT-powered tools for tracking and managing air pollution and helping drivers discover an available parking space close to their destination. 

Smart city solutions can also be used to promote energy efficiency and convenience in urban centers. Los Angeles, which suffers from some of the worst vehicle traffic in North America, has already implemented a "Smart City" solution to help alleviate congestion. IoT devices with sensors are integrated into the pavement to capture traffic flows in real time, sending updates to an integrated platform where analysts can adjust traffic lights to accommodate for unexpected volume. 

Thanks to IoT technology, cities can now make investments in a data-driven approach to managing traffic, increasing efficiency of trash collecting, reducing energy consumption, and other initiatives.

Iot Devices Will Enable Wireless Sensing and Location Tracking 

Whether you're an enterprise organization focused on IT asset inventory or you're just sick of misplacing the television remote, you'll be happy to know that IoT devices are ending the era of human existence where things are easily lost, misplaced, or stolen and never heard from again.

We're already seeing early adoption of consumer-focused IoT products that users can attach to their most precious items to make them traceable in the event of loss or theft. These products leverage technologies that are already widespread and familiar to consumers, such as Bluetooth and GPS. They may connect to the internet via Wifi or to nearby devices that run the necessary tracing application via Bluetooth connection.

Wireless sensing is already playing a major role in industrial settings, where IoT devices equipped with sensors can regularly upload environmental data from throughout the manufacturing process, including temperature and pressure readings and other data. Wireless sensing means that process owners in manufacturing can maintain a tighter level of control with advance notifications of status changes before they have negative consequences.

Products like this Smart Thermostat are already using wireless sensing to detect temperatures within the home and manage temperature control systems. In the future, we'll see more such projects that enhance customer convenience while helping to drive down energy costs in residential, commercial and industrial settings.

The IoT Will Play a Larger Role in Helpdesk and CRM

Customer relationship management and customer service are two areas of application for IoT devices that may seem unexpected, but really have loads of potential. 

Imagine a company that makes a washing machine appliance for residential use. To improve customer service, the company might install an IoT device into its products that periodically uploads information about the machine status to a cloud database where it can be accessed by the manufacturer. The manufacturer could connect data uploads from the field to specific machines purchased by specific customers. In this way, the manufacturer of a device might become aware of a potential malfunction or defect even before it results in negative customer experience.

Data collected from machine-bound IoT devices could be fed directly into CRM tools and used to provide more timely and effective support to customers. This model could even be expanded to include installed diagnostic devices for other home electronic devices, such as cable boxes, kitchen appliances, home security, and more. The core concept is that manufacturers will be able to more quickly diagnose technical issues and assist customers in resolving their issues more conveniently and at a lower cost.

IoT Technologies Will Drive Growth in Industrial and Automotive Industries 

Car-makers and the world's biggest technology companies are relying on connected devices and the IoT to drive the development of new automotive technologies, including driver assistance features and self-driving automobiles. The world's leading car manufacturers have partnered with the world's biggest tech companies to make this happen, including collaborations between:

  • Amazon and Toyota, working together on a multi-functional self-driving vehicle
  • BMW and Intel, who plan to deploy self-driving cars on the roads by 2021
  • Ford, who recently acquired AI start-up Argo and are working with Domino's and Wal-Mart to automate their delivery businesses with self-driving vehicles
  • General Motors and Lyft, who are collaborating to launch an autonomous ride-hailing service

On the industrial side, the IoT is enabling a new industrial revolution in the form of Smart Manufacturing. Granular control and oversight of the manufacturing process will be powered by IoT devices, helping to minimize factory downtime, automate more processes, and drive down inventory costs with just-in-time delivery.


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