The “Internet of things” is a network of machines that contain embedded technology which helps machines to communicate and interact with one another through the Internet. It is also referred to as M2M i.e. Machine to Machine, Machine to Man, Man to Machine, or Machine to Mobile, the Internet of Things intelligently connects humans, devices, and systems.
Increasing Popularity of IoT Across Industries
Gartner Analysts are prognosticating that “The Internet of Things” (IoT) is set to form a $300 billion industry by 2020. According to Gartner’s latest research, IoT will grow to 26 billion units by 2020 almost 30-fold increase from 0.9 billion in 2009. In contrast, the number of smartphones, tablets and PCs in use will reach about 7.3 billion units in about the same time. This will result in $1.9 trillion in global economic value-add from sales.
The phenomenal growth is expected because it does not cost much to add IoT capabilities to consumer products but the benefits derived are maximum. As a matter of fact, in the next few years components cost is expected to drop to a level that connectivity will become a standard feature.
Now, think about the possibilities this would open up! You could connect just about anything, from the very simple to the very complex of machines and you could control everything using your mobile phone from a remote location or automate processes where machines could carry out entire processes without human involvement.
Gartner also predicts that enterprises will make extensive use of IoT technology, and there will be a variety of products sold into various markets, such as advanced medical devices; factory automation sensors and applications in industrial robotics; sensor motes for increased agricultural yield; and automotive sensors and infrastructure integrity monitoring systems for diverse areas, such as road and railway transportation, water distribution and electrical transmission.
Venture capitalists have already taken notice of the amount of new business opportunities that IoT can lead to. The fact that $3.4 billion was invested on start-ups working on IoT based technologies last year only proves the point. Global enterprises are not far behind either. Google purchased Nest Smart Thermostats for $3.2 billion in January 2014. Nest developed a technology that allows you to control your home temperature via your smartphone with the help of an impressive cloud back office analytic engine that learns from your behavior and makes adjustments for you. Cisco investments (the venture capital division of Cisco) have invested about $250 million in emerging companies in the field of IoT.
Looking at latest technology evolution and the large investments by VCs on IoT technology based firms, we are expecting IoT to impact wide range of industry verticals including retail, telecom, consumer products, utilities, energy and the highest IoT adoption to be in financial services, manufacturing and healthcare.
Impact on Enterprise Applications
However, applications for the Internet of Things are still at the promotional phase and have yet to move past enterprises. The main hurdle against large scale commercial use of IoT is lack of standards and security. The Internet of Things involves many manufacturers, spans multiple industries, and differs widely in application scenarios and user requirements. This makes it critical to standardize frameworks to handle security concerns for any large scale deployment of IoT.
The gradual establishment and improvement of a standard system will inevitably extend the scope of M2M applications and lower deployment cost, making these applications eventually an integral part of our daily life.
Do share your thoughts. Will IoT change the technology landscape?
Sr. Marketing Analyst, RapidValue Solutions