The “Internet of Things” (IoT) is not the "hype" or a "buzzword" anymore, it now has the power to change our world. From Gartner's 50B devices connected by 2020, there is a concrete indication that IoT will play an important role in our everyday life, which directly imposes a corresponding cash flow increase. Nowadays, many companies build or re-think their business models to validate how IoT can improve their competitive growth on the market. You will surely see some interesting market trends of IoT in this article, and this may give you a glimpse of which areas will be mostly integrating IoT solutions and make a profit from.
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I hope these trends below, that are at the most rapid growth so far, will help you to understand what you can start considering if you are into an IoT market.
Smarter Natural Disaster Management
The ability to predict, with fine-grained accuracy, the onset of conditions that promote forest fires before they get out of control or even begin, allow containment teams to respond more quickly, while enabling first responders to manage targeted evacuations better and more aligned to the real situation in the field. This concept may apply also to the smarter flood detection and/or improved reaction to mudslides, avalanches, earthquakes and other natural disasters.
Smarter Urban Management
Cities and counties automating traffic management that effectively notices and governs the flow of traffic based on ever-changing conditions; parking applications that intelligently guide cars to open spots, eliminating wasted time and energy and dramatically cutting back on emissions; automating utility consumption, generation and distribution on a grand scale, all with an eye to the mitigation of waste that far exceeds the capabilities of existing systems.
Wearable devices that detect a host of health problems, potentially before they even occur, and immediately administer life-saving drugs or deploy emergency responders with detailed information placed instantly in their hands or alert family members as-needed.
The ideas above barely skim the surface of the deep sea of possibilities afforded by the coming IoT age, and they all share a common (and not accidental) adjective here: “smarter”. If “smart” is defined by the confluence of access to information and the ability to utilize that information in meaningful and appropriate ways, then the promise of the Internet of Things is, simply, a much “smarter” planet that keeps us safer, balances the personal good with the greater good, and improves humankind’s chances at providing a more sustainable legacy for future generations.
The Value of the Internet of Things
The true value of the Internet of Things does not lay in the lights turning on when the car reaches the driveway, but rather the data that the connected devices collect about its users. Imagine a hospital with connected devices. The data collected from those devices outputs information on the status of patients and runs analytics on the various monitoring machine, helping the hospital to run as optimally as possible.
The collection of data from devices will allow consumers, businesses and even entire connected cities to run more efficiently. However, collecting large amounts of data presents challenges.
“Some of the challenges that still need to be figured out are partially around the algorithms that can process the data and give you something valuable out of it,” Galvez said. “What are you actually taking out of all this data you are collecting?”
With the collection of data come major privacy and security concerns for consumers. Both Galvez and Jones agree that it’s up to the manufacturers of the products to ensure they are protecting user data.