by Charlotte Allard
In contrast to the ‘traditional’ internet, the Internet of Things does not rely on people. Becoming your eyes and your ears, this super smart network is faster than anyone. Thanks to connected devices, sensors and software solutions, enough data can now be gathered in order to improve products and, in turn, help us lead easier and less complicated lifestyles. The IoT is an innovative game changer for many industries that are now able to know more about their products or internal systems to ensure appropriate changes are put in place to improve results.
Amazon have had an IoT platform since 2015: Amazon Web Services. Startup IoT software firm Ayla who have just secured a $60 million series D round of funding are proving how interested investors are in this innovative sector.
Bosch is ahead of the game for home automatisation and connected home devices, while Cisco is in connected-car technology amongst others.
Huawei is focused on smart-city tech IoT: integrated services, communication and video analysis.
Google via Android Things platform allows users to manage their connected devices. The market player list is long and involved in pretty much all business industries.
According to Gartner, the IoT will expand to around 20 billion connected devices by 2020.
By 2018, annual wagers on mobile devices are expected to exceed $62 billion globally. A booming market by 2020, Gartner estimates internet-connected things will outnumber humans 4-to-1, and a recent report by BI Intelligence estimated that more than 24 billion devices will be part of the IoT network globally.
In the digital era, the IoT will completely reshape many industries.
Let’s talk about Fashion Retail: personalisation is the key to success in this industry that is becoming more and more digitised, with the likes of smart shopping apps and AR changing rooms offering the customer a more seamless experience. Ultimately, the IoT will allow retailers to know more about their customer’s journey and offer a hyper-personalised service. Killing two birds with one stone: if the customer experience improves, so will conversion and turnover. One successful example is innowi - an on-the-go checkout platform. Created to reduce the queueing time in the physical store it has developed ChecOut, “a compact mobile device that can process orders and connect with back-end in store systems, cloud services, and payment processors”. This technology is designed to make a transaction easy and quick, thus improving the customer experience by tackling ”Long queues costing retailers up to £12bn a year”.
Mobile & Gaming:
In the eCommerce space, Amazon Go is way ahead of its competitors, offering its consumers a checkout-free experience, in the traditional sense. Using this app, a smartphone connects to the shop and thanks to computer vision, algorithms and sensor fusion to take payment automatically, saving time and the hassle of waiting in a queue.
In terms of entertainment, the IoT has revitalised app services. The IoT allows gaming platforms to measure the satisfaction of players via mobile devices, it could also link the kind of game the player will be attracted by, according to the kind of things he likes to play physically. In that way, the IoT will enable gaming developers to be inspired by players’ habits. With the arrival of the Internet of Things in the gaming industry, it has created an interactive experience via virtual reality and artificial intelligence.
The term PropTech refers to the use of technology in the property sector to improve the services across the industry, with a large amount of this is related to the IoT. As mentioned previously, the customer experience is paramount. Thanks to the IoT, the property industry is now able to provide reality viewings and monitor their sites through drones, whilst AI increases security sites thanks to data and analytics tools, to name but a few examples. The IoT will allow the customer to have a completely connected smart home that is manageable from anywhere, at any time. An example of the undeniable benefits of smart home devices is to reduce energy waste: thanks to more data coming from sensors and analysed by the Cloud, it offers the opportunity to be more efficient in a connected building and to predict maintenance. Making a home smart also involves taking standard household appliances and improving them. For instance, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Mechanical Engineering has developed a smarter, safer power outlet. If you are wondering how a plug could change your life, a smart plug is actually revolutionary for a very reasonable price (from £15). It allows you to control the device connected to it in order to switch it on or off (coffee machine, lights, speakers, for example) wherever you are. Plus, it will certainly reduce your electricity bill at the same time, making it an efficient investment in the long run.
So how is the IoT set to shape businesses of the future? We can be certain it will make a lot of everyday tasks much easier and more secure. The IoT is already present in many aspects of life and will eventually be relevant to every industry. It will undoubtedly be a motor of innovation in the near future. Thanks to this ever-growing technology present in any connected device, the data collected around the world will provide missing key information and clarify some links between things in order to make our objects more efficient.