IoT technology has changed significantly over recent years, so how has that shift happened?
Today, the scope of the Internet extends beyond tablets, laptops and smartphones. With a massive number of connected devices stretching from locks to washing machines, a new order emerged in the form of the IoT (Internet of Things).
Before we look at how IoT might shape up in the coming years, what is it and why should you care?
What is The Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things, abbreviated to IoT, is composed of devices that hook up to the Internet and share data with each other. This suite of devices extends far beyond laptops and cell phones encompassing everything from smart speakers to video doorbells.
Devices are equipped with UIDs (unique identifiers) and data transfer happens automatically with no user input required.
While you might instinctively think of standard home-based smart devices when you consider IoT, things can include cars with onboard sensors, farm animals with chips inserted, or even someone wearing a heart monitor implant.
Things have come a long way since the Internet of Things was first mentioned back in 1999 when Kevin Ashton of MIT referred to the IoT at a presentation for Procter and Gamble. Today, we’ll give you a brief overview of the likely development of IoT technology in the coming years, kicking off with a continued upward trajectory of devices.
Increase in Number of Devices
According to Gartner, there will be roughly 20 billion IoT devices by the end of 2020. This is a massive jump from the 4 billion in place just a couple years back.
This will mean a great deal more choice for you, the consumer but it’s highly likely that hitting such a saturation point will introduce more problems. The security side of the IoT is somewhere this might become apparent.
Security is already a concern with home automation devices, but as technology evolves and things like automobile navigation become commonplace, the security implications will only get worse.
Malware and DDoS attacks have already blighted the IoT in recent years and this type of attack is only likely to continue.
Privacy leaks of all kinds are unlikely to disappear. Indeed, as the number of IoT devices skyrockets, so increases the likelihood of a truly massive breach.
Our prediction here might initially seem gloomy, but there’s a silver lining.
We feel that some form of large security breach involving IoT is not merely inevitable, but potentially even a good thing. Why is that?
Well, where IoT technology has morphed and advanced at such pace, manufacturers have often sacrificed security for the sake of fast-track development. Until now, they’ve been lucky in the sense that no incapacitating cyber attack has taken place. Once it does, we’re certain there will be an uptick in security on the part of manufacturers.
As an aside, we imagine routers will continue to get both smarter and also much more secure. What’s the issue with routers, then?
The router is the entry point of the Internet into your home. A router can be protected where other IoT devices can’t. Also, where many products are rushed to market, security is often inexcusably relegated to the back seat.
Routers, on the other hand, come with password protection and firewalls, along with the option of configuring them to allow only designated devices onto your network. Beyond what’s already in place, we predict new developments in terms of security.
What can you do to improve your chances of staying safe with IoT technology in general? Well, we took a look recently at IoT security threats and how you can fight back. You can get some solid advice right here.
5G and Smart Cities
The next thing that you don’t need a crystal ball to predict is the way 5G will start to get more traction. This is great news since 4G/LTE might work fine for telecoms, but it falls far short of the mark when it comes to connecting devices.
While it’s easy to get caught up in the hype with 5G, the full effects are not going to be felt for a few years. Once the rollout is complete and things stabilize, the higher speeds and lower latency of 5G herald a new order for VR and AR.
Other technologies will embrace 5G, too. From robots and drones through to applications in healthcare, industry and government services as well as autonomous cars.
While it’s tough to call when it will happen, we’re pretty confident that the evolution of smart technology will see it go far beyond the home and into the community at large.
So, the ramifications of 5G properly up and running extend far beyond a 5-second download or a seamless video chat. We’re truly excited to see things start powering up on the 5G front after what can charitably be deemed a sluggish start.
Robotics is another area of IoT technology that seems right on the cusp of some seismic advances.
LG’s CLOi range of robots is already operational and many can be seen in South Korea’s Incheon airport. There’s little doubt that helper robots will soon be penetrating our homes, slowly at first then with increasing adoption.
It’s tough to call exactly how things will pan out here so we’ll simply say we’re just as eager to find out as you are!
In the very near future, we’re looking forward immensely to the launch of Alexa Home Robot.
More Data Sensors
Outside the home and into the commercial arena, data sensors will continue to proliferate.
Beyond an increase, the standardization of sensors leading to a completely cohesive and connected supply chain with all suppliers connected is also likely.
More sensors will lead to more data. More data means more analysis and this knocks on into further advances for AI and machine learning. You can see everything here is connected, literally and metaphorically.
The most obvious development in the coming years will be the mainstream adoption of self-driving cars. As 5G ramps up, data will move quicker and this will benefit driverless cars.
You can also expect IoT technology to penetrate the inside of vehicles increasingly. It will soon be quick and easy to check up on fuel and oil levels with your cellphone.
While you might not immediately think of your car as an IoT thing, most new cars will. But new cars will analyze more data than ever while connecting with other vehicles and other IoT devices.
We might be a long way from the flying cars of sci-fi movies we imagined would already be here as 2020 approaches, but autonomous cars will lead the way in the near future.
IoT For Healthcare
An estimated 87% of healthcare organizations will adopt IoT technology by 2019.
Here, the possibilities for IoT are enormous and game-changing. From smart pills and smart home care to enhanced healthcare management and data management, much of the medical space has already started changing.
This is another area that will benefit from 5G and the impact of IoT on healthcare is one of the single most exciting things we’re hungrily anticipating.
We hope you find this glimpse into the near-future of IoT technology entertaining. It’s always tough to call how smart technology will pan out, but that’s part of the fun. Rather than clutching at straws and throwing around wildly speculative possibilities, we tried to focus on realistic IoT developments in the imminent future.
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