Internet of Things: The Road Ahead

by May 26, 2015 0 comments

Moving beyond the initial euphoria, IoT has steadily progressed to impact our lives in several meaningful ways. Going forward we expect both businesses and individuals to make steady returns on their investments

– Adeesh Sharma

The different stakeholders in the business of IoT products and services coined several terms initially to promote essentially the same idea—a completely internetworked ecosystem where all ‘intelligent devices’ could communicate with each other seamlessly. Moving beyond ‘rigid’ networks that were enclosed within the four walls of an organisation towards mobile devices and networks the idea seemed a logical implication of how the mobile ecosystem was set to evolve in future. With their task clearly cut out, they set themselves on the path to creating devices and solutions that would help them establish this Internet of Things. As with all key milestones in the history of IT, here again you need industries that were going to thrive on the IoT. Some would present the use case for IoT while others would have to keep innovating and build solutions to fulfill that need. Therefore, we find certain segments of the industry that are more bullish on using IoT than others. Sensing a big opportunity, the solution providers too are bullish about the devices and software they have created around IoT. There is an ISV that has created SDKs and libraries to enable a reliable cloud backend and a secure two way messaging channel for IoT devices. Increasingly, we keep hearing of new startups around IoT and how they innovate with their offerings to keep customers interested. In the pages that follow you get to read details on all of this and also the key trends in the IoT enterprise space. Here are the highlights:

Industries that are more bullish on IoT
The recently unveiled Research Kit is a macro IoT information gathering application that works with Apple’s HealthKit mobile app which turns the iPhone into a portable mHealth hub.
Likewise we’ve seen a few mobile devices that can be connected to the body to relay heart monitoring information to healthcenters through the use of mobile apps installed on the patient’s Android phones. The adoption of wearable devices is expected to increase, providing key information on a person’s activities, health and fitness.
The global oil and gas industry’s hunt for hydrocarbons in increasingly remote, extreme environments is driving the need for Internet of Things solutions within the industry. The number of devices with cellular or satellite connectivity deployed in oil and gas applications around the world was 423,000 at the end of 2013 which is estimated to rise by 21.4 percent to 1.12 million by 2018.
Also, the continued reduction in the cost of manufacturing semiconductors makes it feasible to install them on a range of everyday devices that were previously unconnected. In its Internet of Things (IoT) 2013 to 2020 Market Analysis report, IDC estimates that spending on IoT technology and services will touch $8.9 trillion by 2020, or a 7.9% CAGR.
In retail, Amazon is already using flying drones and employing droves of autonomous robots in some of its huge warehouses. These robots are the size of a lawn mower, with hidden wheels that can drive them in all directions and crisscross the smooth floor of the warehouse, lifting and shuttling shelves with different kinds of merchandise.
In the retail industry, in-store sensors such as Bluetooth beacons can track smartphones throughout the store and record path-to-purchase data that can later be used to optimize store layouts.
Automotive companies are already using IoT-enabled technology to predict faults, quickly respond to maintenance conditions and take proactive action. Also, by integrating factory-floor operations with core business processes can optimize production and real-time updates from machine data can be used to gain predictive analytics to automate parts and consumable ordering to maximize revenue.

Developer tools that facilitate IoT
All IoT devices require a reliable cloud backend and a secure channel for communicating information captured by these devices to the cloud backend. IoTfy is one such platform that provides a reliable cloud backend and a secure two way messaging channel. By using IoTfy’s SDKs and libraries that are available for various hardware platforms, hardware and device manufacturers can enable their devices to leverage the power of IoT. The REST APIs Framework helps device manufacturers to access data coming from their devices and also helps them to connect with third party internet services.

How start-ups are innovating to gain traction
CarIQ is a new IoT start up that makes your car smarter with devices that record data from your car like mileage and speed, driving patterns, etc. It also lets you compare these stats with your friends, people around you or people with the same car. SenseGiz offers tiny sensor chips that you can attach to any of your personal belongings in order to track them. It is user friendly and can be attached to any surface for instance, your phone, wallet or keys. TeeWe allows you to connect all your content to the TV through a single device that has a Wi-fi connection, be it your smart phone or laptop. The TeeWe also turns your phone into a smart remote control therefore making it perfectly user friendly. LifePlot is a portable electrocardiography diagnosis tool. It records data of basic medical diagnosis and provides solutions.

How IoT is gaining momentum amongst businesses
By connecting ‘things’ in the real world — such as cars, buildings, and industrial equipment — IoT promises to revolutionize how we live and work. The IoT market is likely to experience around 28% year-on-year growth, rising to 5.4 billion connections across the globe by 2020, counting cellular, fixed line, satellite, and short-range wireless connections, up from 1.2 billion devices in the year 2014. In the automotive industry, Verizon’s telematics experts note that 14 car manufacturers account for 80 percent of the worldwide automotive market, and all of them have a connected car strategy. Additionally, ABI Research cites that organizations will introduce more than 13 million health and fitness tracking devices into the workplace by 2018. The global market for sensors is expected to increase to $91.5 billion by 2016, showing a compound annual growth rate of 7.8 percent.

“The IoT market is likely to experience around 28% year-on-year growth, rising to 5.4 billion connections across the globe by 2020.”

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