The concept of connected devices and integrated networks has been with us for several years now, but until recently, their application was limited to computer networks and control systems. With the onset of the era of Internet of Things (IoT), it seems like that is about to change.The explosive emergence of the technological disruption that is IoT can be mainly attributed to the rapid rise of smartphones and portable devices among us. With over 50 billion connected devices by the end of 2020, IoT is already impacting our lives in various segments including education, transport, business, science, and communication.

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IoT represents the next phase of the internet, extending it to everyday devices, including home appliances and wearables that can help us lead our lives better. The Internet of Things (IoT) is predicted to generate an additional $344 billion in revenues, as well as drive $177 billion in cost reductions, and an economic impact of $100 billion by 2025.

IoT Today

IIoT first emerged onto the scene around 2003, majorly driven by the rising number of smartphones’ users in the world. Although it’s still in the early stages, today, it mainly contributes as a collection of application-specific networks. But as the number of compatible devices continues to rise, IoT can lead to a truly connected network globally. In terms of both consumer products and industrial use cases, here are some common application areas of IoT.

Autonomous vehicles

Ever so competitive, the automotive segment has several players racing to manufacture independent vehicles ahead of others. But when a system becomes automatic, it requires more robustness and reliability, which is only possible through a centralized architecture. The auto industry has reached a point where automakers have to look into data-centric architectures, as opposed to the present distributed architecture. IoT is making this possible with a centralized architecture forming a platform that allows updating of vehicle customization, scaling, and functions.

Modular farms for smart cities

Urban cities require innovative solutions to meet the constant demand for fresh vegetables. IoT helps achieve this with several emerging technologies, such as vertical farming that utilizes city space for cultivating healthy veggies. Planty Cube is one such award-winning innovation of CES 2020 that modularizes a 40-foot container farm into working, growing, germination, and loading module. Keeping harmful foreign substances in mind, crops in Planty Cube are grown in a fully controlled non-agrochemical environment that can be consumed without washing. This business can be started in small units, and can expand depending on the market crop demand and initial installation cost.

Smart homes

IoT is a major player when it comes to building smart homes. The smart home industry—which works on themes like privacy, security systems, and predictive maintenance in homes and offices—is being revolutionized by IoT solutions and smart devices. Igloo Homes is one such company that offers smart locks for your new age homes. These locks do not connect on Wi-Fi but instead, they work on “Algo PIN technology.” It functions on a time-sensitive token password by an application where the system provides a one-time password to the guests to grant them entry in your absence.

Smart retail

Consumer production companies are now responding effectively to the growing trend of smart products. Relayed on dependable growth, consumer enterprises have faced a decline in profits and revenue in the past few decades. The increasing pressure from digital rebellion, and the rise in the cost of assets haven’t helped either. With the rise of connected devices, consumer product companies are using technology as an opportunity to reconnect with consumers and reclaim revenue. While adapting to technologies like position and emotion trackers, retailers are tracking things with the help of infrared laser IoT sensors and facial recognition. FaceMe is one such solution showcased in CES 2020 that uses facial recognition to track visitors by gender, age, and emotional state parameters. Additionally, RFID, along with IoT devices, is helping retailers track purchase orders and bill shoppers even if they are not physically present in the store. It also offers shoppers the opportunity to walk in the store and buy whatever they want, pay automatically without standing in line, and checkout.

Optimize Delivery

For optimum delivery by last-mile automation, retailers can reduce the cost of last-mile logistics that same-day manufacturing requires. IoT solutions can help retailers optimize their systems for better efficiency. Amazon’s Kiva robots that include streamlined packaging are among such solutions that helps improve last-mile delivery.

Smart Parking Systems

IoT holds tremendous possibilities when applied to everyday issues like parking. Using IoT sensors and a centralized wireless connected system, the user can easily check the availability of spots in the parking area. Some solutions even allow you to scan for available parking units in your vicinity with just your smartphone.

Improve Security with the help of Blockchain

Blockchain-based access systems and identification architectures can help improve the security of our connected devices. This amalgamation of two emerging technologies will not only enable users to access securely, but also develop trust among the audience. Microsoft and Qualcomm showcased such IoT chipsets in CES 2020 with a focus on security.

The potential of IoT cannot be underestimated

With the way IoT is transforming enterprise operations, it can be safely said that the technology will become an unsaid standard in most industries. In fact, major players are already reaping benefits from the tech. A McKinsey & Co report finds that the number of businesses that have implemented IoT technologies increased from 13% in 2014, to 25% by July 2019. They say that in the last five years, IoT technology has advanced enough to hold significant market opportunities.

Here is a depiction of economic capacity of the IoT technology that holds significant opportunities for enterprises.

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Thus, the future looks bright from this point on.

IoT is an evolving technology that aims to touch lives by connecting devices. This is done with the aim to better synchronize activities with the least human interruption. While it holds tremendous opportunities for businesses, challenges like hacking of devices, privacy concerns, and surveillance worries are in way of possible benefits. Despite such roadblocks, IoT is one of the breakout technological disruptions of this decade.