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What is IoT and how will it shape our future?

What is IoT and how will it shape our future?

By Archit Agarwal
March 14, 2016

Welcome to 2016! Where ‘Things’ are no more just ‘inanimate material objects’.

“The Internet of Things is not a concept; it is a network, the true technology-enabled Network of all networks” – said Edewede Oriwoh, a cyber-physical security researcher at University of Bedfordshire. With integration of billions of devices talking 24×7, it is safe to say that inevitably IoT will form the very foundation on which we will build our future civilizations.

IoT is the culmination of numerous objects connected to one network, interacting within themselves at all times. This singular network inter – connectivity enables remote access of these objects by amalgamating their physical attributes with virtual attributes of computer – based systems, resulting in elevated efficiency, better accuracy, automation and real-time insights, thereby providing the necessary momentum for IoT to become the next big super-trend. Who wouldn’t want to control their household security from two cities away, right!?

In November last year, Gartner, Inc. forecasted that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from 2015, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. In 2016, 5.5 million new things will get connected every day. Gartner estimates that 4 billion connected things will be in use in the consumer sector in 2016, and will reach 13.5 billion in 2020.

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With the extent of communication mobility that IoT is expected to have, we are poised to enter the ‘SMART’ era, where IoT plays a multi-faceted role for different factions of the human society:

RoboDoc for patients

IoT will be used to take care of the elderly, especially ones living alone. Real-time health monitoring of patients by their doctors and family members could prove to be a life saver. For e.g., remote controlled insulin injectors based on real-time blood sugar monitoring. Companies like Anthem have already gone the IoT way by deploying real-time heart monitors. All these efforts encourage healthy living.

A ‘virtual’ Irona

IoT will simplify our lives by providing more comfortable living, hassle free maintenance and cost-effective livelihood. Smart homes will have centralized heating, electricity and air-conditioning, all sense-controlled, refrigerators that can place orders in case you run out of groceries, smart stereo that plays the script for your morning presentation and just maybe, a monitored dog feeder for Marmaduke. Imagine a world where everyone has their own real life Jarvis. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has already taken this as a resolution for 2016, and I have my money on him.

If cars are today, platoons are tomorrow

IoT will have multiple applications across the industry by using a combination of interactive advanced vehicles and transportation systems aimed to provide safer travels and efficient traffic management. From driverless vehicles, already being tested by Google, to accident free driving by VANET-connected vehicles. Roads will interact with smart cars to inform them of ice/snow up ahead and caution the drivers. Cars will self-dial 911 in case of an emergency.  Smart cements that report development of cracks in bridges are already in use.

Orbit city fantasy of Jetsons comes true

Governments around the globe are testing and fighting it out to build the first smart city in the world. A city that will be able to integrate the afore-mentioned features and many more, in a secure, consolidated, one-network environment. This city will have an improved quality of life and citizens will feel the power of information. For instance, when an emergency is reported in Barcelona, the probable route of the emergency vehicle sets all the lights to green as the vehicle approaches, thus allowing reduced travel time. Smart city will have smart grids, an impeccable recycling process and a water preserving plant run by water demand. However, the real challenge is to do a cost-effective implementation.

These are but a few instances of how IoT can serve the citizens and civilizations of the world to make it a better place altogether. In order for a full-fledged implementation, advocates of IoT still need to show its value proposition to people’s lives. The finality of IoT lies in the fact that everybody will be affected and benefited from this phenomenon. It is just a matter of time.

In the next part of the series, we will discuss the humongous amounts of data produced and how it can be leveraged to provide real-time insights. And how analytics is going to play a catalytic role in enabling IoT shape our future. Stay tuned!




About the author:

Archit is a Senior Consultant, working for one of the largest technology companies in the world. His role primarily focuses on identifying relationships between customer attitude, purchase intent and buying behavior. He is an experienced and accomplished analytics professional with 5+ years of experience in customer and market research helping Fortune 500 clients take informed decisions.
He is specialized in leading engagements involving advanced analytics capabilities for solving complex business problems.

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