Internet of Things (IoT) is the new buzzword, which is here to stay and grow. It refers to all the devices or objects that are connected to the Internet, such as your smartphone, Fitbit, smart watch, or even your refrigerator. All these devices receive and transmit data via the Internet.
Any device can be made ‘smart’ by adding several sensors and connecting the device to the Internet. With countless possibilities, inexpensive infrastructure, and increasing demand, we are likely to witness a boom of IoT startups in the coming years. Out of a number of applications of IoT, we have shortlisted a few of them.
Applications of IoT:
Here are the top nine applications of IoT:
- Smart Home: A home is called as smart home, if the smart devices installed in them are capable of communicating with each other, as well as with their intangible environment. A smart home allows the owner to control and customize the home environment for efficient energy management and increased security. There are a number of IoT technologies available for building and monitoring smart homes.
- Wearable: Currently, wearable are one of the hottest trends in IoT. They are small sized, extremely energy efficient, and require ultra-low power. Wearable IoT tech is a very large domain, and includes a wide range of devices, which largely cover the entertainment, health, and fitness requirements.
- Smart City: A smart city spans a number of different use cases, ranging from traffic management to waste management, to water distribution, environmental monitoring, and urban security. The popularity of smart cities is driven by the fact that several solutions promise to ease pains of people living in cities. In a smart city, the IoT technology addresses problems such as pollution, traffic congestion, and noise, thus making cities cleaner, safer, and better to live in.
- Smart Grids: In the near future, power grids will not only be smart but also extremely reliable. Day by day, the concept of smart grid is gaining popularity. A future smart grid is likely to use data about behaviors of electricity consumers and suppliers in an automated fashion. This will help improve the reliability, economics, and efficiency of electricity.
- Industrial Automation: IoT infrastructure supported by cut-edge sensor networks, wireless connectivity, enhanced machine-to-machine communication, and advanced hardware, will completely transform the orthodox automation process of industries.
- Connected Car: Most of us are aware about Google’s self-driving cars. Internet of Things is making the technology of connected cars possible. Any new technology takes time before it gets adapted in the mainstream automotive industry. However, a number of companies as well as startups are coming up with various advanced technologies for supporting connected car platforms.
- Smart Retail: Internet of Things has a huge potential in the retail sector. What if you get a notification about the shortage of household supplies and the smart device installed at your home directly orders the necessary items? Several innovative applications are being developed for tracking goods, sharing real time information about the inventory with retailers and suppliers, and allow automated delivery.
- Smart Agriculture: Often, smart agriculture has been an unnoticed business case for the IoT. Internet of Things can help monitor several farming operations and livestock, thus revolutionizing the way farmers work. Smart farming is most likely to become one of the important applications in the countries exporting agricultural products.
Talking About the Numbers:
Let us have a look at some figures, which will explain how big the Internet of Things really is:
- According to analysis and estimations done by the McKinsey Global Institute, by 2025 IoT will have a total economic impact of up to $11 trillion.
- It is predicted by some research companies that by 2020, the number of Internet-connected devices will exceed 50 billion.
- Last year, the global market for wearable devices grew by 223%.
- According to CISCO, the IoT could generate $14.4 trillion for the private sector, and $4.6 trillion for the public sector over the next ten years.
- It is expected that by 2020, the number of smartphone users will go up to 6.1 billion.
- According to GE, the industrial Internet is expected to add $10-15 trillion to the global GDP in the next 20 years.
- It is expected that by 2020, around 250 million vehicles will be connected to the Internet, thus giving us new possibilities for automated driving and in-vehicle services.
The era of Internet of Things has just begun, and it is going to be huge in the coming years. Till now, we have seen Internet connected devices such as smart phones, and wearable. In the near future, we might see a lot more devices, which offer insights to connect to the Internet.