The Internet of Things or IoT, as it is commonly referred to, has started transforming both society and businesses in a big way. It is going to be virtually present in every walk of life and industries right from homes and household living to health and wellness, from manufacturing to supply chain management.
It is not a distant reality when IoT applications will be ruling things over. Ten years from now, people could be wondering as to how they were even surviving without it. This will be something similar to what the new generation today feels – how could one survive without a smartphone or Internet a few years back!
What Is IoT Technology?
In simple terms, this technology enables transfer of data over a network of interrelated computing devices, which includes both digital and mechanical machines, objects, people etc. having unique identifiers without the need for human-to-computer or human-to-human interaction.
What All Is Required for IoT?
The complete setup consists of inter-networking of all physical devices, also referred to as smart devices and vehicles. Then, there are things that are embedded with sensors, electronics, software, actuators etc. and most importantly good network connectivity. It is this connectivity that enables these objects to collect and exchange data.
Areas for IoT Applications
Currently, IoT applications have taken the centre stage, with a new company announcing one or the other IoT-enabled product. In reality, areas whereIoT applicationsare really popular as of now include smart-home, wearables, smart grids and cities, connected health, smart supply chain, industrial internet and small retail.
Future Impact of IoT
In future, IoT will spread to other sectors for sure. It’s forecasted that by 2020, IoT will include 26 billion units installed. The revenue-generating IoT products and service suppliers will be in excess of $300 billion. This revenue will have a potential to value-add $1.9 trillion to the global economy.
With such a huge potential impact on the global economy, it is bound to impact both the society and the business. It is assumed that the largest impact that will be evident among all applications would be in the manufacturing and healthcare sector.
Right now, we are at the beginning of the transformational journey and things are only going to spice up from here. Very soon, each and every device we own will become smart. As of now also, our alarm system, thermostat, smoke detectors, doorbell and other such systems are already networked, but it’s just the beginning. How our lives will change when IoT applications will bring into its net all our daily things is beyond imagination.
Expert’s Opinion on the Impact
A well-known technologist and futurist, Chuck Evanhoe believes – “IoT will be a tremendous enabler of better information in both the consumer and business environments. I believe that the impact of IoT will be across the board. All of the systems that we don’t think about in our day-to-day life will be more effective in keeping humans productive so the impact won’t be in just one area.”
People who believe in IoT applications and are making it happen across sectors are hopeful that the networked devices will cut costs and raise the efficiency bar to an altogether different standard in production and manufacturing. The management of things will become both smarter and more effective.
As everything will be connected and will be smart right from appliances to factories and cities, there will be a better flow of information in real time. This will result in better control and performance. As the human intervention in running things will be minimised, there will be lesser chances of error and there will be consistency in operations.
Right now, IoT is a new technology that is exciting to few, but confusing and intimidating togeneral public. The biggest trouble that IoT is facing currently is the lack of consistent standards. There are some layers of the IoT applicationsthat are following no standard whatsoever, while others have many competing standards.
This is posing a serious challenge even for experts. They are not yet able to anticipate how these rapid changes in the field of IoT technology will shape up in future.
However, one thing that is certain is that this technology is in its nascent stage right now and the future holds limitless possibilities. It will impact the society and business in varied aspects and with such a force that we cannot even imagine its unsurpassable future potential.