Top 6 Predictions for IoT Development in the Near Future

May 21, 2020 - 8 minutes read

The Internet of Things (IoT) helps us connect devices and sensors together in novel ways to create an unprecedented, cohesive user experience. The result is efficient, smart, and seamless interactions that can adapt quickly to our changing needs. Without any human intervention necessary, IoT systems transfer data across devices so that they’re all in sync at any given time.

Unsurprisingly, numerous businesses are already leveraging IoT; it’s helping them automate, streamline, and optimize several processes and operations. In 2020 alone, we’ll see the successful implementation of many new and inspiring IoT innovations across a variety of industries.

Living in Smarter Cities

The main objective of smart cities is to provide a better living environment for humans through sustainable operations, smart traffic control, and effortless connectivity with devices such as smart cars. But these intelligent metropolises are a rarity right now. IoT will play an integral role in making them more of a reality — and making the day-to-day of future city dwellers easier and more comfortable.

For example, a smart parking system integrated with a mobile app lets users control their car and pick-up time straight from their palm. Many cities are already employing IoT to control traffic lights and manage billing meters, and they’re doing this all remotely.

Smart cities will eventually improve the quality of life, standards of living, and save time and money.

In fact, global spending on smart cities will reach over $34 billion in 2020 as cities adopt more connected technologies like IoT.

Managing Resources and Energy

Saving energy is difficult, but it brings cost savings. By monitoring energy consumption in the home and in the smart cities, IoT can help us manage our energy usage and optimize it passively without asking us for permission.

Alternatively, sending a notification to users about their heavy energy consumption can keep savings top of mind, helping instill better habits.

This type of optimization doesn’t only apply to energy savings; it can be extended to work with any other type of resource.

Smart Cars

Cars are shifting from gasoline to electric energy, and they’re also becoming more autonomous. In the next decade or so, we’ll hand the wheel over to an artificial intelligence system that connects to IoT systems all over the road and throughout smart cities.

And with the addition of super-fast 5G technology, these systems will communicate in real-time about roadblocks, pedestrians, and more. Edge computing on top of 5G will allow for smart traffic lights and traffic control, and self-driving vehicles will be able to avoid collisions immediately.

No longer will a police officer ask you, “Do you know how fast you were going?” – the officer’s car will signal to yours and grab the information it needs before the officer even starts walking over to the driver’s side window. Right now, 8% of the global IoT market is held by connected cars, but that number is expected to sharply increase.

San Francisco-headquartered Tesla is heavily investing in IoT, and it’s made sure that all of its cars (even the first model) are built with the possibility to become self-driving one day in the future.

Manufacturing Improvements

Manufacturing is an industry that consumers rarely see in action, but it plays a major role in allowing us to consume material things. This industry is the largest user of IoT devices at 40.2% of the market share.

Sensors help employees pinpoint when a machine needs maintenance or repair. Other sensors send notifications to the inventory management software that a pallet of goods has left the building and is en route to the next facility. When a new shipment arrives, it can be scanned as it passes through the loading docks, instead of a human hand-scanning every pallet. This reduces human error, and it saves a ton of time for all employees involved.

It also frees up time for employees to wear innovative wearables around the factory or warehouse, and it opens up new opportunities for employees.

IoT in Healthcare

Healthcare is a notoriously slow-moving industry, especially when it comes to technology, like the implementation of an IoT application. Although we have robots that allow doctors abroad to perform surgery remotely, IoT applications do not need to be as grandiose as that.

For example, hospital help desks could be outfitted with robots that answer questions and take you to the part of the hospital you need to get to instead of giving you some directions. They can also aid in calling patients to the exam room, freeing up some time for nurses to check over your medical chart.

IoT devices can be used for patients, providers, insurance companies, and hospitals, and if these devices can all be connected, then a patient doesn’t need to leave home to show their provider that their health is improving because of better daily habits. The provider can then sign up the insurance company to automatically receive patient data and lower premiums accordingly.

Personalized Shopping

IoT in retail is going to revolutionize how we shop. It’ll drive growth, improve the customer experience, and reduce costs. Products and shopping will be completely personalized to your tastes, likes, and dislikes. Of course, all of the retail IoT systems will be up-to-date on the latest fashion trends so that you’re never recommended something out of style.

Retail will make up $35 billion of the IoT sector by the end of 2020. Some applications (other than shopping) include supply chain and logistics, inventory tracking, and customer satisfaction monitoring.

Ushering in an Interactive Future for Tech

IoT is going to grow wildly in 2020, and we’ll keep seeing innovative applications for the next decade. The technology is going to significantly change how consumers and businesses interact with each other.

In what ways do you think you’ll interact with an IoT system in the near future? Let us know in the comments below!

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