Through miniaturization and fast wireless connectivity, the Internet of Things (IoT) is developing rapidly. Everyday objects—think light bulbs, door locks, and televisions—are being connected to the Internet left and right. Smartphones make it easy to control all sorts of home and enterprise IoT products from the palm of your hand.
As IoT improves and becomes more pervasive, especially in commercial and industrial uses, here are some of the most important trends in the field.
1. Remote Access and Control
Throughout the IT and consumer electronics industries, controlling physical objects remotely is becoming a big deal. Smart thermostats, locks, and doorbells let homeowners access their home from afar. They can change the temperature before getting home to save energy, open their house for visitors remotely, and even see who’s at the front door without looking through the window.
That’s just what already exists. In the future, more objects and products in the real world will gain Internet connectivity, especially those used industrially.
2. Industrial Automation
Manufacturing and logistics companies are beginning to take advantage of what IoT has to offer by automating their previously manual processes. For example, efficiently picking and shipping products from a warehouse can be partially automated with Internet-connected scanning and reading products.
Another example is sorting. Whether it’s blasting malformed food products out of a falling stream using compressed air jets or sorting parcels for delivery, IoT has huge potential in industry.
3. AI and ML
Today’s powerful computers can reason about and understand the world like never before. IoT products have lots of sensors and collect tons of data. Analyzing and making use of this data is more challenging. Artificial intelligence and machine learning make this process easier by replicating human behavior and understanding data on a deeper level.
4. Voice Control
Smart speakers like the Google Home and Amazon Echo are becoming more and more popular. Consumers buy products, listen to music, and control their other smart home devices with the ease of voice recognition. This type of control will become more accurate and accessible as time goes on.
5. Health Monitoring
Millions of people already use electronic (sometimes even Internet-connected) insulin pumps to manage their diabetes. What if this kind of technology were made useful for other diseases and conditions as well? Patients could understand and manage their health with ease.
Recent Apple Watch models (like the new Series 6) continually add sensors that can help to discover and prevent health issues in advance. These types of products will continue to become more advanced and powerful.
Internet-connected devices are gaining prominence in our lives. Every kind of product, even those that are not traditionally electronic devices, is gaining Internet connectivity in some way, shape, or form. From making it easier to access data and physical objects remotely to improving people’s health, IoT has huge potential in future technology.