Let’s take a look at the future of the Internet of Things (IoT) and focus on which technologies are most likely to have an impact on this future. But before we move forward in time, let’s take a step back and understand where the internet of things comes from.
The Internet of Things (IoT) isn’t a new development. The phrase itself was coined in 1999 but the idea of connected devices has been around since at least the early 1980s (when a team of coders at Carnegie Mellon University connected their computers to the Coca-Cola vending machine so that it would tell them if it was empty or the drinks were cold).
But as you can see from this graph representing global searches for “internet of things”, it’s really just been the decade or so (since about 2013) that the IoT has really entered the mainstream conversation.
As devices have gotten smaller and telecommunications technology has become more powerful and widespread, the potential of the IoT has really grown from a niche interest to something truly transformative across industries.
By the end of 2022 it’s estimated that there will be around 13.1 billion devices connected worldwide. More than one per person.
Advancements in the IoT are fuelling change and development across all those industries. In 2022, it’s estimated that the IoT market is worth an astonishing $478.36 billion.
The IoT is now ubiquitous across the globe. From the home, to retail, healthcare, agriculture and more, the IoT is no longer an emerging technology. But it is an evolving one.
New technologies are arriving at blinding speed, and some of these have the potential to change the course for the evolution of the IoT quite drastically.
Let’s take a look at some of those technologies.
#1 - The Metaverse
The metaverse is set to be one of the defining technologies of the next few decades. It’s almost the natural next step for a world that’s becoming ever more connected - a fully-virtual way of life where people will be able to work, play and socialise. And the IoT is set to play a large role in it.
The IoT will act as the conduit between the real world and the virtual world, taking data from devices and feeding it into the metaverse.. And as the metaverse evolves, it’ll shape the IoT. It’s likely that we’ll see an almost symbiotic relationship between the IoT and the metaverse.
#2 - 5G connectivity
Although not a brand new technology, 5G is still in its infancy. It’s on the verge of an explosion in usage though, and when it does, it’s set to transform the face of the IoT.
What does 5G bring to the table that 4G doesn’t? Reliable connectivity, wider coverage, 5G network slicing, lower latency, higher transmission speed and real time data processing. Any one of these things would have a drastic effect on any IoT network. Put them together and we’re looking at a real revolution.
When will 5G finally take the reins from 4G? Probably not until 2025.
#3 - Blockchain
When you think of blockchain the first thing that comes to mind might be bitcoin, but that’s just a (relatively) small element of what blockchain is capable of. In essence, blockchain is a chain of encrypted digital records that make up ledgers of transactions. It’s extremely secure, which is why it’s likely to become central to the IoT.
The IoT inherently has a security issue thanks to its large attack surface. To make things worse, much of the IoT could be seen as a high priority target for hackers thanks to the disruption that it could cause (not to mention the potential of using it to create DDOS attacks).
With blockchain, we can apply IoT infrastructure into critical areas that without blockchain may not have been possible due to security concerns.
#4 - AI
When you think of AI you might think more of a general AI — the kind of thing you might see in science fiction when computers become sentient and destroy the planet. But the type of AI that’s more common in the world at the moment is based around machine learning. THis is essentially giving a powerful computer a large data set and telling it to learn from it. This might mean that the computer learns to play the game Go. Or it might mean that it learns to create images from text-based inputs.
One thing we know about the IoT is that it generates a huge amount of data. And by applying AI machine learning to this data, companies will be able to achieve new levels of insight, driving higher efficiency and leveraging more value.
If anything has become clear through this exploration, it’s that there’s never been a better time than now to get into the IoT.
If you have an IoT project on the backburner, now is the time to ride the wave of these new technologies.
We can help you get there. Newicon is experienced in creating software and apps that underpin IoT infrastructure. And we work with partners in the TPP that can help with electronics, hardware, prototyping and more.
Get in touch today if you’d like to talk about the future of your IoT project.
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