According to Cisco, 500 billion devices are expected to be connected to the Internet by 2030¹. Furthermore, in that same year, there will be at least 15 connected devices to each individual². In this post, we examine IoT's rapid expansion and how you can benefit.
With the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) market showing no sign of slowing down, organizations are taking full advantage of what the technology has to offer. To further illustrate this, organizations are predicted to make a total investment of $15 trillion into the IoT market by 2025³. So it’s clear to see that applications of IoT in business are booming.
The boom could stem from a few reasons, although the declining cost of sensors, communication technologies, and data processing are significant contributing factors. Subsequently, the return on investment (ROI) for business applications of IoT has never been more appealing.
This has led to companies thinking more boldly about strategies that will help them to achieve IoT’s full disruptive potential. According to Verizon, for an organization to determine its solution as being fully IoT-enabled, it should demonstrate three important criteria: (1) Awareness; (2) Autonomy; (3) Action.
Successful implementations of IoT enable organizations to benefit from:
Enhanced sources of real-time data
Revolutionary business models
Additional service offerings
These IoT devices use smart sensors to gather unprecedented amounts of real-time environmental data that is then autonomously analyzed and shared with other devices and networks. This data is often referred to as the key raw material in which organizations turn actionable insights into enhanced organizational value.
Nowadays, companies are increasingly relying on these data-driven insights to create innovative solutions to elevate profitability, generate efficiencies, and establish a competitive edge. Among the many business benefits of IoT, decision-makers are now able to gain an extensive overview of market sectors and operations in completely new ways. It’s predicted that by 2025, organizations that adopt IoT will be at least 10% more profitable than competitors that don’t ⁵.
Although IoT has already gained significant traction within the manufacturing sector, the uptake of smart devices has shifted far beyond industrial implementations. Industries like healthcare, agriculture, conservation, retail, gaming, and transportation are embracing IoT to optimize business processes.
The ubiquitous nature of IoT opens up entirely new possibilities; IoT will soon permeate into each and every aspect of life.
Real-world Examples Driving IoT Adoption
IoT plays a fundamental and defining role in the future of business. However, as is often the case with new technologies, the road to mass-market adoption takes time.
According to Goldman Sachs, there are five key verticals that will accelerate the pace of IoT adoption: (1) Wearables; (2) Connected Vehicles; (3) Smart Homes; (4) Smart Cities; (5) Industrials. Within the IoT ecosystem, these five test cases highlight the significant impact of IoT and what it can achieve.
Beyond the bounds of industrial applications, the following four use cases are driving IoT adoption to enable a seamlessly connected world.
1. Wearable Technology
Wearable technology is arguably the most well-known application of IoT. It’s often referred to as the Consumer Internet of Things (CIoT) because of its immense popularity within the consumer market.
Connected wearables have advanced to the point where they are able to outperform many of the same computing tasks that were once only native to mobile phones and computers. For example, the Apple watch enables individuals to stay up to date with emails, and even answer phone calls, while on-the-go. Another popular wearable, the Fitbit, monitors heart rate patterns and tracks various forms of exercise that individuals can compare with historical fitness data.
However, nowadays examples of wearable technology go far beyond fitness and communication conveniences. By 2022, it’s expected that 1.105 billion wearable devices will be connected worldwide⁷. With an abundance of various products available in the market and expected in the near future, smart wearables are playing a major role in the healthcare industry. As one example, AssistMe establishes a connected care system built around wearable smart undergarments for people with incontinence. The connected pants indicate the right time for a change, increasing comfort for the wearer and ease for the care provider. Healthcare wearables can collect data to provide medical professionals, emergency services and patients with important information that could, ultimately, save lives.
Although wearable technology may have the most success in the human-impact sphere, IoT also holds great promise in the gaming realm. These devices, in tandem with augmented reality, can create a realistic and immersive gaming environment for users to experience in real-time.
2. Connected Vehicles
By 2020, more than 152 million cars will connect to the Internet, impacting all counterparts of the automotive industry from car manufacturers, to city planners, to emergency services, to insurance companies, drivers and passengers⁸.
Smart vehicles are equipped with built-in sensors that have the ability to gather information about the vehicle itself and its surroundings. As a result of this, companies are leveraging IoT in their transportation logistics to monitor fleet management, minimize costs, reduce the risk of damaged assets and leap ahead of competitors. Companies like Bransys use sensors to monitor road trailers’ assets while also controlling and monitoring the temperature for environment-sensitive cargo like perishables.
In fact, the connected vehicle industry is opening up entirely new business models. IoT is saving individuals substantial amounts of time and money by solving a simple challenge that many people have to face each day — finding an elusive parking spot.
In 2017, American drivers spent, on average, a whopping 17 hours per year looking for parking. That's a collective annual cost of $73 billion in time, fuel and emissions loss. Compare this with drivers in the UK who spent 44 hours per year searching for parking with a collective annual cost of $30.01 billion and German drivers who spent 41 hours per year searching for parking spots with a collective annual cost of $44.5 billion⁹. It’s no wonder then that ParqEx saw a gap in the market to create a private parking marketplace that connects owners of private garages with drivers through a mobile application.
Among the many perks of smart vehicles, additional benefits include enhanced navigation systems, better safety features, efficient parking mechanisms, predictive maintenance, fuel monitoring systems and features that can help drivers predict and avoid collisions. As a true testament to the many benefits enabled by connected cars, major European economies, including Germany, France, and the UK, are expected to hit nearly 100 percent connected car penetration by 2020¹⁰.
3. Smart Homes
As one of the most publicized categories of IoT, applications of smart home appliances are practically infinite. IoT is transforming ordinary household ‘things’ into connected devices such as smart thermostats, connected light bulbs, smart kitchen appliances, air conditioners and a range of security devices, such as alarm systems and security cameras. For example, the Nest Hello is a smart device and video doorbell that can recognize faces, and even announce when people approach the door.
Another smart home device gaining popularity are voice-activated virtual assistants. Amazon’s Alexa is a well-known example of this and can even use itself as a home automation system that can control several other devices. The number of voice assistants used to control smart home devices is expected to reach 555 million by 2024¹¹.
Ease, automation, and convenience are what make smart home systems so appealing. In addition to this, household devices can be remotely managed and controlled by a schedule, mobile or the Internet. With the help of IoT, households have been able to save time and money, reduce energy consumption and improve the overall quality of life for its occupants. Already the numbers are staggering; predictions suggest that the smart home market will reach $144 billion by 2025¹².
4. Smart Cities
IoT has revolutionized global markets through new ways of monitoring, managing and remotely controlling devices. When these digital devices are rendered into a city’s existing infrastructure, it creates a ‘smart’ city.
Advanced technologies such as IoT, blockchain, AI, wireless sensor technology and intelligent management systems, among many others, are what make this possible. However, IoT still maintains prime importance in harmonizing multiple connected systems to solve some of the major challenges currently faced by cities all over the world. Through the IoT lens, cities can identify infrastructure opportunities and potential issues prior to their emergence. When decision-makers are able to have a holistic overview of multiple forces that affect cities, they can make better policy decisions to enhance the way citizens live and work.
According to Urban Hub, Barcelona is on the cutting edge of smart city development. The city has integrated a unique top-down and bottom-up approach to urban digitalization, reaching for what some are calling Smart City 3.0¹³. Aided by smart sensors, the city has implemented automated irrigation systems, smart waste disposal, smart street lighting, and an interconnected bus transit system to improve the lives of its residents.
As smart technology continues to improve urban centers, the global smart cities market is expected to reach $330.1 billion by 2025¹⁴.
IoT and The World We Create
As a profound technology with immense potential, IoT has woven itself into the fabric of our everyday lives, fulfilling the Internet’s promise of making the world a truly connected place.
IoT is enabling a smarter future where every ‘thing’ is connected, gathering and sharing information to help people lead smarter lives. However, it’s important to note that the four aforementioned use case examples are just the tip of the iceberg. IoT is here today with a plethora of successful implementations to prove what’s possible. Other current use cases include:
With new and exciting IoT concepts at work across various domains, aspects of our daily lives are becoming more efficient in the home, at the workplace, and around our cities. Everyone, from consumers to corporations and entire governments, is beginning to embrace the opportunities brought upon by the revolution of the Internet of Things (IoT).
Now more than ever, companies are seeing the great importance of developing a winning strategy to leverage IoT solutions that tap into new revenue streams. According to Deloitte Insights, if companies want to reap the rewards of IoT’s full potential, they should think big, start small, and finally, scale fast ¹⁵.
As illustrated by the previous examples, IoT is about doing things that haven’t been done before and providing solutions to previously unsolved problems. However, creating an IoT use case can be a complex path to navigate. Choosing the right technologies, processes, and partners are critical to achieving success.
Here at Next Big Thing(NBT), our approach to IoT is founded on an unparalleled base of expertise and support framework. We know what it takes to achieve success. By innovating with corporates, and startups, in different verticals, NBT leverages the latest technologies to translate business ideas into successful companies that drive profitable growth. NBT is the innovation vehicle that brings your business idea to market faster, more reliably, and in an economically viable manner enabling you to save time and resources.
We build innovation and IoT solutions that matter — for businesses — and for the world.
Reach out to us to find out how Next Big Thing can help your business successfully transform an IoT idea into a robust business model.