The future of IoT

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By 2020, there will be tens of billions of data-spouting devices connected to the Internet. And they’re already changing how we live and work.

Fig. Reference IoT Things (https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-magazine/the-future-is-smart/article24586994/)

  • 10 Predictions for the Future of IoT

A Google search for “Internet of Things” term reveals over 280,000,000 results, thanks to the media making the connection between the smart home wearable devices, and the connected automobile, IoT has begun to become part of the popular parlance. But that’s not the complete picture, according to Gartner’s Nick Jones, vice president and distinguished analyst “The IoT demands an extensive range of new technologies and skills that many organizations have yet to master,” he added “A recurring theme in the IoT space is the immaturity of technologies and services and of the vendors providing them. Architecting for this immaturity and managing the risk it creates will be a key challenge for organizations exploiting the IoT. In many technology areas, lack of skills will also pose significant challenges.”

In the coming years, IoT will look completely different than it does today. IoT is a Greenfield market. New players, with new business models, approaches, and solutions, can appear out of nowhere and overtake incumbents. But business is the key market. While there is talk about wearables and connected homes, the real value and immediate market for IoT is with businesses and enterprises. The adoption of IoT will be much more similar to the traditional IT diffusion model (from businesses to consumers) than the consumer-led adoption of social media and personal mobility.

  • The top 10 trends of IoT

1)      Platforms

The platform is the key to success. The “things” will get increasingly inexpensive, applications will multiply, and connectivity will cost pennies.  Keeping in mind that IoT platforms bundle many of the infrastructure components of an IoT system into a single product. The services provided by such platforms fall into three main categories:

  • Low-level device control and operations such as communications, device monitoring and management, security, and firmware updates.
  • IoT data acquisition, transformation and management.
  • IoT application development, including event-driven logic, application programming, visualization, analytics and adapters to connect to enterprise systems.

2)      Standards and Ecosystems

Gartner noted that as IoT devices proliferate, new ecosystems will emerge, and there will be “commercial and technical battles between these ecosystems” that “will dominate areas such as the smart home, the smart city and healthcare. Organizations creating products may have to develop variants to support multiple standards or ecosystems and be prepared to update products during their life span as the standards evolve and new standards and related APIs emerge,” according to Gartner. There will be a battle for IoT application mindshare. With billions of devices projected to be spewing out petabytes of data, application developers will have a field day launching thousands, or even millions, of new and cool apps. But, similar to the smartphone world, all of these apps will be fighting for mindshare, and only a few will rise to the top to be valued by businesses and consumers.

3)      Event Stream Processing

According to Gartner: “Some IoT applications will generate extremely high data rates that must be analyzed in real time. Systems creating tens of thousands of events per second are common, and millions of events per second can occur in some telecom and telemetry situations. To address such requirements, distributed stream computing platforms (DSCPs) have emerged. They typically use parallel architectures to process very high-rate data streams to perform tasks such as real-time analytics and pattern identification.”

4)      Operating Systems

There’s a wide range of systems out there that have been designed for specific purposes.

5)      Processors and Architecture

Designing devices with an understanding of those devices’ needs will require

“Deep technical skills.”

6)      Low-Power, Wide-Area Networks

Current solutions are proprietary, but standards will come to dominate. According to Gartner: “Traditional cellular networks don’t deliver a good combination of technical features and operational cost for those IoT applications that need wide-area coverage combined with relatively low bandwidth, good battery life, low hardware and operating cost, and high connection density. The long-term goal of a wide-area IoT network is to deliver data rates from hundreds of bits per second (bps) to tens of kilobits per second (Kbps) with nationwide coverage, a battery life of up to 10 years, an endpoint hardware cost of around $5, and support for hundreds of thousands of devices connected to a base station or its equivalent. The first low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs) were based on proprietary technologies, but in the long term emerging standards such as Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) will likely dominate this space.”

7)      Low-Power, Short-Range IoT Networks

Short-range networks connecting IT devices will be convoluted. There will not be a single common infrastructure connecting devices.

8)      Device (Thing) Management

IoT things that are not ephemeral — that will be around for a while — will require management like every other device (firmware updates, software updates, etc.), and that introduces problems of scale.

9)      Analytics

According to Gartner, IoT will require a new approach to analytics. “New analytic tools and algorithms are needed now, but as data volumes increase through 2021, the needs of the IoT may diverge further from traditional analytics,” according to Gartner. The currency of IoT will be “data.” But, this new currency only has value if the masses of data can be translated into insights and information which can be converted into concrete actions that will transform businesses, change people’s lives, and effect social change. 

  • Security

According to Gartner, threats extend well beyond denial of sleep attacks: Those are attacks using malicious code, propagated through the Internet of Things, aimed at draining the batteries of your devices by keeping them awake. According to Gartner “The IoT introduces a wide range of new security risks and challenges to the IoT devices themselves, their platforms and operating systems, their communications, and even the systems to which they’re connected. Security technologies will be required to protect IoT devices and platforms from both information attacks and physical tampering, to encrypt their communications, and to address new challenges such as impersonating ‘things’ or denial-of-sleep attacks that drain batteries. IoT security will be complicated by the fact that many ‘things’ use simple processors and operating systems that may not support sophisticated security approaches.” 

·         10 Predictions for the Future of the Internet of Things:

We are in the early days of another transformative technology revolution. Wired magazine described a new era where “the most mundane items in our lives can talk wirelessly among themselves, performing tasks on command, giving us data we’ve never had before.” The Internet of Things (IoT) is a world where up to 50 billion things (or devices) will be connected to the Internet by 2020; or, the equivalent of 6 devices for every person on the planet.

We are already starting to see the emergence of smart cities, connected utilities, connected railways, connected factories, connected cars, and even connected mines, to name but a few. The Internet of Things will fundamentally transform businesses, generate enormous economic wealth and create immeasurable social value.

What does the future have in store for IoT? The following are my ten predictions of what we have to look forward to:

  1. The platform is the key to success– The “things” will get increasingly cheaper, applications will multiply and connectivity will cost pennies. The real value will be created in the horizontal platform that ties it all together – the new OS. This platform will be composed of 3 different layers: management, infrastructure, and data analytics and insights.

 

  1. The industry will look completely different than it does today – Like in the early days of the Internet, IoT is a Greenfield market. New players, with new business models, approaches, and solutions can appear out of nowhere and overtake incumbents.

 

  1. Business is the key market – While there is lots of talk about wearables and connected homes, the real value and immediate market for IoT is with businesses and enterprises. The adoption of IoT will be much more like the traditional IT diffusion model (businesses to consumers) than the Consumer-led adoption of social media and personal mobility.

 

  1. It will be about much more than the “things”– The currency of IoT will be “data”. But, this new currency only has value if the masses of data can be translated into insights and information which can be converted into concrete actions that will transform businesses, change people’s lives and effect social change.

 

  1. The “Connected Car” will be all about the car– There is currently a lot of hype about turning your car into a mobile entertainment center – music, video, social media and all of the apps that we currently enjoy on our smartphones. However, the real value and transformation is in connecting the car operations (e.g., service updates, advanced notifications of failures) and drastically improving safety (e.g., inter-car communications, semi-autonomous driving). These services will most likely be paid for by the manufacturer or through new, alternative business models, rather than directly by the driver.

 

  1. IoT will force business transformation – Businesses which connected to the Internet saw the real value when they re-designed their businesses models and processes for a connected world, and found new online products and services to offer. Some companies immediately embraced the Dot-Com world, many had false starts and many others took a long time to jump on, or the revolution passed them by completely. The same will be true of IoT. Businesses need to develop strategies and plans for how they can leverage IoT to transform all aspects of their businesses and capture the real value of this revolutionary technology.

 

  1. Trading mobile dollars for IoT pennies– It is no wonder that the mobile operators are salivating at the prospect of a windfall of new revenue to be earned from connecting the projected 50 billion devices, or things, to the Internet. However, it is not that straight forward. While some of the traffic will flow over mobile networks, the majority of the connections will be made over wireline or unlicensed wireless networks. And, many of the IOT devices require very low bandwidth – simply conveying their status on an occasional basis and then remaining dormant until this status changes. Mobile operators will need to do more than just sell mobile connectivity to inanimate objects to reap the full rewards of IoT.

 

  1. There will be a battle for IoT application mindshare– With billions of devices devices projected to be spewing out petabytes of data, application developers will have a field day launching thousands, or even millions, of new and cool apps. But, like the smartphone world, all of these apps will be fighting for mindshare and only a few will rise to the top to be valued by businesses and consumers.

 

  1. All cities will be smart– With more than one-half of the world’s population living cities innovative new IoT solutions, such as smart parking, connected waste, and traffic management, hold great promise for combatting the major challenges of rapid urbanization. We are unlikely to see many Jetson-like smart cities of the future appearing overnight. However, like in the past with the adoption of revolutionary technologies such as sewers, electricity, traffic lights, and the Internet, mayors will slowly implement IoT solutions to save money, shape the future and make their cities better places to live.

 

  1. IoT will cease to exist – Terms like “ecommerce”, “the Net” and “WWW” are all quaint reminders of how the Internet has ceased to be an exciting and mysterious new thing, and, like electricity, is now just part of our daily lives. The Internet of Things will go the same way. One day soon, it will be hard to imagine that all things weren’t connected and that the extraordinary benefits of IoT hadn’t always been with us.
  • Conclusion

The future of IoT is virtually unlimited due to advances in technology and consumers ‘desire to integrate devices such as smart phones with household machines. Wi-Fi has made it possible to connect people and machines on land, in the air and at sea. It is critical that both companies and governments keep in ethics in mind as we approach the fourth Industrial Revolution (Pye, 2014).With so much data traveling from device to device, security in technology will be required to grow just as fast as connectivity in order to keep up with demands. Governments will undoubtable face tough decisions as to how far the private the sector is allowed to go in terms of robotics and information sharing. The possibilities are exciting, productivity will increase and amazing things will come by connecting the world.

MeenaG Staff

Internet of Things Enthusiast

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