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How IoT is going to change the business world forever

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How IoT is going to change the business world forever

Business Insider has carried out an in-depth report in the potential effects of IoT (Internet of Things) on the business world and produced some staggering conclusions about its future impacts on the business world.

They have predicted that there will be "more than 55 billion IoT devices by 2025, up from about 9 billion in 2017."

They've also predicted that "nearly $15 trillion in aggregate IoT investment between 2017 and 2025, with survey data showing that companies' plans to invest in IoT solutions are accelerating."

So, what's going on and how will it affect your business?

Internet of Things (IoT) defined

The term itself is quite self-explanatory as IoT refers to a range of "things", defined on wikipedia as "physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items", that are networked together to connect and exchange data.

In the world of IoT, traditionally dumb machines are connected via the internet to share target information.

Samsung's Family Hub fridge, for example, would have just kept your food at the temperature that you've set it to maintain it at before IoT. However, the Family Hub fridge is different because it's Samsung's first fully IoT integrated fridge.

So, instead of just keeping your food cool, the Family Hub comes with a touchscreen that you can touch or talk to. It'll read out recipes for you; buy groceries; help you organise yourself with a calendar, to do list, memos and whiteboard; browse the internet, play music and mirror what's playing on your Samsung TV.

Current business uses of IoT in operations

The adoption of IoT in the business world has been wide spread with many companies using its technologies to improve productivity and customer experience.

Computer World UK listed 20 current uses of IoT in business operations of many large well-known companies, these include:

  • Arsenal FC who are using IoT to improve its coaching techniques and game analytics.
  • Ericsson Maritime ICT (an Ericsson company) are using IoT to monitor vessel location, speed and the temperature of heat sensitive cargo.
  • Rolls-Royce are working in partnership with Microsoft to use IoT technology to monitor flight information, fuel usage and schedule maintenance plans.
  • Fitness First have introduced iBeacon technologies that enable them to track who is coming into the gym and send them relevant information automatically.
  • Milton Keynes council have joined forces with a collective of stakeholders to create a city-wide machine to machine (M2M) network for anything from monitoring car parking spaces to checking when rubbish bins need emptying.
  • UPS uses IoT sensors to monitor  mileage, optimum speed and overall engine health.

The list goes on.

IoT powered by machine learning (AI)

The IoT is already a reality and with 5G connectivity it's about to improve get dramatically faster. But, we're missing one vital peice of the puzzle - artificial intelligence.

Machine learning or artificial intelligence (AI) integration promises to push IoT further by providing the brain to process the huge amounts of data a network of sensors would collect.

Wired wrote that machine learning could make operational predictions up to 20 times earlier and with greater accuracy compared to business intelligence tools. Whilte other AI technologies, such as speech recognition and computer vision, could help to gain an insight into data that used to require a human review.

It's generally thought that an AI-powered IoT will improve operational efficiency.

Conclusion

The IoT is not a new concept, and it is very much in use in the business world right now. With a range of sensor types and improving connectivity options, IoT going to be able to collect vast amounts of data to help to better understand your business operations, improve the customer experience and improve efficiency.

There are already many examples of big name companies using IoT within their operations and as we see a greater adoption of the use of IoT technologies we're surely going to see a drop in unit price for the necessary sensors to build your IoT network.

With AI integration around the corner, we're looking at an exciting future for a next generation IoT that promises to do so much more.

Do you use IoT technologies in your business? Or are you planning to integrate some in the future? We'd love to hear your thoughts about the topic below.

 

 

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