IoT is anticipated to be a globe-spanning network of connected objects, consisting of vehicles, home appliances, wearable gadgets, sensors, electronics, security, logistics, manufacturing; the list goes on. And effectively all of the analysts predict exponential growth in IoT in 2019 and indeed, far beyond.
The growth won’t only come from the plethora of ‘things’ that sit under the umbrella term IoT, but also the sheer number of benefits that they bring about. There’s a big focus on driving efficiencies by automating manual processes leading to cost savings and in turn, larger investment scopes for businesses. Telecoms products can seem one directional in terms of benefits, but when it comes to IoT, there’s a whole range. It’s on everyone’s agenda, whether it’s small businesses who want to optimise routes and monitor driver behaviour to manage maintenance costs and save money, or huge enterprises who want to track assets or people globally.
Depending on which analyst or data expert you choose to subscribe to, we’re talking potentially billions of devices connected in the near future. And 2019 will see leaps and bounds in both the development and distribution of IoT solutions.
The smart home, for example, is something consumers at large are about to become familiar with—and we’re all consumers when we get home and take our suits off. AI-run residences are around the corner, as machine learning will enable our homes to act and react according to our wants and needs. Automatic grocery ordering will evolve beyond its crude implementation in the form of Dash buttons and instead react according to household supply; heating will be based on who’s home rather than time of day; the list goes on.
Businesses will seek to gain a competitive edge through revamping and streamlining processes with IoT devices, more so than they are now. But perhaps an even bigger shift will be seen in next year’s job market. Following the industrial revolution that came about through the successful deployment of high-speed connective networks in the form of road and rail, people moved in swathes from rural to urban areas as a vast number of unprecedented industrial job roles saw the light of day. In a similar vein, we’re undergoing a digital revolution with connectivity such as data, mobile, and wifi—and through this, new jobs (and perhaps down the line even professions) that haven’t even been thought of yet will be created.
Along with 2019’s promise of digital revolution comes the implicit need for stronger, safer security measures on our tech. It’s hard to read the news without hearing about some kind of data breach or hack, and it’s not just budding companies that suffer these—huge global enterprises are still finding themselves vulnerable, despite advancements in data security. To safely implement technology that will automate more high stakes processes, such as self-driving cars, security needs to advance far and beyond what we’re already capable of, and the year to come will surely see a big push on this front.
It’s safe to say that IoT won’t just be a part of our future—it IS our future, and 2019 will bring us one step closer to it. Every aspect of our life will soon be managed by some form of IoT and it will become the new norm; and as this happens, it will become less of a googled term and more a tenet of our daily lives. The same happened with smart-phones: as analog options become obsolete and cease to exist, so too does the terminology differentiating breakthrough tech.