Last Updated: January 4, 2021
The idea of connecting your refrigerator to the internet seemed ludicrous just a few decades ago. But things changed. With 7 billion IoT devices already in use, interconnectedness is becoming a major factor in technology.
Internet-connected TVs, toasters, and smartwatches are here to make our daily lives easier. In 2020 there were six connected devices for every person on the planet, according to Cisco. A sizable part of them will be IoT devices.
The internet of things is already a huge business, and it continues to grow at a crazy pace. In this article, we will take a look at the top IoT trends that form this particular stage of the market’s evolution.
Rise of the IoT
IoT devices are things that normally would not have internet connectivity: kitchen appliances, toys, cars, fish tanks, boilers, and so on. Once connected to the internet, IoT-enabled objects can communicate with each other (and with us as well). This ability allows for new, more effective ways to use everyday items in our surroundings.
The idea of IoT can be traced back to 1982. A Coke vending machine at Carnegie Mellon University was the first internet-connected appliance. Programmers used to connect to the device and check if it had drinks in stock and whether they were cold. In a way, this machine was the catalyst of all the internet of things trends yet to come!
It wasn’t until the end of the nineties that the term “internet of things” appeared. One of the first people to use it was Kevin Ashton, the Executive Director of Auto-ID Labs at MIT. During a presentation in 1999, he described the idea of devices being connected in networks and exchanging information without the help of humans.
IoT Adoption Speeds Up
It would take another decade for the term to gain popularity. In 2011 Cisco Systems defined the birth of IoT as the “threshold of connecting more objects than people to the internet.” Market research company Gartner declared the internet of things a newly emerging phenomenon.
There is still no consensus on how fast the number of connected IoT devices is expected to grow. Companies like Cisco and Ericsson forecasted a total of around 50 billion connected devices in 2020. Others like Morgan Stanley expect them to hit the 75 billion mark in the same timeframe.
Now, the term “connected device” does include more traditional devices such as PCs and smartphones. With that said, any of these forecasts coming true would still mean IoT devices have already permeated our everyday lives.
Indeed, it seems everything is internet-connected these days. From household appliances like washing machines and security systems to industrial machinery like cranes, the IoT has become an immutable part of our society.
There are currently 17 billion connected machines worldwide, as data from IoT Analytics show. About 7 billion of them are IoT devices, and their number will increase sharply in the next few years.
By the end of 2022, for the first time in history, there will be more IoT gadgets online than there are traditional devices like laptops, smartphones, PCs, and landline phones. By 2025 the number of active IoT devices will surge to over 21 billion. Growth will continue in the years to follow and will be one of the most unshakable internet of things trends.
No wonder the short-term outlook for the IoT market inspires such excitement. Its size already is more than $151 billion and will explode to an astounding $1.5 trillion by 2025.
The consumer segment will be a significant engine for growth. The number of internet users around the globe is increasing, and so is the use of smart devices. People are embracing the convenience of controlling their homes through mobile apps. Just think about it: why should you wonder if there’s cold beer at home when you can just ask your fridge?
IoT Market Trends
The IoT market is very dynamic, and you can see the trends. Here’s how the world of internet-connected devices will look like in the years leading to 2025, according to Gartner.
Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues of IoT
A new set of privacy concerns comes into focus with the rise of the IoT. With all those devices exchanging personal information, this brings up the question, “Who owns the data?” It’s a legitimate question that will have a substantial impact on the development of the IoT, according to Gartner’s predictions.
Usually, we’d need humans to process a set of data intelligently. Considering the tons of information that IoT devices already generate, we need to come up with another, more scalable approach. Artificial intelligence and machine learning will have to handle the colossal amount of data coming from IoT devices.
Organizations will utilize AI to understand what their data means. So expect AI and machine learning to continue to be one of the hottest IoT trends of 2021.
Disclaimer: This article was written by a real human. TechJury is yet to employ its first robot. 01000110 01101111 01110010 00100000 01110010 01100101 01100001 01101100.
Data has become a valuable commodity. Corporations already consider it a strategic business asset, and by 2023 (even more) organizations will be making money by selling your personal data. Various IoT devices will be able to collect it. These include, among others, your TV, your smart digital assistant, the light bulbs in your living room, the air conditioner, and the fitness band on your wrist.
There is a growing need for a framework to govern the way data is being stored and used by IoT devices. Governance must exist at all stages of IoT technology: from device audits and firmware updates to the control of data usage. Organizations will need to fit into this framework. Otherwise, they might face legislative repercussions.
You can expect a bunch of new IoT sensors hitting the market this year. They will allow for a broader range of events, like natural disasters, to be detected. Municipalities will spend vast amounts of money to make sense of what is happening inside their cities.
Businesses will require more accurate data to solve problems and improve the quality of their products and services. With the need for data steadily growing, it is safe to say sensors will be among the top IoT devices of 2021.
Many IoT devices are not designed with security in mind, and that’s a growing concern. Hackers are targeting hundreds of thousands of IoT devices because they lack basic protection.
To compound the issue, users are not aware of the problem. They will simply use their devices, unaware of the vulnerabilities that go with them. What they should know is that even some of the most popular IoT devices have weaknesses that allow hackers to spy on their personal lives.
What’s to Come?
We live in an increasingly connected world where traditional IT solutions are no longer sufficient. The internet of things brings a whole bunch of new possibilities for companies and end-users.
Real-time data gathering will improve a lot of working processes, making them more efficient and profitable. It will even create new business models.
Households will benefit from smarter consumer electronics as more and more users engage with the smart home concept.
The IoT will reform industries like healthcare. You will no longer need to visit the doctor every time you feel sick. He will be able to monitor your condition and prescribe medication if you need one. In transportation, smart sensors can decrease the number of crashes, predict the best routes, and drastically lower the cost of traveling.
Most of this is already happening and is part of the top 2019 IoT trends.
But the deeper paradigm shift is yet to come.
Are you ready for it?