In celebration of the 5th annual IoT Day, here’s our pick for the top 12 Internet of Things applications set to make the biggest impact in the next decade.
1. Connected Healthcare. The medical devices industry is one of the earliest IoT adopters. Whether its smart, connected diagnostic and triage equipment or devices and systems that help doctors monitor patients remotely, there’s still huge room for growth.
2. Industrial. Machinery and heavy equipment networked with sensors and software may not be as glamorous as smart homes and wearables, but it’s got way more potential according to recent Gartner research. Companies that can automate and monitor their products and gain visibility into the environments in which they operate can improve efficiency, safety, and service, as well as design better next-gen offerings.
3. Smart Homes. More than 60,000 people search for the term “smart home” each month, and there’s currently more startups in this area of IoT than anywhere else, totaling a $2.5bn investment.
4. Smart Farms. The nature of farming, often large-scale and remote, lends itself well to IoT applications. Preparing soil, planting and harvesting at the right time, and monitoring livestock can be cumbersome. Using the IoT to gather data from the field and connect farming systems to weather information will improve efficiency.
5. Smart Cities. Half of the world’s population lives in cities, and by 2050 that will mean 6.3 billion people crammed into limited urban space. Whether its waste management, security, or traffic control, smart-city solutions are cropping up everywhere and include intelligent lighting, smart building controls, and demand response systems.
6. Smart Grid. Collecting information about the behaviors of electricity suppliers and consumers will improve efficiency, reliability, and sustainability.
7. Connected Transport. As vehicles become more software intensive so the opportunity to connect them grows. While car manufacturers race to team up with Silicon Valley, other service driven companies like Uber and Zipcar are creating new business models.
8. Wearables. Especially popular in sports and fitness, Fitbit and Sony’s Smart B-Trainer are good examples. This trend will continue and spill over into health monitoring and patient care.
9. Robotics. Tomorrow’s robots will give the IoT arms and legs. A robot in the home will be a walking, talking platform that can connect to the other systems to control light, temperature, and entertainment devices at your command.
10. Connected Retail. Proximity-based advertising—which works when embedded NFC or Bluetooth tags interact with mobile devices—will make shopping a whole new experience. Stepping close to a garment will trigger a specific promotion to be delivered to your phone, and getting close to a cash register will initiate an NFC-driven sale.
11. Smart Supply Chain. From automation of the manufacturing process to improved visibility into transit and warehouse activities, IoT generated data and intelligence will significantly alter how the supply chain operates, and will have a specific impact on the way supply chain leaders access information.
12. Smart Factories. For every million mechanical tasks a human performs, we insert 5,000 mistakes. Automating the factory floor can significantly reduce human error, cutting cost and waste, and improving efficiency. Imagine assembly lines that can communicate not just with one another or within the company but with systems elsewhere, and with the very products being produced – this is where smart factories are headed.