Editor's Note: This blog post was originally published on October 10, 2018 and has been updated for the newest trends and information.
When we think of IoT devices, we reflexively think of our personal gadgets such as the Amazon Echo or “Alexa.” However, innovation in IoT presents boundless opportunities for businesses and governments to improve operational efficiencies.
IoT in Industry
Major industries targeted by IoT disruption include the automotive industry, manufacturing, logistics and supply chain management, healthcare, security, and home building. According to IBM, the commoditization of sensors and processors created economies of scale that enabled the rapid development of IoT devices. In other words, connecting is getting cheaper.
Helping hospitals and patients thrive
In healthcare, patients can use wearables that track vital signs to gather valuable data for their doctors to diagnose problems. Access to data can also save time and drive down costs to allow patients to spend more time with their healthcare providers. Some hospitals are also utilizing IoT to provide visibility in surgical workflows. Hospitals and healthcare providers will benefit from IoT innovation, but should also prepare their IT systems to manage vast amounts of data.
Giving an edge to manufacturing and supply chains
In supply chains, IoT can help with tracking, payments, and title transfers. Tracking systems supported by Blockchain can trace global shipments in real time as they move across trade lanes. Enhanced visibility allows supply chain professionals to spend less time tracking goods and equipment and to spend more time on strategic activities.
The growing edge industry enables hardware sensors that are even smarter and control the data between two networks. An example in the manufacturing industry is machines that create shipping boxes. Edge technology allows these machines to keep the processing data on the machine instead of being sent to the cloud. This makes the machinery smarter, more efficient, and better at making predictions and performing modeling in real-time.
Driving the automotive industry
Cars can already be considered IoT technologies. However, the potential still remains limitless. Connected vehicles can provide data and valuable insight to improve safety features and enhance capabilities. As autonomous cars become status quo, our roads will become safer and cleaner.
Challenges still remain when it comes to cybersecurity and standardization. An article in India’s Economic Times emphasizes that standardization of sensors will help improve cohesiveness amongst IoT devices and drive down cost. As our devices become cheaper, more ubiquitous and harmonious, incremental IoT innovation will continue to positively impact our daily lives both at work and at home.
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