IoT is currently in its golden age and most of the potential it has is yet to come. The coronavirus pandemic took a large toll on the worldwide IoT spending in the year 2020.
It is unclear when the offices will reopen, or if remote work will become the standard way of working, among other common lifestyle practices that have changed during the coronavirus pandemic.
However, with this pandemic fueled year, the transformation of the digital world accelerated rapidly. According to research conducted by IDC, double-digit growth is estimated to return in the coming few years.
2020 has been a critical year for IoT and as we approach 2021, it is a given that IoT is set to deepen its roots in our lives and business.
IoT is one of those technologies that is considered a business imperative. Anywhere you look, you will find this technology, IoT is everywhere nowadays. It has an impact on the way we work, talk, and engage with each other.
Reports suggest that there will be 35 billion IoT devices installed worldwide by the year 2021 and 75.44 billion IoT devices installed by the year 2025. This perpetually tells that IoT will give rise to more opportunities for businesses to leverage smart technologies.
Substantially, as a technology-driven network of devices that are connected, IoT has the capacity to facilitate better sharing of data within the network. The ability to allow devices and equipment to communicate will have an impact on lives and businesses the same.
As we come out of 2020 and go in 2021 and beyond, not only do we see the growth in the Internet of Things, but there will be an increase in the use cases and trends encircling them.
When more and more enterprises will view IoT as a useful tool, it will result in the mass adoption of IoT. But before we jump into what future trends IoT brings, let us once have a loot at what is IoT.
Internet of Things, commonly known as IoT, is a huge network of devices that collect and share data from the surroundings in which they are leveraged, and how they are leveraged in a mutual platform.
The said platform transforms data into meaningful information and takes an action as it has been guided. Now, this could be as simple as a smart fitness watch that provides us with details like distance traveled, heart rate, calories burned, etc., or as technologically advanced as a self-driving car that keeps the driver on track and identifies any obstacles that might be in the way via sensors.
IoT refers to the practice of setting up our gadgets with sensors and connecting them to the Internet for them to operate without any sort of human interaction.
These sophisticated sensors or chips we put into devices turn them into smart devices that are then able to communicate, send or receive data to humans and networks they are connected to and take advisable actions as per that data.
This data, as mentioned above, is received from the surroundings and then is transmitted to the network in the form of information that is meaningful to humans. These IoT devices and how they work depends on the applications they are employed for and the protocols set to define in the said application.
For example, air conditioners nowadays are smart and can be controlled using applications on our smartphones where we can turn them on and off or set the temperature.
These same applications are also designed to send us notifications about the air conditioners on how they are functioning and if they need maintenance. All of this is done via sensors that were fixed in the air conditioner that gather data and offer us information that is useful.
Now that we got this out of our way, let us jump right into what is the future of IoT in 2021.
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If you look around, you will notice that the number of IoT devices in your surroundings has increased and the increased number is more than ever.
The apps of IoT have become universal, from in house devices to devices used to manufacture products that we use in our day to day lives.
They are being used in home appliances like smart refrigerators, smart doors, smart air conditioners, Alexa voice control, and many more appliances we use in our daily lives. If there is one thing we learn from this is that IoT is nearly everywhere, if not everywhere.
Moreover, if you look at IoT from a business point of view, it has boundless utilization in the manufacturing sector to supply chain sectors like using barcode scanners to keep a track of stocks and maintaining inventory.
As per IoT analytics research that is based on monthly searches done on Google, smart homes are ranked number one when it comes to IoT apps with installed devices such as connected lights, thermostats, smart locks, etc., wearables were ranked number two, and other apps were mostly noticed in connected health, smart supply chain, smart retail, and smart farming.
By the looks of it, this utilization of IoT is only going to expand even more as more people are now realizing the effectiveness and efficiency IoT has to offer.
In the year 2019, there were more than 26 billion devices connected to IoT, and by the end of the year 2020, there were a total reach of 31 billion devices connected to IoT.
This is an astonishing growth rate of around 20%. As there is an increase in the efficiency of business processes, more and more businesses are leveraging and expanding their usage of IoT.
Even though advanced technological features like Machine Learning, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Remote Monitoring, and many more are already present in 2020, there is no stopping the growth of IoT in the future.
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We are already aware that IoT backs digital transformation on a large scale and the development of business models. It is now being broadly used with a towering number of connected devices.
Connectivity must be sharp and quick for new business models in order to meet the network performance that is required for the evolution of IoT use cases and devices.
In case you are not aware yet, IoT is no longer about just monitoring data and spitting it out. It is about processing data at a rapid speed and taking actions based on that data.
IoT does not just gather information now, it incorporates this information to make smart decisions.
Even though the Internet of Things conspicuously got its start in smart homes and fitness apps, we will see a lot more of it in the coming years.
What we are witnessing now is an industrial shift, for example, the apparent increase in health care apps. Soon we will witness the Internet of Retail Things, Internet of Logistics Things, Internet of Workforce Management, and whatnot.
Location services are used as a basis to provide people with convenience. Very soon brands will be offering virtual queues, better pick up and drop off services, appointments to the closest access points, etc.
According to Forrester’s research reports, Remote Asset Management and New Networking Technologies would be contributing greatly to the growth of IoT.
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In 2021, the Internet of Things market is expected to reach $529 billion on a global level, almost double what it was in 2019. As per Newswire, the IoT market will reach $1.12 trillion by the end of the year 2026.
This is due to the increase in demand for Artificial Intelligence and Cloud Computing, these two technologies are fueling the IoT market as they have applications in every sector from finance to healthcare.
If we go by current forecasts and trends, saying IoT is the future will not be false. It has a large significance on both commercial and residential scales. With keeping convenience and efficiency in mind, most businesses are deploying IoT and the number is only set to rise with each passing year.
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