The Internet of Things is becoming so widespread, yet for many it goes unnoticed or even unknown. From hospital technology to smart home and office management systems—chances are, you’ve interacted with an IoT device without even noticing it. Experts suggest that an already impressive number of installed IoT tech pieces is going to surpass 75 billion by 2025.
Companies and entrepeneurs around the world are racing to create products that are connected to the internet. This in particular has been exacerbated throughout the pandemic, which has forced a quarantine-induced isolation, affecting nearly every aspect of our lives.
Bearing witness to this tendency in technology, however, is not surprising. In fact, IoT strives to create networks of objects that are not inherently connective, such as cars, whole houses, manufacturing equipment, medical robots, and other devices. All physical objects on an IoT network have an Internet connection as well as the ability to share information with each other.
In 2021, the Internet of Things predictions are particularly hopeful due to how quickly this technology is evolving. IoT business opportunities are immense, particularly for the healthcare, automotive, and education industries.
Studies reveal that such solutions tend to increase the efficiency of operations for enterprises by approximately 20-30%; as more businesses adopt this technology, we can expect IoT to bring a stunning $1.1 trillion in revenue to businesses worldwide, just by the year 2025.
Between the predictions and the impressive current results, now is a perfect time to learn more about the Internet of Things basics and its potential for several key industries.
Accessible and safe healthcare
Among all the Internet of Things news last year, innovations in healthcare made the highlights were most frequently. The progression of the pandemic resulted in extreme worker shortages and increasingly dangerous conditions for both patients and doctors.
Consequently, the IoT focused on bringing solutions to these challenges. Now, technology is actively helping healthcare professionals adhere to social distancing while providing top-quality care for their patients.
The first element that makes it possible is connection: modern phones and tablets are becoming a powerful substitute for in-person visits. In addition to enabling video calls, they can connect to patients’ wearable devices and inform doctors of each person’s heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, or blood sugar in real time.
The IoT in healthcare also employs machine learning to process a patient’s health data automatically and prompt them to seek help at the right moment.
For those already in hospitals, IoT is getting substantially better at improving living conditions. As the technology becomes more accessible, patients can expect to stay in rooms with sensors and voice assistants that allow them to regulate room temperature, TV, air conditioning, and lights without moving.
Such systems will also be effective in alerting staff members of any problems in spaces with cameras installed, due to advances in computer vision.
Finally, examination and even surgeries performed by robots represent IoT trends in healthcare that are likely to grow in the future. Robotic assistants already enable more precise and less invasive surgeries.
They also help automate some parts of patient examinations, reducing the load on medical workers and allowing more patients to be served.
Enhanced online education
E-learning has seen a massive upsurge with the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and all technology predictions in this sector agree that online education is here to stay. Experts estimate the industry to grow to $370 billion in just five years, which is more than a three-fold increase from the $101 billion recorded in 2019.
Such an astounding success of online education wouldn’t have been possible without the Internet of Things. IoT encompasses everything modern educators use to enable better immersion in studying: smartphones and laptops connected to the Internet, virtual reality goggles and software, as well as various wearables.
VR equipment, in particular, is one of IoT’s latest trends. During the pandemic, it has been helping students conduct field trips without leaving their homes, as well as connect with other learners and teachers through virtual classrooms. In the future, virtual and augmented reality devices will become more widespread, enabling students to join in on classes regardless of their physical location.
This interactive component is one of the main objectives for IoT in education. While learners react better to videos than plain texts, there is a huge potential for taking the progress another step further and leveraging technology to provide a more practical, hands-on experience to people in the most remote locations.
Improved supply chain management and manufacturing
Digitalizing supply chain management (SCM) and manufacturing is one of the smarter tech trends that are likely to carry on into 2022. IoT will help businesses reduce operating costs, boost efficiency, and eliminate several production issues and risks.
Although the IoT application possibilities are nearly endless, here are several key features that make the technology so effective for SCM and manufacturing:
- Inventory management solutions keep track of goods’ location, retrieve items quickly, prevent theft, store products in a particular order, depending on the predicted demand for each warehouse;
- Warehouse management monitors the state of the warehouse, sends damage alerts automatically;
- Preventive maintenance sets up autonomous monitoring of the condition of equipment and vehicles, uses predictive analytics, conducts maintenance before repairing becomes necessary, and saves costs;
- Fleet management route optimization, smart vehicles, notifications about transportation status and issues, improved driver efficiency and safety on the road;
- Automated machinery operates equipment remotely, fights worker shortages, increases precision and safety, collects data to leverage.
Micro-mobility and smart transportation
Smart transportation regularly becomes the main subject of the IoT tech news, and for a good reason. Autonomous cars, connected public transport, and electric bikes or scooters for personal use are all paving the way towards cheaper, smarter, and greener transportation.
On a larger scale, the effects of IoT on mobility include:
- Connected cars have become commonplace; you can manage your car with a mobile app, lock and unlock doors, track the car’s location, monitor fuel usage, idling time, and conduct preventive maintenance;
- Autonomous technology accelerates the transition to smart cities as developers overcome IoT security concerns and other challenges. It helps decrease the number of accidents and traffic jams, makes resource use more efficient, and improves the quality of transportation;
- Smart infrastructure has become more widespread, including smart traffic lights, parking lots, and sensor-equipped road lanes.
Battling sustainability challenges with the IoT
Many of the current Internet of Things business ideas revolve around sustainability issues, and companies like Eastern Peak prove that IoT is likely to become a powerful tool for solving the world’s most pressing problems.
The most notable IoT forecasts in sustainability include:
- Reducing of greenhouse emissions by employing connected automated technology;
- Supplying clean water where it’s lacking;
- Creating smart agriculture, resulting in better crop yields and fewer negative environmental impacts.
What is the general outlook for the Internet of Things?
Many of the recent trends in IoT are born out of necessity: the requirement to quarantine doesn’t negate our need to live as fully as we can in the current conditions, and advances in technological target these new issues.
Experts suggest, however, that the transformation won’t stop when the pandemic recedes. Automated equipment in hospitals, home management and SCM systems, smart city units, and autonomous vehicles all demonstrate how smarter technology can continue to make our lives better.
IoT in business, healthcare, education, manufacturing, and many other fields will keep thriving and bringing new opportunities.
About the Author!
As CEO at Eastern Peak, a professional software consulting and development company, Alexey ensures top quality and cost-effective services to clients from all over the world. Alexey is also a founder and technology evangelist at several technology companies. Previously, as a CEO of the Gett (GetTaxi) technology company, Alexey was in charge of developing the revolutionary Gett service from ground up and deploying the operation across the globe from London to Moscow and Tel Aviv.