I begin almost every blog post writing about the IoT’s endless potential. The internet is being pulled out of our computer screen and surrounding every part of our lives. This concept usually brings to mind Sci-Fi thoughts of humans swimming their ways in a technology ubiquitous world. And not very surprisingly, many IoT marketing strategies have taken this direction in order to attract decision makers and gain awareness. But, which IoT markets will have the real impact on our world?
If you think about it, the IoT is all about taking computers and connecting them to the internet. By doing so, you can gather data on anything you place a computer on, just as you would do for your website. Quite basic really. The real innovation is the way technology is evolving. Computers (chips) are getting smaller, sensors are getting cheaper and communication protocols stronger. So now that we understand that we have efficient and practical technology in our hands (and not a futuristic vision), are we going to fulfill random fantasies our literally transform industries?
Connecting your skateboard to the internet and monitoring your epic moves is awesome. No doubt. But, there are a few IoT markets that are desperate for the technology. Apparently (and luckily) IoT trends are taking a practical turn, focusing on industries in which the implementation of IoT is nothing short of revolutionary. The most noticeable IoT markets: IoT in Agriculture, IoT in Healthcare, IoT in Supply Chain Management and IIoT.
IoT in Agriculture
Agriculture companies are stepping it up a notch in order to feed a rapidly growing population. Efficient agriculture that produces high yielding crops entails data collection technologies. These technologies have been present for decades, but in order to meet the current demands, technology must be more accurate, easily deployed, cheaper and easily accessed. IoT in agriculture means that farmers can spread wireless cost efficient sensors in a field, and access data gathered by them from a cloud platform. The connectivity enables real time data and alerts, as well as big data analytics and automation. Agriculture companies are working smarter with efficient resource management and less human intervention. Moreover, Precision agriculture investments have already topped the whopping $4.6B, proving the unlimited potential and expectations.
IoT in Healthcare
According to Forbes, the Healthcare IoT market will reach $117B by 2020. This estimation supports my argument that IoT will be strongest when it’s a necessity and not a “nice to have” gimmick. With sensing devices, doctors can monitor patients from afar, and tailor treatments based on big data analytics. Many have criticized this concept claiming that it harms interpersonal communication. But if you think bout it, it actually makes it stronger. Although there are less face to face check ups (a fact that is saving the healthcare industry billions of dollars), doctors know their patients better. Sensors that accompany patients send data to a doctor’s mobile phone, and the communication between doctors and patients is ongoing. It doesn’t stop there, IoT in healthcare is optimizing every aspect of the system from staff to medical assets.
IoT in Supply Chain Management
Another interesting industry that is grabbing attention is IoT in Supply Chain Management. Tight competition and increasing customer expectations are setting new standards for supply chain tracking. When transferring assets, unfortunately, mistakes and damages are bound to happen. That is of course, if you’re not on the alert. The need for monitoring is nothing new and ERP has been powering supply chain management for a while. But today, with new sensors and devices, IoT is enhancing those solutions taking what we once called “efficient” to the next level. IoT platforms enable remote control and tracking via a mobile phone and provide cloud based big data insights. The platform continuously monitors the location and conditions of cargo and assets and sends specific alerts when management exceptions occur (delays, damages, thefts, etc.). All these turn Supply Chain management to a prominent IoT market leader.
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is practical yet also gaining a lot of buzz with many calling it Industry 4.0. So what does IIoT have to offer and why is it considered to be an industrial revolution? In a nutshell – cost reduction, efficiency and convenience. The IIoT, one of the largest IoT trends, refers to the implementation of IoT in manufacturing. By connecting sensors to machines and uploading the data to the cloud, you can learn which equipment is beneficial, how it should be maintained and how malfunctions can be avoided. Furthermore, you can leverage big data analytics to automate procedures and take action from anywhere. All this promise and potential amounts to projections of a $151B market value by 2020.
Promising IoT Markets are Practical
The IoT hold many sectors, and all are bringing innovation to our lives, but which IoT trends are more than a phase? Our assumption is that the IoT explosion and substantial profit will be in fundamental industries. IoT’s true charm and promise is in propelling the traditional sectors, those that address basic human needs that have been here forever and are here to stay.