The internet landscape is burgeoning. It’s not just about computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones anymore. Now a multitude of devices are internet-connected. The list of “smart” devices includes washing machines, robotic vacuum cleaners, door locks, toys, and toasters. The Internet of Things is the umbrella term — and, yes, you can now buy a “smart umbrella” — for anything that connects to the internet.
What is the Internet of Things, or IoT?
The Internet of Things — IoT, for short — is made up of devices that connect to the internet and share data with each other. IoT devices include not only computers, laptops and smartphones, but also objects that have been equipped with chips to gather and communicate data over a network.
The IoT is empowered by three key emerging technologies:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Programmable functions and systems that enable devices to learn, reason, and process information like humans.
- 5G Networks – Fifth generation mobile networks with high-speed, near-zero lag for real time data processing.
- Big Data – Enormous volumes of data processed from numerous internet-connected sources.
So where are AI and the IoT headed together? In this post, we’re looking at how IoT is going to look like in the near future – Keep reading to find out more about how IoT is poised to change our lives in the time to come.
1. The Smart Home : The Future of Home Automation
Ever wondered what it would be like to have a home that answers all your needs – that wakes you up in the morning with the sweet aroma of coffee, plays your favorite music exactly when you need it, changes the mood of a room to suit your activities, and protects your belongings when you are away?
This is not science fiction anymore! Although home automation systems have been on the market for a while, thanks to the explosion of the Internet of Things (IoT), the possibilities are now endless.
Let’s imagine you could control your entire house through voice command – or remotely with an app. Most home automation systems already allow you to do this; but what if you didn’t even have to? What if your home already knew what to do? This is where the Internet of Things comes in. Let’s look at a few examples.
LIGHTS – Have your smart home turn your lights ON/OFF or regulate their intensity based on your needs. Imagine setting up a home cinema: you choose a movie and have your TV communicate your choice to your lightning system, which would then dim the lights accordingly. For example, you might like suffused lights for a romantic comedy… but could never watch a horror movie with the lights off!
MUSIC – Are you the kind of person who likes to pump themselves up in the morning with Kanye, but would love to saunter home after the gym to the Triumphal March from Aida? (Who knows? We are not judging.) Whatever your mood, your smart home can play a bespoke playlist to match it. You could even pair it with a wearable device and have music play based on your heartbeat.
DOORS AND GATES – Imagine pairing your smart home with a wearable device that allows the system to recognise you as the homeowner, and open every door for you as soon as you are standing in front of them. Open sesame!
HOME APPLIANCES – Control all sockets in your house to turn specific appliances on and off. Will you be home from work in 2 hours? You could turn your slow cooker on while you are still at work. Your dinner will be ready for you once you are back.
CURTAINS, SHUTTERS, AND WINDOWS – Let your smart home raise or lower the blinds based on your needs. Having some quality home cinema time? Curtains should be closed. Feeling groggy in the morning? Your alarm could tell your smart home to open your shutters as it goes off.
THERMOSTAT AND AIR-CONDITIONING – Feeling too warm or too cold? Maybe you are ready to exercise and need the temperature lowered accordingly? In that case, you might only need to turn – let’s say – your treadmill on, and your smart home would know to adjust the temperature accordingly. This could come in handy whenever you turn your shower on as well.
SCENARIOS – This is one of the most fascinating possibilities. As we saw with the home cinema case, thanks to IoT technology, your smart home can recall custom scenarios that involve multiple actions. Enjoying some video game time by playing Skyrim on your PS4? You might like certain lights off and – let’s say – the smell of pines in the air, to enhance the atmosphere.
GARDEN – Easily activate or deactivate the garden irrigation system. IoT technology could use sensors to find out whether your soil is too dry and in need of some watering, and automatically activate the irrigation system for you.
PROTECTION ANTI-INTRUSION – Last but not least, keep your house always protected and remain in control by switching on and off alarm zones. Imagine Home Alone… but it’s your smart home that protects itself. Handy.
These are only some of the possibilities. We can only wait and see what these technologies will bring in the next few years.
2. Future of IoT And the Living in Smart Cities
But not only our homes or workplaces can be smart. How about whole cities designed to tackle traffic congestion, parking issues or even make our lifestyle greener.
The increase in population creates the need to rediscover the way we live, and build better environments that are intelligent, efficient and sustainable. Sure, the adoption of IoT technologies in smart cities is a matter of convenience. But at the same time, they are capable of so much more. Like building a smart economy and governance, improving infrastructure, enhancing safety, cutting energy usage and cost, and reducing environmental impact.
The popularity of smart cities keeps growing. A recent report suggests that 66% of US cities are investing in smart city technologies. At the same time, according to the internet of things statistics, nearly half of the ongoing smart cities projects are developed in Europe. How exactly will smart city life be better? Let’s look at some of the ways the internet of things development can make our living easier:
Infrastructure – IoT technology is capable of determining the roads, rails, and bridges that need to undergo reconstruction, as well as the extent of their degradation, extreme temperatures that may cause damage.
San Diego has recently replaced 3000 streetlamps with smart LED streetlights that turn on only when a car or a pedestrian approach. This smart move saves the city an estimated $250,000 a year. Similarly, Barcelona is saving from smart lighting alone $37 million per year.
Traffic Congestion – Heavy traffic and congestion are one of the biggest pains of any big megalopolis. But it is also something IoT is already tackling. For instance, Tel Aviv reserves one lane on busy roads for buses and shuttles. In a hurry? The impatient driver can use the lane as well, only it will cost them a pretty penny. The sensors built into the asphalt are able to pick up the drivers’ license plate and automatically charge them. The fee depends on the how busy the road was.
Another common traffic problem – parking is being dealt with in London with the help of smart technologies. The system allows drivers to locate empty parking spots without having to drive around streets in search of empty space.
Resident Security – A smart city is a safe city. With face recognition and biometric systems are just one way of making us safe at home, work or the streets. But there are even simpler smart ways of making us feel safe on the streets. For instance, a lamp that turns extra bright if it detects banging or hollering. The anti-hooliganism lamps in question are also supplied with cameras that stream a live video to the cloud.
3. IoT In The Automotive Industry
With an expected compound annual growth rate of 14.8%, the market value of connected cars is estimated to reach around $220 billion by 2025, according to MarketsandMarkets research. This growth is quite astonishing, and various automakers are investing their resources to develop a series of connected and automated vehicles.
Development in the technology of IoT has brought in a radical transformation in the automotive industry. Its implementation has brought in several dynamic changes in vehicles in terms of safety, comfort and luxury. A person in a connected car is given the connection, entertainment and network that he experiences at his office, home or in an entertainment center. Embedded IoT sensors on the surface of the vehicles further prevent accidents and enforce safe and easy driving. Here are some ground-breaking IoT applications that will be driving the future of connected cars:
Autonomous vehicles. Even though the automobile sector is still working towards the development of completely autonomous vehicles, semi-autonomous cars have already been developed and used in some countries.
These vehicles can take partial control over driving to avoid accidents and park itself in vacant spots. Different car manufacturers are attempting to develop a fully autonomous vehicle that can use the capabilities of IoT to take full control over driving. However, their wide implementation will require more time as other technologies, such as vehicle-to-everything (V2X) and telematics, need to be developed properly.
Brain-to-vehicle technology. Development in IoT technology has brought in several modifications in the medical and healthcare field as well. The amalgamation of medical science and the automobile industry has brought in the creation of brain-controlled vehicles.
With brain-to-vehicle technology, a device is used to measure the activity in the brain that is analyzed by the vehicle’s system to maneuver it. This system empowers a human to control several vehicle functions just by thinking about them. Even though this method of maneuvering cars is still underdeveloped, it opens multiple doors for impaired and specially-abled people to experience the thrill of driving a car. It can also lower the chances of accidents caused due to sudden lane change and related unsafe driving practices.
Intelligent infrastructure. V2I is another important application of the V2X network. The network connects vehicles with nearby infrastructures, such as traffic signals, signboards, petrol pumps and toll booths. A V2I network smooths the flow of traffic and avoids traffic congestions at various places. It also facilitates quick money transfers at petrol pumps and toll booths automatically.
4. Internet of Food or Future Farming
If we have the Internet of Things (IoT) why not have one for food? IoT has fostered the belief that a smart network of sensors, actuators, cameras, robots, drones, and other connected devices will bring an unprecedented level of control and automated decision-making to agriculture, making possible an enduring ecosystem of innovation in this eldest of industries. Many believe that IoT can add value to all areas of farming, from growing crops to forestry
Precision Farming – Precision farming, or precision agriculture, is an umbrella concept for IoT-based approaches that make farming more controlled and accurate. In simple words, plants and cattle get precisely the treatment they need, determined by machines with superhuman accuracy. The biggest difference from the classical approach is that precision farming allows decisions to be made per square meter or even per plant/animal rather than for a field. By precisely measuring variations within a field, farmers can boost the effectiveness of pesticides and fertilizers, or use them selectively.
Precision Livestock Farming – As in the case of precision agriculture, smart farming techniques enable farmers better to monitor the needs of individual animals and to adjust their nutrition accordingly, thereby preventing disease and enhancing herd health.
Large farm owners can use wireless IoT applications to monitor the location, well-being, and health of their cattle. With this information, they can identify sick animals, so that they can be separated from the herd to prevent the spread of disease.
Automation in Smart Greenhouses – Traditional greenhouses control the environmental parameters through manual intervention or a proportional control mechanism, which often results in production loss, energy loss, and increased labor cost.
IoT-driven smart greenhouses can intelligently monitor as well as control the climate, eliminating the need for manual intervention. Various sensors are deployed to measure the environmental parameters according to the specific requirements of the crop. That data is stored in a cloud-based platform for further processing and control with minimal manual intervention.
Agricultural Drones – Agriculture is one of the major verticals to incorporate both ground-based and aerial drones for crop health assessment, irrigation, crop monitoring, crop spraying, planting, soil and field analysis and other spheres.
Since drones collect multispectral, thermal and visual imagery while flying, the data they gather provide farmers with insights into a whole array of metrics: plant health indices, plant counting and yield prediction, plant height measurement, canopy cover mapping, field water pond mapping, scouting reports, stockpile measuring, chlorophyll measurement, nitrogen content in wheat, drainage mapping, weed pressure mapping, and so on.
Importantly, IoT-based smart farming doesn’t only target large-scale farming operations; it can add value to emerging trends in agriculture like organic farming, family farming, including breeding particular cattle and/or growing specific cultures, preservation of particular or high-quality varieties etc., and enhance highly transparent farming to consumers, society and market consciousness.
5. Healthcare : Live Longer Thanks to IOT
The IoT has already entered the field of medicine. In some state-of-the-art hospitals, you will be able to see it first-hand. Some examples are connected inhalers and insulin pens, as well as ingestible sensors.
Devices can communicate with one another, transferring data and calling to action. This allows medical professionals to have a faster response time. Also, the internet of things enables doctors to provide remote and around-the-clock medical assistance. The end result is better patient care. In this case, technological advancement and innovation are responsible for the lives saved.
Technology designed to help boomers live at home longer is, well, booming. A new generation of sensors can tell if the condition of patients living at home has worsened—and communicate that at once to their health care teams. Philips—best known for light bulbs and electric toothbrushes—has created a pillbox that pops open when it’s time to take your meds, and sends a message to, say, a family member or nurse confirming that you’ve taken them. The Dutch company recently spun off a new health care subsidiary, Philips Healthcare, that is a leader in the field—and is struggling to find an interface that works just as easily for smartphone-wielding youngsters as it does for octogenarians with degenerative diseases and dementia.
Their sensors can be specially refined, like the ones used by neonatal units to monitor premature babies. Since they can’t be placed directly on delicate skin, the sensors instead use high-definition cameras to monitor skin colour, breathing and temperature, and alert nurses of any changes. These devices will eventually help doctors and nurses care for and monitor more patients both at home and in hospital beds. Smart beds now being used at New York-Presbyterian Hospital can tell immediately if a patient has gotten up, and let the nursing station know.
Then there’s the booming market for fitness trackers like the FitBit, Apple Watch, Suunto and others, which has already surpassed $2 billion, with well over 84 million sold so far. These monitors measure heart rate, sleep patterns, diet, exercise and more, and beam that data to mobile apps. Soon, that information could be sent directly to your health care provider or insurer, which still relies on your word that, yup, you exercise four times a week and always take the stairs.
The Internet of Things is a vision to connect all devices with the power of the internet. Consider This: In 2016, there were more than 4.7 billion things connected to the internet, according to IOT Analytics. By 2025, it is estimated that there will be more than 21 billion IoT devices (more than double the number of the human population). And by 2030, the growth would be exponential.
The future of IoT looks bright and promising. With all the predictions and concepts in the works, our lives are about to turn much easier and efficient whether we are talking about navigating around our cities, interacting at work or lodging in the comfort of our own homes. However, there’s one constraint IoT devices face in all these sectors — the problem of connectivity and communication between all the devices. If companies manage to overcome this obstacle, the way we live now will be an ancient past.
- Introduction – https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/03/ai-is-fusing-with-the-internet-of-things-to-create-new-technology-innovations/
- The Smart Home : The Future of Home Automation – https://www.iotevolutionworld.com/smart-home/articles/442245-how-internet-things-shape-future-home-automation.htm
- Future of IoT And the Living in Smart Cities – https://perfectial.com/blog/future-of-iot/
- Transportation Of The Future: The Internet Of Things In The Automotive Industry – https://internetofthingsagenda.techtarget.com/blog/IoT-Agenda/How-is-IoT-driving-the-future-of-connected-cars
- Internet of Food or Future Farming – https://www.iotforall.com/smart-farming-future-of-agriculture
- Healthcare : Live Longer Thanks to IOT – https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-magazine/the-future-is-smart/article24586994/
- Conclusion: https://perfectial.com/blog/future-of-iot/