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The Internet of Things: Opportunities in Every Sector

January 15, 2020

January 15, 2020

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The Internet of Things: Opportunities in Every Sector

IoT objects use WiFi, Bluetooth, LTE, or satellite connections to share data in real-time without human involvement.

IoT objects use WiFi, Bluetooth, LTE, or satellite connections to share data in real-time without human involvement. 

Anything can be an IoT device – or a smart device, as it’s also called. A light bulb is one example of a ‘dumb’ object that could become smart by being interconnected via the internet. This would enable someone to access it remotely, turn the light on or off or register how it has been used and when. Any dumb device can be turned into a smart device and be part of the Internet of Things, such as lockers, curtains, doors, traffic lights, wearables such as fitbits, cars and warehouses.  

The concept of IoT has been around since the 1980s but it’s only started scaling in recent years as technology has only now become advanced enough. With access to cheap processors, Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags and much more powerful connectivity thanks to 5G, it’s now becoming possible to turn almost anything into an IoT device. 

 

Why is IoT important? 

IoT is a multi-billion dollar industry with massive room for growth. It is estimated that in the coming decade, more than half of all consumer products will be IoT objects. 

You can find IoT devices almost everywhere. From smart electricity metres to parcel lockers controlled via an app, IoT is slowly becoming a part of our everyday lives. It can even control traffic flow and measure air quality for entire cities. 

 

What is the future of IoT? 

This year, total spending on IoT tech is predicted to reach $2.5 billion, four times the amount spent in 2019. There are now 20 billion IoT devices, up from 8.4 billion in 2017. This is already creating new opportunities in adjacent industries, such as manufacturing, transportation, and utilities, and streamlining processes to be more efficient and cost-effective. 

The rapid growth corresponds with IoT components becoming cheaper, and we could see basic IoT functionality to cost just 10 cents in the future. 

 

What are the benefits of IoT for business?

One of the reasons IoT is such a game changer is data. When every object has the ability to be connected to the internet, it’s suddenly possible to collect data to a much greater extent. Every object has the potential to collect data about who uses that object, when and how much, and feed that data back into a centralised system. 

This allows companies to see how their products and processes are performing in real time and then adjust their practices accordingly. 

The Internet of Things assists companies to:

  • Feed the data to Artificial Intelligence (AI) that interprets it and uses it to make decisions. For example, Google uses AI to manage the cooling system of its data centre. 
  • Gather more real-time data which they can use to make better decisions which results in improved productivity and cost reductions. 
  • Collect performance data of equipment. If a component fails, IoT sensors can communicate this data in real-time. This enables companies to make repair processes and supply chains more efficient.  
  • Track the status of freight and fleets.

One of the most exciting applications of IoT devices is online shopping. The number of people buying products online has exploded, but the infrastructure of parcel delivery hasn’t kept up. Most parcel delivery companies still drop parcels off at the recipient’s door, but this is both not safe or efficient. The person might not be home and would have to pick up the parcel somewhere else, resulting in double-handling and extra driving time. With the Internet of Things, however, a parcel could be tracked every step of the way until being placed in a secure and electronically controlled smart parcel locker. The buyer could then collect their parcel at their own convenience. 

The market is ready to exchange ‘dumb’ infrastructure and products with The Internet of Things. Early movers in providing these products might be well-positioned to tap into this market. 

 

How can early-movers benefit? 

Forward-thinking businesses are already starting to integrate the concept of IoT into their services and products. 

There still aren’t that many businesses providing IoT devices are, so early movers in this field might have an advantage. 

IoT also gives manufacturing companies a new revenue stream. Manufacturers no longer sell a standalone product.  IoT sensors in consumer products mean they can also sell predictive maintenance.

The impact of IoT is changing the game in almost every aspect of our society. As we move into 2020, the opportunities for early adopters to reap the rewards of IoT are massive.

 

Reach Markets have been engaged by TZL to assist with private investor management.

Sources:

 


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