The Internet of Things (IoT) has begun to permeate the consumer, communications, and industrial worlds. IoT services are shaping finance, logistics, retail, and healthcare. IoT solution providers who create innovations in sensors, network communications, applications, and the IoT cloud will gain lasting competitive advantages over companies that are not invested in IoT solutions for everyday problems. Here are 10 trends to predict what comes next for IoT solution providers and the IoT.
1. Voice User Interface (VUI) will become a reality for the majority of consumers.
Digital assistant devices such as Alexa, Google Assistant, HomePod, and Siri have created a foothold for the next generation of smart devices, but these technology leaders will not be without competition in 2020. Competing companies will release devices that are easier to use with fewer frustrations. Devices that issue commands and receive results will become common not just in houses and businesses, but also in cars and as wearables.
2. Innovations in Artificial Intelligence (AI) will become even more critical in the IoT.
Running infrastructure, as well as establishing performance metrics for infrastructure, is increasingly dependent on AI. The major players in IoT cloud services, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon, will keep looking for new opportunities to provide services, but they will have competition from startups that hope to leverage their innovations in machine learning and deep learning.
Without AI, it is impossible to interpret the enormous volume of data available to businesses.
AI will assist IoT data analysis in data discovery, visualization of streaming data, predictive analytics, increased time-series accuracy, and real-time positioning for more efficient logistics.
3. More devices will generate more data with more human interaction.
At the beginning of 2020 there are about 3.6 billion devices used for daily tasks that are actively connected to the Internet. 5G will empower the connection of more devices that will send more data.
4. Expansion of smart IoT in everyday life will be easy to see.
2020 will be the year that smart neighborhoods become a reality. Smart sensors placed around neighborhoods will create a living space that is safe, comfortable, convenient, and clean by collecting data on human activities as diverse as water use, thermostat settings, dog walking routes, shared vehicle use, and home delivery data. As the IoT is perfected for smart neighborhoods, it will become the basis for smart cities.
5. IoT innovations will affect more and more aspects of daily life.
Consumers will enjoy more innovations in the IoT. Smart cameras will be integrated with smart ATMs to increase banking safety. Consumers will be able to buy a mirror that calls the doctor if they look sick. Smart forks will help dieters stick to their meal plans, and smart beds will turn off the lights when their occupants are asleep.
6. IoT will become increasingly important to transportation infrastructure.
Cities large and small around the world are making investments in the IoT to increase transportation efficiency and safety. As 5G makes streaming analytics at the speed of light a reality, public transportation will become increasingly automated. And although self-driving cars will not be commonplace even by the end of 2020, more and more vehicles will have a connected app that displays up to date diagnostic information about the car. Voice search for destinations combined with up-to-the-minute traffic information will become a fact of life for tens of millions of drivers.
7. Digital twin technology will be used by a majority of companies that do smart manufacturing.
Digital twin technology gives manufacturers a clear picture of how their IoT devices are interacting with their manufacturing equipment. This technology gives manufacturers predictive data warning of needs for repair, breakdowns, and faults in manufacturing.
At the end of 2019, a Gartner survey found that 48 percent of smart manufacturers intend to make use of the digital twin concept, with popularity increasing every year.
8. There will be more movement toward the edge.
Edge computing is a technology that moves processing closer to sensors. It reduces latency, conserves bandwidth, and helps human decision makers to act quickly. Most business entities find centralized processing to be more and more stressed, but edge computing devices are becoming more and more affordable.
9. Device and IoT network hacking will become commonplace in 2020. Blockchain may be the answer.
At the beginning of 2020, the architecture of IoT is still highly centralized. With over three billion devices connected to IoT services and over 26 billion devices connected to the Internet, both devices and networks are tempting targets for hackers. Blockchain offers hope for keeping hackers from doing their business.
Blockchain is public. Participants in the nodes of the blockchain network can see blocks of transactions and approve them, but users still keep control with their private keys. Blockchain is decentralized, so there is no single Point of Failure that can bring the whole system down. And most importantly, Blockchain keeps a permanent record of transactions. The database can be extended, but it cannot be revised.
10. Standardization will continue to be a problem.
Industry leaders are still battling out who will be the leader in the IoT. There are no cross-platform standards for UX/Ui and analytic tools, connectivity at the customer’s contact points, and applications that collect, analyze, and control data. Any standard has to address all three functions. It’s possible that a shakeout in the industry will begin to limit IoT solution providers to only a few options so platform is not as critical to performance, but chances are that there will have to be a push by organizations like the IEEE to create common standards for IoT devices.
What these trends do not tell us is just how important the IoT is to the economy? Professor Ahmed Banafa, an expert in the IoT, blockchain, and AI, predicts IoT solutions will drive $344 billion in new revenues in 2020. For some companies, IoT coverage of routine management tasks has already increased productivity as much as 60 percent. This is despite the fact that universities cannot keep up with the demand for new engineers. The IoT will drive strong job opportunities for the foreseeable future.
The Internet of Things will only become more important in driving economic growth. It will become more omnipresent in daily life. And, as these ten trends tell us, drastic change is on the way in the world of technology.