The IoT Forecast: Five Predictions for 2016
The Internet of Things became a regular topic in mainstream news during 2015, thanks in part to a series of connected car hacks, but also because industrial and commercial IoT applications generated considerable buzz about the technology's transformative potential. So what do the next 12 months hold in store?
Jan 04, 2016—
The role that the Internet of Things is playing in shaping the technology landscape—both for enterprises and for consumers—is growing by the minute. In many ways, 2015 was about road-building: erecting the platforms and testing the interfaces required to support the connected factories, cities, workplaces and homes as envisioned during the previous decade. It seemed as though a major tech player announced a new IoT platform or product every day.
Herewith, a list of what we think the next 12 months will bring to the Internet of Things.
Now that sensor networks are busily collecting data from a wide range of machines and devices, corporations are looking to streamline the process of extracting meaningful information from those huge streams of data, in order to take actions based on that intelligence. In 2015, there was a big shift toward using intelligent devices at the edge of a network in order to enable filtering that reduces the volume of incoming data. This year, the focus will shift to adding analytics at the edge, which requires highly specialized software. We expect to see more end users in the enterprise space deploying advanced real-time data streaming analytics software platforms such as these types we explored recently.
The Industrial Sector Will Embrace Wearables
A Make-or-Break Year for Smart Cities
A Battle Royal Over Data and Privacy
During the coming year, we will see makers of consumer-facing IoT products and services reaching out more to consumers in order to communicate their privacy standards and make data transparency a bigger priority. But safeguarding consumer data is not just a cost of doing business in the age of the IoT. It's also a business opportunity of its own. For example, startup Privacynq is offering manufacturers a means for outsourcing the management of its communicating data privacy policies.
The Healthy Home Will Become the New Smart Home
For example, advancements in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) manufacturing, which have made air-quality sensors more affordable, are resulting in the creation of smart-home products and applications that focus on environmental health, such as indoor air-quality sensors integrated into light switches or smart-home hub devices. Makers of air filters are creating connected products and apps that let homeowners better understand and control the levels of allergens and pollution inside their homes. Sleep-monitoring tools will continue to grow in popularity thanks to a growing body of research that links poor health with poor sleep. But the IoT in the healthy home will go beyond tracking allergens and sleep, extending into an uptick in IoT-connected thermometers, scales and toothbrushes. A company in Tel Aviv has even developed software that turns any Web-connected 2D camera into a system for analyzing movements, which physical therapists could use to remotely monitor a patient's in-home rehabilitation exercises.
Mary Catherine O'Connor is the editor of Internet of Things Journal and a former staff reporter for RFID Journal. She also writes about technology, as it relates to business and the environment, for a range of consumer magazines and newspapers.
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