The history of the world is riddled with the effects of great inventions. Penicillin drastically improved life expectancy worldwide. The motorcar forever changed transport. And the internet permanently changed international communication.
You may not know it yet, but the internet has a new use. “Things” (like tablets, TVs, and refrigerators) are also able to send and receive information all over the internet. This is called the “internet of things” (IoT), and it’s about to change every facet of our lives.
Here, you can read about the magnitude of IoT growth so far. You can also find some predictions about this extraordinary invention’s future. After all, so many devices that you wouldn’t expect are now equipped with the ability to access the internet, meaning the IoT’s capabilities are available to these smart devices so long as they’re connected.
What Are the Most Common IoT Uses and Benefits?
Humans use the internet in many different ways to access all kinds of information. But most smart devices don’t care about updating social media profiles. Instead, they use the internet with other intentions, often using a variety of functions to supply clever solutions to everyday problems. These solutions may seem simple at first glance, but once you understand the internet of things’ market size, you’ll realize the magnitude of these functions.
Most IoT devices can be controlled by their user through something as simple as a smartphone. In fact, 76% of smart devices are currently controlled by smartphones since IoT technology enables its users to control their smart devices remotely.
A greater sense of control and influence is available to the people and computers using IoT technology. Managing processes and controlling systems are much easier now. You can log onto your connected devices and systems using IoT technology from anywhere in the world. The devices will even work on their own accord according to the mandate they’ve been given. This is probably the greatest benefit driving IoT growth in 2019.
The ability to control things remotely also opens new doors. Automating systems and processes are among the top benefits of owning IoT-capable devices. You can program a computer nowadays to do almost anything. So giving it the capability to connect to other devices worldwide will help automate businesses, services, and many more industries.
Smart home products love to market home automation as a major benefit. Automation-based smart home technology leads to four specific benefits for its users:
- Saved time
- Saved money
- Saved effort
- Improved personal security (smart security products)
Automation will be one of the key value propositions to grow the consumer IoT market in the coming years.
Interestingly enough, artificial intelligence is older than the internet. John McCarthy is widely referred to as the father of AI. The term “artificial intelligence” was adopted back in the 1950s at a Dartmouth Conference. Research centers all across the US, and subsequently the world, started looking into the nature and uses of AI.
Today we find traces of AI within some of the most basic smartphone apps, like predictive text. But generally speaking, a computer will only have AI capabilities if the software is installed directly onto the device. Thanks to the global IoT market, you don’t need to download AI software to gain its benefits. AI can be integrated into any system or device that logs onto IoT networks.
Some brief AI benefits:
- Saving humans from monotonous tasks
- Eliminating human error
- Enhancing automation
- Combining technology and creativity
Big Data Harvesting
IoT devices have the unique advantage of recording data and sending it to a service that will store the information. The simplest IoT devices will record specific types of data that are useful for a wide array of things. Information from different IoT market segments will be used by companies to do the following things:
Automation of Production Facilities
Manufacturing plants can track all kinds of metrics in real time to monitor and control their value chains. Identifying malfunctions and rectifying problems will be much faster. This will help automate production facilities at a faster and cheaper rate. Robots may soon even be deployed to service machines that can notify their operating systems of any malfunctions.
Devices that source information in an ethical way can assist a country’s healthcare programs and improve its services. IoT market forecast tools will help product suppliers stock enough medicine in locations with the greatest need. Patient information will be kept anonymous, but information on a greater scale can pinpoint trends in diseases and illnesses. It will help with the accurate distribution of medicine and medical personnel. Knowing the prevalent illnesses in a geographical area can help medical services better understand and provide the quantity and type of medicine necessary for that location.
One of the biggest needs in the marketing world is customer data. Companies pay millions of dollars for market research and customer surveys to improve their value propositions. IoT market analysis functions can help. Information about customer habits and the way they use a product can assist companies in improving their products. It may even help those same companies launch services that aid their customers in ways that have never before been possible. IoT devices will connect straight to the manufacturer and speed up the logging of any manufacturing faults. Tedious and expensive endeavors like product recalls will be much easier to orchestrate. The manufacturer can communicate with the product owner via the product itself.
Launching of New Services
Big data harvesting is only useful when the information can be interpreted and presented in a valuable way. IoT market report services will spring up all over the world to help large companies with services for IoT data harvesting and analysis. IoT big data will be the precious metals of the digital world with IoT devices across the globe recording all kinds of data stored in large servers. This information is acquired, refined, and presented in a way that the customer (primarily large corporations) can use to improve their business models.
Marketing improvements have already made an appearance here, but contextual marketing is a whole different ball game. It’s difficult and costly for companies to track a customer’s decision process. IoT market research tools and services will help a company better understand and even predict their customers’ decisions. Knowing the needs of your customer will help you guide them and close a sale much more easily. It will also help predict new needs.
As an example, a smart car will know when the tire of a vehicle has blown. It’s reasonable to assume that its driver will be looking to buy a new tire. IoT technology will consider the customer and present them with tire specials in their immediate location.
Bridging the Gap
The growth of the internet of things will soon cover every imaginable industry and market in the world. This places it in a unique position to bridge gaps that exist in various services and industries.
Devices like refrigerators have never been able to communicate over the internet. But now a smart fridge can make contact with other devices. It can contact the manufacturer to log any manufacturing faults. The product owner can even authorize a smart refrigerator to buy things at scheduled times. Your refrigerator may soon be able to order your groceries online.
Industries may, of course, experience certain information gaps in the collaboration process. Some IoT predictions have said that industries will find new ways to collaborate with the use of IoT-enabled devices. It may very well be cheaper and faster to collaborate through the use of IoT technology.
The Birth of New Industries and Devices
The world is constantly changing, and industries that are unwilling to adapt are dying. It was evident at the turn of the millennium that companies with a reluctance to accept the information age would see crippling blows to their sales figures. The IoT market has brought the latest changes to a world dominated by information. New industries and devices are invented as IoT demand and hardware needs increase.
Take the smart home display, for instance. Simply put, it’s an iPad for your home. Not too many years ago, humans went through life without mobile phones. Today, people want a touch screen device for the sole purpose of controlling their IoT-enabled domestic devices. And this is bringing about new inventions. After all, need truly is the mother of all invention.
New industries, too, are birthed by this technology. IoT-driven products and services want faster network speeds, hence the need for 5G mobile connectivity. So 5G product and service providers have created a new type of stock in the world’s financial markets. The IoT in the stock market is now tradable. You can buy and sell stocks like Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM), Marvell Technology Group Ltd (NASDAQ: MRVL), and Sierra Wireless Inc. (NASDAQ: SWIR), which plays a major part among the companies involved in the IoT. The world is changing again, and those willing to surf the wave will smoothly ride to a beach full of opportunities and sales.
Some Myths About the IoT
As with anything related to wide-scale change, some people will only get on board with the internet of things trend the day they are forced to change. These people may have individual reasons for their reluctance, but mostly it consists of fear of IoT-based solutions.
Here are a few busted myths about this new technology to help those who are concerned about the IoT’s capabilities and reach. It will certainly help put your mind at ease, and you may even pick up a few tips to improve your IoT-based skills.
Will the IoT Rob Me of My Privacy?
Now it’s true that IoT devices are able to record data about any area it’s placed in. This may cause alarm about the possible breach of its users’ privacy. Some technology forecasters believe the IoT growth rate will reach its tipping point somewhere in 2019. This means an exponential curve of growth and adoption of the technology is about to happen. This shouldn’t cause you any unwelcome worry. Here are the ways in which you can stop this from even being a problem:
Remember that devices will only share the information you allow
You own the product. You can decide what information is made public. Understand the ways your devices operate to restrict them from sharing the information you would rather keep private. According to IoT market trends, it may soon reach a rapid adoption rate. Know how IoT technology affects your everyday life, and only allow it as far as you’re comfortable.
Disable unwanted product features
You don’t have to enable all product features. You are the king of your castle, and you lay down the rules. If you don’t want your smart oven’s IoT capabilities to function you can simply disable it. Or better yet, don’t buy IoT-enabled products if you aren’t comfortable with the practices of IoT service providers. It’s once again in your best interest to understand the product or service you’re buying in its entirety. That way you’ll be able to limit the information you’re willing to share.
Cultivate good data-privacy practices
Your information will only be at risk if you have bad data-privacy habits. Do you use the same password for every account? When was the last time you updated your device’s software? Do you visit dubious websites that pose a high risk of contracting computer viruses and malware? You need to review your data-privacy habits before you enter the internet of things market.
Read the fine print
Understanding the value proposition of your service and hardware providers is key. Read the fine print of the contracts you agree to with anyone that provides you with a service or device that facilitates the flow of sensitive information. You don’t want to accept a product or service that can put your private information at risk. The IoT value of services is found in the share-ability of information. And you don’t want your service provider to share your information with any third parties you don’t approve of.
IoT Technology Will Never Be Safe
There will always be people who want to use IoT technology for unethical personal gain. But their presence does not disqualify IoT solutions as a safe value-adding service. You need to ensure a healthy and safe IoT strategy for your business or home. In so doing you can limit and even stop the effect of malicious online attempts made on IoT-enabled devices and services.
Some Tips For IoT Newbies
As mentioned previously, IoT forecasts predict that IoT growth and adoption will reach a tipping point somewhere in 2019. The rate at which the technology will spread across the world will be staggering. IoT-enabled solutions will fill everyday life at every bend. So to help those who are unfamiliar with the technology, here are a few basic tips you can apply to help you navigate this disruptive invention with relative safety.
Change Stock Usernames & Passwords
Smart home products are manufactured by many different companies. The smart home industry is also a large driving force behind IoT growth. Some smart home products are issued with stock usernames and passwords found in the owner’s manual. It’s possible for hackers to access these device-specific credentials before you even buy the product. Change the username and give it a unique password that you haven’t used before. This will stop someone from accessing your devices through the stock passwords and usernames assigned by the manufacturer.
Some IoT-enabled products don’t yet have their own antivirus software, leaving them unable to prevent hackers and other malicious software attacks from accessing your device. Internet of things projections say smart home products (and other IoT-enabled hardware) will be as common as smartphones within the next 10 years.
The following problem then arises: someone or something can access anything on your network once they gain access to a single device on it. You need to encrypt your network with something like WPA2 (wireless protected access) or stronger to secure and mask any information that flows on it. Encrypting a network will serve as a wall of defense for devices that don’t have their own protection software.
IoT products and services need a connection to the internet to serve their ultimate purpose. The internet of things industry operates over the internet. You need to be sure about two things whenever you want to expand the IoT-enabled reach of your business or home. First, you need enough bandwidth on your network to carry the new influx of data. The data load will increase, and your systems need to be ready to carry the weight.
Second, you need to stay connected to the internet. IoT devices will make use of both wireless and hard line connections. But it’s imperative that these devices stay connected to the internet. You don’t want to buy an expensive service or product to find that your network capabilities aren’t enough to deliver the goods. The internet of things trend is about to take off. Be ready by using Wi-Fi extenders to reach devices in need of wireless internet connections—or connect devices with a hard line to the internet if you aren’t comfortable creating a larger wireless reach.
Understand the Product/Service Operations
This technology is still relatively new compared to the age of the industries it’s about to change. But there are enough resources about the technology available to educate yourself on its use.
Learn about the possibilities and, more importantly, exactly how this technology operates. Take the simple smart lawn mower, for instance. IoT market segmentation currently places it in the smart home industry. It’s used to cut a designated lawn at regular pre-scheduled intervals. But the user needs to install it close to their lawn and with easy access to its charging docks. And these charging docks need to be installed under a roof of some kind that shields the unit from bad weather. The owner should know about these needs before purchasing the unit. These extra measures and installations will determine the lawn mower’s effectiveness.
Other IoT services and products for larger corporations will follow the same principles. Internet of things market analysis services and products may have some added costs and expenses that you aren’t aware of yet. This may cause your project to fail if you aren’t ready to bear the load it will place on your cash flow.
How Big Is the Market?
There are some smart people out there with deep insight into the IoT world. Here are a few astounding statistics regarding the internet of things. The IoT’s reach will soon spread across the digital world (if it hasn’t already), and with it comes billions of dollars in revenue for companies across the globe.
IoT Market Growth
Two things determine its market growth. The first factor is the market’s willingness to buy the technology. With this in mind, the adoption of technology plays a key role. There can’t be any trade if there aren’t any customers.
The second factor that determines the market’s growth is the rate at which the technology can facilitate growth. Is the technology ready to be rolled out to the public? Can the supply of IoT-enabled technology keep up with the demand?
It’s the age-old game of supply and demand. The global IoT market size was a respectable $235 billion (USD) in 2017. Forecasters believe the market will double in size to a staggering $520 billion (USD) by the year 2021 as both the demand and supply for these products and other related services increase over the coming years.
IoT Market Share 2018
At the beginning of 2018, the US market share was estimated at $171 billion. That’s more than the GDPs of Uruguay, Costa Rica, and Paraguay combined. The US enjoys a big chunk of the market due to high innovation in the field, high average incomes, high consumer spending, and a relatively high investment rate into the country’s infrastructure. The US can be expected to be one of the leaders in the global IoT industry. While some manufacturing contracts for IoT products may be given to producers in foreign countries, the headquarters of many of these companies will be in the US.
IoT Market – Gartner
Gartner, Inc. is a large corporation in the US that currently supplies a whole host of services to its customers. They are a worldwide research and advisory firm with services to help companies in the fields of finance, IT, human resources, legal and compliance, customer service and support, sales, marketing, and supply chain management. Their revenue exceeded $3 billion in 2017.
They’re expected to adopt several IoT-enabled services that will help revolutionize the way their customers have previously been doing business—making Gartner a company worth watching. The IoT market size Gartner has will grow as their services start incorporating more IoT technology.
IoT Growth Forecasts
Much has been said about this technology’s growth. You can type a few keywords regarding IoT predictions and forecasts into your search engine, and you’ll get hundreds of articles detailing the growth trends. One thing’s sure, though. History has a way of repeating itself, and more often than not it happens in faster and more frequent cycles.
Before any growth trends become relevant, you only need to look at how the internet has changed the world. Think about how rapidly and how abruptly it changed every sphere of society. Think of the inventions and new services brought about by the internet. Now see the changes coming as the market position of the IoT becomes established.
Growth forecasts differ among different industries. After all, there are unique constraints, barriers to change, social dynamics, laws, and regulations that may determine the rate at which sustainable adoption of the technology can take place. But it seems that an average CAGR (compound annual growth rate) between 7% and 15% is expected across the board.
Barriers to the Adoption of IoT Technology
Businesses, healthcare, education, transport and logistics, research, manufacturing, and every industry imaginable will adopt and benefit from this technology. The appeal is clear, and who doesn’t want the advantages gained by it? The internet of things market forecast certainly points in a healthy direction. However, there are a couple of things that will hinder the adoption of IoT technology.
High Product/Service Cost at Initial Rollout
The old economic principles are still at play. At first, the supply of new IoT technology will be quite expensive. It’s one of a kind, so you can’t really use anything as a measuring stick to account for its value. Demand will be high, and supply, relatively low. IoT solutions will be expensive at the inception stage.
The first farmer at the market can name his price. However, the first IoT solutions won’t have a monopoly. The IoT market size in 2019 is not yet the forecasted $520 billion for 2021. Without much competition, the prices of these services and products will soar high. That may make it too expensive for SMEs (small to medium-sized entities) to purchase or pay for the subscription fees.
All these high-cost constraints will slow the adoption rate of the technology. But as competition and innovation increases, IoT-enabled solutions will become cheaper.
Human Adoption Rate
The greatest internet of things value and benefits will go to the industries that show the most willingness to innovate and change. Humans are naturally drawn to comfort. One of the hardest parts of implementing new systems and interfaces at a business is its employees’ willingness to make a change. Once they adapt, they will naturally experience the greatest growth in IoT adoption. The rate at which humans are willing to adopt the technology will determine IoT growth to a large extent.
Legislation and Regulation
Some countries may have a problem with the free-flowing nature of information over IoT-based technologies. There isn’t much history to fall back on to predict how governments across the world will legislate IoT technology. In fact, it’s totally possible that some countries may ban its use. IoT solutions may be used on a national level in certain countries with a prohibition on international data sharing.
IoT projections say the technology will soon reach a critical point in its growth and adoption rate. Nevertheless, it’s yet to be seen how it will be regulated in industries that contain high-risk elements like data privacy, federal government regulation, foreign investment, and artificial intelligence. The IoT is still in its infancy, and a catch 22 of some sorts may still be on the books. Time will tell how these issues will be addressed.
The IoT’s reach is global. But it will only be able to go where the internet exists. It is, of course, possible to take data readings from devices that have recorded information in areas that were out of reach. But the IoT market size (in its purest form) will only grow according to the places it can reach that have a sufficient data infrastructure.
Countries and places without the necessary bandwidth and data capabilities will not be able to use IoT services and products. A geographical location may be able to support the data hardware demands needed for the smooth operation of IoT solutions. But a lack of IoT support on the ground will also cause a slower IoT adoption rate.
Interesting Predictions About the IoT Growth
Word is going round, and the stars are lining up. Here are some interesting predictions for the IoT in the near future. Some of these predictions are even expected for the growth of IoT in 2019.
Growth in Every IoT-Based Technology
Scientists and economists believe IoT-based solutions in every industry will experience growth. The demand for IoT services and products are rising, further driving this technology’s development.
As more 5G mobile infrastructure and services roll out around the world, we’ll see faster growth curves in IoT-enabled solutions. IoT products and services need a large bandwidth and fast network speeds to operate optimally. IoT solutions will have more network capacity at their disposal as 5G connectivity becomes more available.
IoT Market Segments with Healthcare and Manufacturing Will Gain Deeper Penetration
Healthcare all around the world makes use of digital technologies to improve human care. All kinds of gadgets and tools connect to the internet to help improve the services these facilities offer their patients. The healthcare industry will see more IoT-enabled solutions to its problems.
The manufacturing industries already have amazing amounts of AI and IoT involved in their value chains. It’s logical to see a fast adoption rate of new IoT developments there. Sensors, beacons, and smart beams will help automate processes at an unexpected pace. The fast-paced worlds of both healthcare and manufacturing already demand faster solutions to their problems. The IoT is here to serve that need.
IoT Market Trends Point to Smart Cities
Smart cities are becoming a greater reality, even for the year 2019. Sensors, cameras, and other recording units will help monitor and control a city’s most basic functions and needs. Water distribution, sewage control, traffic control, and crime prevention (just to name a few) will be automated in smart cities. The control and servicing of these basic needs can be operated with great ease. Central command posts can track a whole city’s “vital signs” when fitted with smart technology enabled with IoT capabilities.
More Cars Will Connect to the Internet
The car industry has been one of the first to join the global IoT market. Increased communication capabilities between cars, their owners, and manufacturers benefit all the stakeholders in this situation. More motor vehicles will be fitted with IoT-enabled tools to help improve the overall driving experience.
IoT technology will not only help car owners but the manufacturers as well. Manufacturers can utilize the data generated by vehicles fitted with IoT technology to gain unprecedented insight into product performance.
A Rise in Home Internet Router Security
Many IoT-enabled products don’t yet have the capability to fight digital and malicious software attacks. So the security demands are placed upon the router that provides the internet—but this may be another area of IoT growth.
Home appliance manufacturers are predominantly concerned with the sales of their products. They aren’t currently required to provide their IoT-enabled products with sufficient antivirus software. The user of these products needs to ensure that their home network is secured by a router with sufficient security measures. This will better secure every device on their network. We might even see clever security inventions from IoT service providers soon.
Legislation and Regulations Caused by Data Security and Privacy Risks
IoT technology is still so new that there isn’t much legislation and regulation in this field. The risks regarding the information contained in IoT-based solutions are enormous. This is partly due to the type and value of the information flowing through the IoT.
The second risk regards the ramifications caused by the hacking of IoT systems. Hackers are now able to gain access to and even control things like vehicles. It’s possible (but currently very unlikely) that someone with enough resources can hack into a car and take over control. Due to these concerns, we will likely experience the actions of activist groups regarding the internet security measures behind IoT devices.
Last but not least, the consumer IoT market is a global one. It stretches from one country and government to another. How will governments treat it? Will some governments ban the commercial use of the IoT? And if so, what will happen to tourists who use IoT-enabled products and services in countries with bans?
A New Wave of Change
Life as we know it is about to change again. One IoT forecast says living like the cartoon family from The Jetsons may soon be possible. One thing is for sure. The IoT industry will see billions of dollars in revenue from all over the world. Economies will shift, industries will be shaken, and everyday life will be changed by the internet of things. New inventions will line store shelves, and it may even be possible for IoT technology to replace many retail stores.
IoT growth is staggering. Its effects will shape the future, and its disruptive nature will forever be recorded in history. Only time will tell just how much effect the IoT will have on the world.